crystal award

Sandcarve a Crystal Award

Cheryl Loban is the Communications Specialist at JDS Industries. She joined JDS in March of 2001 as a Customer Service Rep and worked in various roles in that capacity over the past 18 years. Cheryl moved into her position in the Marketing Department in February 2019.

Sandcarving crystal items gives your gift a beautiful, frosted look; and when applied to awards, you can appeal to high-end customers such as the corporate market. Follow along with this demonstration to learn how easy it is to make big profits.

Materials Needed:

  • Crystal blank
  • Sandcarving system
  • Photoresist film (Used here: RapidMask from IKONICS Imaging – a film that requires no washout)

Settings Used:

  • 180 grit

Step One: Preparations

When designing your artwork, keep in mind that it looks best if the artwork does not go all the way to the edge. 

You will also need to determine if you are sandcarving on the front or reverse on the back. For this crystal award, we reverse engraved on the back.

It is important to clean your crystal first with glass cleaner to remove any oils or residue. 

Step Two: Create and apply mask

The next step is to place the film down with the soft side up and place your artwork facedown onto the film. Place in your exposure unit for two minutes.

crystal award
All images courtesy JDS Industries

Then, cut your artwork from the mask, peel the carrier sheet off of one side, and adhere to your crystal. Use a squeegee to remove as many air bubbles as possible.

crystal award

Then remove the back of the carrier sheet and use a wire wheel to perforate any remaining trapped air to prevent blowout.

crystal award

You will want to use tape to cover any exposed crystal around the mask, including covering the base. This prevents the abrasive from scratching and damaging your item.

Once ready, you can head to your sandcarving cabinet.

Step Three: Sandcarve

We used 180 grit for this piece. The finer detail, the higher the number of grit that should be used. 

Hold the nozzle at a 90-degree angle to help the abrasive from getting under the mask and lifting it off and keep the nozzle about six inches away from your piece. Spray side to side in a steady rhythm until all of the mask from your artwork has been removed. You can take the air hose to blow away any remaining abrasive. 

crystal award

Step Four: Clean

Once you are finished sandcarving the crystal, soak it in hot water for a few minutes to soften the film and simply rub off.

crystal award