Cheers!: DIY Glass Bottle Cutting

Project: Bottle Cutting
Supplies: Glass bottles (wine, alcohol, pop, lemonade, ect), nail polish remover, yarn, matches, large sink, ice cubes (I had 3 trays), sandpaper
Results: Cool glasses and the feeling that you are totally awesome

Am I the only person that thought cutting glass was for highly trained individuals that needed to use super fancy equipment and a completely safe environment? (maybe a bit extreme?) Now those thoughts can be put to rest, because now anyone can cut glass. Why would anyone cut glass? To transform glass bottles into spiffy glass cups of course!

I stumbled across this idea from a website called 366 Days of Pinterest. Each day the author, Kristen, tries a Pinterest idea and shares her experiences. A really cool place to check out, I love her site! She made Corona Glasses during her bottle cutting project that turned out really neat, her tutorial was very easy to follow. I decided to try it out for myself, since the idea of cutting glass sounded so out of my reach.

As shown the supplies are easily attainable, the only thing I actually had to hunt down were bottles to cut. I found both Coke bottles at the resale shop for $1 each and was ready to go! Steps are fairly easy to follow:

1. In a large sink or bucket fill it with plenty of ice and cold water
2. Measure the yarn strands long enough to tie around each bottle 3 times OR braid yarn strands together
3. Saturate the yarn  in nail polish remover (soak it good!)
4. Tie tightly around the bottle where you wish to cut it, then place the mouth of the bottle in one hand over the water, and carefully set the yarn on fire
5. With both hands rotate the bottle for about a minute, DONT LET THE FIRE DIE!
6. Submerge bottle in water and it should break
7. Sand paper the edges until smooth

Successes and Failures:
Everything was going well until I was ready to light my nail polish soaked yarn on fire. I have a love/fear of fire, so I became a bit jittery before actually setting the yarn on fire, and I made sure to whip the bottle of excess nail polish remover, I words “Highly Flammable” kept flashing in my mind. Not to mention, my cats kept begging at my feet. After putting my mind at ease, I finally did it and watched the thin flame wrap around the bottle. I was mystified–for about 10 seconds.

Here we reach The Problem: there was no mention on what speed you should  rotate the bottle. At first I was moving at a snail’s pace. The fire quickly died, and for kicks I placed it in the water anyway. Naturally, not a crack was in sight. I tried bottle 2, increasing the rate of my rotation. I found a steady fast speed worked better, made the fires last longer, and I counted 30 seconds like the tutorial said. Dropping the bottle into the bone chilling ice water, nothing happened.

Basically I struggled with the right amount of time to rotate the bottle and what correct speed. I had to try 3 times for each bottle until I finally managed to break them.  The first time I used yarn braids for each bottle, but after getting frustrated after Round 2, (I only had thin crack lines), I wrapped yarn around 3 times and let it burn. It did the finishing touches beautifully. The biggest pain had to be having my hands in ice cold water 6 times, by the time I was done I wanted to sit infront of a heater! Oh, positioning the yarn evenly on the bottle is a slight hassle, especially when I had to repeat the process 2 extra times.

My bottle glasses may be lopsided at the top, but the sandpaper helped make things appear smoother. Sand papering took a while, the constant *scrape*scrape*scrape* eventually gave me results.

I wonder what language this is?

Now I can feel like a Glass Cutting Master! Okay so I’m far from a “Master” since it took me multiple tries to figure this out, but I liked it. I have the urge to cut more, but really I don’t know what I’d do with them. I hope I can find more projects that explore possibilities of glass cutting. I’ll be using these one summer day I’m on my front porch soakin’ up the sun. Last but not least, tips if you try this:

1. Be safe, don’t do this around a lot of people or if you have annoying cats who like to lay on your feet
2. Rotate fast and steady
3. Make sure the bottle is completely submerged in water
4. Be sure the water stays cold, I kept adding ice after each 2 tries.
5. Larger bottles will probably make cuter glasses (although I still love mine)

That’s all folks, have a great day!

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10 thoughts on “Cheers!: DIY Glass Bottle Cutting

  1. Thanks for posting this – I SO have to try this! I even created a new Pinterest board in honour of this wonderful, inspiring project! Go Millie!!!

  2. I tried this too – first time I lit the string and ran out of the bathroom *just in case*, then I ran water over the heated section. It never worked for me, I just got a lot of cracks and shatters all over. Maybe I should give it another shot your way…..

  3. I just tried this out last night and after lots of trial and error I got it to work. Only problem is the bottles are splitting apart with a nice clean edge but leaving behind a lot of stress fractures. Did you find this as well?

    • I only got a stray crack or two because I had to retry so many times for the bottle to actually break. My guess is the more times you try, the more wear it is on the glass. Plus when I had to keep trying it was difficult to position the yarn in the exact area as the time before. I’m no expert, but I hope this helps! 🙂

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