How To || cutting wine bottles

We have a bunch of empty wine bottles that we have saved with the intentions of doing a few different projects with them.  Last October, we decided to make wine bottle candles for stocking stuffers.

To do that, we have to cut off the necks of the bottles.  We have never cut glass before so we experimented until we found a method that worked.  Our first attempt was cutting the bottle with yarn/rope dipped in a varieties of thing, then setting it on fire.  We used a soda bottle for the test run.

2013-10-06 19.09.36

We tried dipping yarn (then rope) in vodka, nail polish remover, and rubbing alcohol. But none of those medium worked particularly well. We tried a variety of yarn as well hoping that one type would work better than others.

2013-10-06 19.10.44With this method, we tied the drenched yarn/rope around the bottle and then lit the rope on fire before dunking it in ice water.

2013-10-06 19.12.322013-10-06 19.23.16

We ended up breaking multiple bottles with a lot of jagged edges.  Not exactly what we would call a success.  Next, we tried cutting the glass with a etching bit from the dremel.  We drew a line on the painter’s tape around the bottle where we want to cut and basically tried to etched the glass with the bit.  Then we heated it up with a blow torch before dunking it in ice water.


2013-12-22 11.46.21

It did not work very well because we could not get a precise etched line of where the glass should break.  Moving on, we found the sharpest cutting instrument (KT’s swiss army knife), and fashioned a stationary scoring arm.  Then we rotated the bottle up against the sharp edge of the knife to score the bottle.

2013-12-22 21.35.59

We heated it up with the blow torch, then dunked it in ice water to complete the break.  This was the best method for us.  The break wasn’t perfectly clean but with some sand paper, KT was able to smooth out the sharp edges.  We still ended up with some bad pieces like these below.

2013-12-22 22.41.26

But we also got a handful of good ones we were able to use to make candles.

2013-12-23 00.09.47Anyone got a better (and easier) homemade method?  Of course if we try to do this more often, we’ll probably invest in a proper glass cutting tool.  But for this one time project, this method worked for us.



One comment

Leave a Reply