How To Cut Wine Bottles

Wine bottles have become the source of a new craft trend – making candle holders. This is when the wine bottle is cut and then a candle is placed in the bottle where it gradually melts, creating a great talking piece for any space.

Whether you are wanting to save on money from buying a glass candle holder or love to repurpose materials, cutting wine bottles is a skill that you can use time and time again for all kinds of glass related crafting.

As well as candle holders, you can also use cut wine bottles as quirky lanterns or candle covers (for small tealights). 

For those who want to cut glass but do not have the money to purchase the proper equipment don’t worry. There is a method that you can use that takes little materials. Soon enough, you’ll be mastering this method in no time. 

Supplies

  • Safety goggles 
  • Wine bottle
  • Something to score the glass e.g. glass drill 
  • Candle

Preparation

Before you even attempt to start, remember that you will have to remove the labels from the bottle. You can do this by soaking the bottle in warm and soapy water for at least 20 minutes.

You can use something sharp such as a razor to remove the harder scraps if needed. Make sure that all traces of the label are gone as the bottle will be coming into contact with heat which can set fire to the paper label. 

As glass is a poorer conductor of heat, it will take a long time for the heat to pass through. If exposed to the hot temperatures and then immediately the cold afterwards, the glass won’t be able to maintain its structure through the change and will break.

This is why you will need safety glasses for optimum protection. Because of this, make sure you follow the below instructions closely. It may take practice to perfect but you’ll be mastering this technique in no time and be making candle holders and other cute gifts for your family and friends. 

Cutting wine bottles

Now that you know what you need and have prepared your bottle, it is time to actually cut your wine bottle. Make sure you are in a safe environment and take your time working your way through these instructions.

1. Scoring the glass is the first step and will prevent any cracking on the inside of the glass later on in the process.

If you have a professional scoring tool then use this but for those who don’t have the money to spend on this then a glass drill can do the trick if applied with a steady hand.

Score the glass by drawing a line around the bottle where you want it to cut. 

2. Now it is time to heat up the bottle. Some people advise pouring boiling water over the bottle but this is a very risky method and doesn’t always work while others use acetone soaked ropes that are tied around the bottle and then set on fire but this has been known to cause all sorts of accidents and injuries.

The most consistent, reliable and safe method is using a candle. Simply rotate the glass slowly over the line you have scored for 10 minutes. 

3. The next step involves cooling it down. Once the bottle has been heated for 10 minutes, blow the candle out and put the bottle under cold water, rotating it around the scored heat. You should hear a crackling sound as it interacts with the heat.

4. Once the bottle has cooled down, grab both sides of the bottle and twist it slightly and it should separate. On your first attempt, the edges may be slightly jagged but you can sand and smooth the edges down if you have the materials to do so. Over time and with much practice, you’ll find yourself with better edges immediately. 

Tips to remember

It goes without saying but working with glass can be dangerous so it is important to make sure you are working in a space with no children or pets around to prevent any accident or injury.

Also, bear in mind that the glass may crack or break if the instructions are not followed correctly so if you are unsure, you can always wear some safety gloves to prevent any cuts on your hands.

Safety goggles are absolutely a must since you are working with transferring glass from one extreme temperature to the other.

Whatever you are cutting the wine bottles for, always think about the recipient of the gift or where it will be.

You want to make sure that you have thought about all of the safety precautions before undergoing this process in order to avoid disappointment or mistakes. 

Lastly, have fun! It’s a tricky process to master but it is a craft and is extremely exciting with so many different gifts that you can make. So whether you are making a special candle holder or a quirky lampshade, remember to enjoy the process.

Christina Day
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