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How To: Cuttin’ Glass and Taking Names

by on Jan 28, 2010

Ever looked at a wine bottle to admire its shape, color, or translucent qualities?

These features shouldn’t go to waste in the recycling bin. Here’s a fun how-to that can reuse and transform wine bottles into something REALLY worth eyeballing. Get all the info and tools for this killer DIY project after the jump:

I recently became curious about cutting wine bottles, I think it is because I live in a area that has a lot of wineries. I did a little snooping on the web to see what was out there that could cut bottles. I visited a few forums and people said not to buy a plastic one but to buy the old school one that is made from metal.

diy modern glass cutting bottle

I found Ephrems Old Time Bottle Cutting Kit on eBay.

Here are a few tips and tricks I learned on the way:

  1. The bottle has to be perfectly round to roll on the rollers
  2. Clean off all of the labels, you can cut through painted glass just fine
  3. Adjust to your desired length and firmly hold the bottle while you rotate it towards yourself.
  4. Do not go over the scored glass more than once. If you go over your score more than once you will create deeper cuts that could result in pathways for the glass to take off on
  5. Slowly roll your scored glass above a candle heating it up. The thicker the bottle the hotter you should get it. It should be too hot to rest your finger on.
  6. Instead of rolling the score with an ice cube I found a better way. Get a bucket or something that will hold ice water tall enough to cover your score vertically. When you feel the bottle is hot enough place the bottle in the ice water vertically and pop the bottle will split almost perfectly every time.

Now you have cut your first bottle. You now have to deal with the sharp edge. I simply took my hand sander and used a little water and wet sanded the edge.

diy modern glass cutting bottle

After I cut my first bottle I thought, how can I make these more unique? I have access to a sand blaster, so I had some lettering and shapes cut at my local vinyl shop and applied them. I had them blasted then remove the vinyl and I was left these beautiful raised translucent shapes. I really don’t see these as drinking glasses but more for your bathroom toothbrush or a fancy pen holder. Someone suggested you could put a candle in them as well, I think that could look pretty cool with the more detailed designs.

diy modern glass cutting bottle

Most people may not have access to a sand blaster but there is always acid etching or I think there is a spray that can mimic this look.

diy modern glass cutting bottle

diy modern glass cutting bottle

What’s next? I have a few ideas for some light fixtures I may try.

For more ideas on how to use Mid-Century Modern inspired design in your own home, check out Curbly’s MCM how-to manual, Make It! Mid-Century Modern.

created at: 2010/01/05


Craving more DIY projects? Try one of these typographic wall art ideas:

created at: 03/27/2013

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  1. Be careful of etching cream. Read the label. It’s very toxic and hard to dispose of safely.