Bottle Cutting 101: DIY Vases & Glasses

bottle cutting: How to cut bottles into vases or glasses

Welcome to glass bottle cutting 101! This technique is much easier than you think, and you can make a collection of beautiful drinking glasses or painted vases. 

bottle cutting: How to cut bottles into vases or glasses

While recycled glass can be remade into new glass bottles and jars, fiberglass, faux turf, and countertops, glass is not recyclable in all areas. If you have empty glass bottles of wine, sparkling water or juices, and you can’t recycle them in your community, you can definitely reuse them.

Repurposing items is a great way to teach kids about the value of recycling and give items a second life. At RecyclingSimplified.com by Republic Services you can get tons of information about how to recycle correctly, as well as activities that can be enjoyed by the whole family.  

From wine bottles to sparkling water or juices, there are so many colorful starting points depending on the look you want. I wanted either cobalt blue or green, so I went with Topo Chico sparkling water in grapefruit flavor. Perfect for bottle cutting!

From wine bottles to sparkling water or juices, there are so many colorful starting points depending on the look you want. I wanted either cobalt blue or green, so I went with Topo Chico sparkling water in grapefruit flavor. Perfect for bottle cutting!

bottle cutting: How to cut bottles into vases or glasses

This project requires adult supervision because it involves boiling water and cutting glass. I would suggest you engage your kids help with cleaning the bottles, and wearing gloves to sand the edges, and of course – painting the cut bottles!

Choosing a bottle to cut

Think about what you want to use the cut bottle for – drinking glasses or vases? I went with the latter because I knew I wanted to paint these. I also want to give them as gifts to my family members. Even if we can’t celebrate Thanksgiving or Christmas together, I can send them a finished painted vase for them to use as decor. 

Wine bottles are generally wider and bigger, they make perfect vases. The carbonated drink or beer bottles make fun little glasses or smaller vases.

Supplies for Bottle Cutting 101!

bottle cutting: How to cut bottles into vases or glasses

  • Bottle cutting kit – this is the one I used, it was pretty easy and had great instructions. It includes: gloves, the bottle cutter, directions, and sandpaper.
  • Mask for sanding.
  • Glass bottles rinsed, labels removed.
  • Craft paint, brushes, varnish.
  • Boiling water.
  • Bucket of ice water.

Directions: 

NOTE: Use extreme caution and make sure to remove the cap to all bottles for any part of this process.

Choose your bottle and make sure it is washed and dried. Remove any labels because they’ll interfere with the scoring process.

bottle cutting: How to cut bottles into vases or glasses

Put on the gloves and remove the bottle cutter from the box. Follow the manufacturer directions to position the bar in place to where you want to cut. 

Set your bottle on the cutter and make sure to look to see where the blade lines up with the bottle. You want it to be a smooth cut with no ridges or papers or labels.

bottle cutting: How to cut bottles into vases or glasses

Hold the bottle firmly between both hands – on the bottle portion, not on the neck. Firmly turn the bottle towards you so you hear the glass being cut. Stop when you go all the way around – you’ll hear a shift in the scoring sound. Do you best to keep it firm and even while scoring, this will help you have a clean, straight cut. 

Score two or three bottles for practice. 

 

Heat up a large pot of boiling water, deep enough to submerge the bottle.

 

Set up a bucket or deep bowl with ice water.

bottle cutting: How to cut bottles into vases or glasses

Once the water is boiling, wearing the gloves, hold a bottle from the bottom and insert it into the hot water halfway, hold it for 30 seconds. Be very careful!

bottle cutting: How to cut bottles into vases or glasses

Quickly remove the bottle from the boiling water and insert the same way into the ice water. Leave for 30 seconds. If it does not break apart at your score, then repeat the process until it does.

bottle cutting: How to cut bottles into vases or glasses4

Repeat for other bottles. You’ll find this has a bit of a learning curve, so keep practicing until you get a nice clean and even break on your bottle.

Smooth the edges

Place the sheet of sand paper on a flat surface and still wearing the gloves, hold the glass/vase upside down and rub back and forth across the sandpaper until there are no more shiny areas. You want it all to look frosted and sanded smooth.

bottle cutting: How to cut bottles into vases or glasses

Still wearing the gloves and now a mask to cover your nose and mouth, use the sandpaper to smooth out the inner edge and the outer edge. Continue until it is smooth to touch.

Get creative!

Now you can decide to leave as is or to paint them up, like I did! I used glass paint and freeform painted flowers. I always like to start with white as a base because it really makes the colors pop!

bottle cutting: How to cut bottles into vases or glasses

Ideas!

  • Use washi tape to decorate
  • Add stickers or any other embellishments.
  • Use as name cards by painting family member’s name or even a little painted portrait on each vase. You can even glue on a picture. 
  • Use cut vinyl to add phrases or motifs. 
  • Hydro Dip them in enamel paints
  • Use spray paint.
  • Use the other part of the bottle – the neck to make chimes or even lanterns.

Painted cut bottles. #CraftyChica

 

Thank you for checking out my bottle cutting 101 post, and I hope you are motivated to recycle! Remember the three steps: 

  1. Know what to throw (check out this link!
  2. Empty. Clean. Dry. That’s what each item should be before you place it in the recycling bin. 
  3. Don’t bag it! This slows down sorting production and the bag will not be opened because the plastic is not recyclable. 

If you would like to get more information about how to recycle correctly, or would like to see additional activities for kids, please visit RecyclingSimplified.com.

Painted cut bottles by Crafty Chica. #craftychica
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Love & light,


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Kathy Cano-Murillo

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Hi, I’m Kathy, The Crafty Chica! My specialty is creative motivation. I’m an artist, author, and speaker and this is where I share my craft tutorials, artwork, articles, books, product lines, and workshops!

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