Ah yes, Pinterest, you have struck my creative nerve once again. Boone and I have started experimenting with random things that I find on Pinterest for our wedding decorations. The latest and greatest of them all is DIY candles from used/recycled bottles.
We had all our friends and family collect class bottles. We also went downtown around to restaurants to see if they had any glass bottles that they could give us. One time, we went down to collect at Tomato Head and as we walked past Preservation Pub, there were three huge boxes of recycled bottles! We collected big-time that day.
The only problem with this project is that we’ve gone through a lot of different ways to cut the bottles. Here’s the method that works best for us and I promise you, we’ve tried almost all of them. It takes practice…you’re not going to be able to do it perfectly the first time you try it so don’t use your favorite bottle the first time you try this. I guarantee you it will break. Or not cut evenly. But you will get better! Practice makes perfect!
First things first…you’re going to need one of these. It’s an Empire Glass Cutter. You can find it at Hobby Lobby if you want to buy it right now…or you can order it online. Whatever floats your boat.
Next, take a bottle…any bottle. It’s probably best to start with a bottle that has a thinner layer of glass. You’re going to figure out a way that works for you to etch a small, straight line into the glass. The method that works best for us is to take the bottle and put it against the wall so the glass doesn’t move. Put the bottom of the bottom against the wall, use one hand to spin the bottle, and another hand to stabilize the glass cutter.
The thing about the glass cutter that you need to remember is you’re not trying to cut the bottle with the glass cutter. You’re etching a slight line in the bottle in order to guide the bottle to break along that line. So as you’re etching, make sure that the line is a very, very light line. Almost invisible! Once you’ve etched a line around the bottle (make sure they connect). You’re done with the glass cutter.
Take the bottle over to a flame of some sort (we used a tall candle) and rotate it over the flame. The way that this process works is by pushing the bottle to both ends of the temperature spectrum. The bottle begins at room temperature, then as you’re rotating it over the flame, the bottle will heat up. After you’ve finished rotating the bottle over the flame (you’ll figure out when you think it’s ready as you continue cutting glass), you’ll put the bottle under COLD water. Be careful during this stage (always use protective eyewear and gloves!) Place one hand on the bottom of the bottle and one hand on the neck of the bottle as your run the cold water over the bottle. It should break apart fairly easily at this point. If it doesn’t DO. NOT. FORCE. IT. If it does not break apart right away, carefully dry off the bottle and place it back over the flame. Begin rotating it and you should begin to hear cracking and splitting of the glass. Again, with one hand on the bottom of the bottle and the other on the neck of the bottle, rotate the bottle and be careful as it could potentially break at any time. If it doesn’t break over the flame, place it back under the cold water. Usually it will break the first time, if it doesn’t, it’ll definitely break this time. Unless it’s REALLY thick glass…like a Bailey’s bottle or something.
After the bottle cracks in half, you’ll want to use some sort of sand paper or glass sanding system in order to make sure your glass bottles do not cut you or whoever you end up giving them to!
Coming up next…how to turn these bottles into beautiful and decorative candles for any special occasion!
Until next time, fellow BFs!