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Crafty, Scrappy, Happy: Cutting glass

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Cutting glass

Hello friends, Happy Saturday!  

Anyways, I have some fun projects and am guest posting and having a guest all for next week...but for now I thought I would post my "cutting glass" post from a few weeks back when I blog swapped with Angela from Love Sweet Love, in case you missed it!

And from my heart, Thank You All for being so great.

{Up-cycling glass bottles into vases/candle holders}

The total project takes about 10 min when you have all of the supplies collected!!!  I love quick and simple!!!

Here is what you will need to make the vase/candle holder:
-old glass bottles
-nail polish remover
-cotton strong (I used the green yarn pictured below)
-a lighter or matches
-a sink full of cold water
-sand paper

****Revised 7/11****
I feel so bad that my instructions are confusing....I wish I could have taken some pictures of the "process" but I didn't have anyone to do the photography for me....and this craft is for sure a 2 hand job...
Christie was nice enough to hook us up with this video---that will make things MUCH more clear!

And I also added some more input into what I did with mine----I hope this helps!  Sorry it was confusing!!!  

Here is what you do:
-wrap the cotton yarn around your bottle 5-6 times, tie and cut ends.
-slide yarn off of the bottle
-dip in nail polish remover
-slide the wet yarn back onto the bottle---NOTE---the bottle will be cut at whatever angle you have the yarn at, so if you are interested in doing a sideways cut just adjust your yarn
-light on fire  ****please please be careful****
-only the wet yarn will be lit on fire and the flame is very well controlled
-rotate bottle in circles as the yarn is on fire for about 20 seconds so that all parts of the bottle warm evenly
*** I just hung onto the bottom half of the bottle and slowly rotated it around***
-submerge in cold water and watch the bottle parts separate
-use sand paper to smooth rough edges

*I was nervous about doing this process inside but it worked really well---I wouldn't hesitate to do it inside again!

Kind of a fun technique right?
And I like the beach-y message in a bottle feel to the project----my house is all sea inspired at the moment so i think I will for sure find a home for these fun glasses!


Buttt I couldn't just stop there.... because I am in LOVE with making my own candles and have been looking for a perfect container for my new lemon grass summer sent----trust me it is heavenly!
I got the wax and wicks from Swan Creek Candle Outlet---it makes buying candles super inexpensive when you make them!  The entire container is $10 and it will make two small sized mason jars, but the smell is really what gets me!
**I am most definitely not trying to sell a type of wax, just wanted you to know what I used! :o)

This part seriously takes 4 min.
-One min. to secure the wick to the bottom of the jar-I used glue dots, but hot glue works great also
-3 min. to heat the wax and pour

{Then I just added an old candle holder I had up-cycled awhile back to give the candle different look--I just added a little hot glue to hold the jar and candle holder together}

{And this is where my little project sits in my house for now}

I am linking up at a couple of these amazing parties!



Blogger Dawn said...

OMG this is so interesting. I have never heard of it before, can't wait to try it. Thanks for the unique tutorial:)

July 9, 2011 at 11:49 AM  
Blogger Craftberry Bush said...

So cool, my dad used to do this all the time for my mom! Xo
I saw you at SDC... I was gonna send you an email but didn't want to ruin your surprise! Xo go you!

July 9, 2011 at 12:58 PM  
Blogger Lindsey said...

I know I'm a bit slow- but.... so you dip the yarn in nail polish remover, put it back on the bottle, light the yarn on fire, then... (what do you mean rotate the bottle in circles as the yarn is on fire???)

July 9, 2011 at 2:42 PM  
Blogger Dee ⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️ said...

Wow! Who knew cutting glass would be that easy.

Thanks for the how to. I only wish I had nail polish remover in the house. I must get some soon.

Fantastic project!

Dee :-)

July 9, 2011 at 5:19 PM  
Blogger bigcountry. said...

i'm with lindsey - you:
-wrap the cotton yarn around your bottle 5-6 times, tie and cut ends.
-take the yarn off and dip in nail polish remover
IM ASSUMING YOU WRAP THE YARN AROUND THE BOTTLE AGAIN? (i realize i may be a bit slow - just want to do this correctly)
-light on fire ****please please be careful****

i cant wait to try this.

July 10, 2011 at 5:44 AM  
Blogger Sabrina said...

I had no idea you could do this, what a great tutorial. Thanks for the info. I am your newest follower. I would love for you to check out my new blog

July 10, 2011 at 6:23 AM  
Blogger kristincita said...

This sounds really dangerous. I'm thinking you do it outside to be safe? Also really confused by the steps (I'm with Lindsey) Do you re-wrap the string after you soak it but before you light it? how do you rotate it?

July 10, 2011 at 7:00 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

beautiful candle and congrats on the feature!


July 10, 2011 at 7:07 AM  
Blogger Doodlecraft said...

Super super cool! Thanks for sharing!

July 10, 2011 at 8:14 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Thanks so much for the how-to! I've always been intimidated by the thought of cutting my own glass, but I can do it this way!

July 10, 2011 at 8:17 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

This is awesome! To help all of us who are with Lindsey, maybe you could do a few pics of the actual process... have someone take them for you, please don't try to photo and light things on fire!

July 10, 2011 at 8:48 AM  
Anonymous Deb said...

I'm a lil' confused too:)LOL When you slide the soaked string back on, doesn't the nail polish go all over the bottle causing the whole thing to light up? Turning the bottle in circles I assume means holding both ends of the bottle and basically turning (spinning) it. Can't wait to try this. I have so many jugs just waiting to be upcycled.

July 10, 2011 at 9:08 AM  
Blogger ~Iffy~ @ StayAtHomeNation said...

This is amazing, although I thinks I'd be to scared to try it lol. Stopping by from the Sunday Showcase Party.
Would you please link this up to My Favorite Things Friday Party! I would love it if you did =D

July 10, 2011 at 11:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I might burn down the house trying this...but I may have to try it outside! Thank you for your great idea! Happy Sunday.

Love to YOU!

July 10, 2011 at 12:02 PM  
Blogger Lolly Jane said...

That is CRAZY that you made those!! Great info- thanks for sharing. Love how rustic it looks!

We'd love for you to link this up w/ us :)

July 10, 2011 at 4:23 PM  
Blogger Christie said...

This idea is really cool although I was with all the others in not understanding. I found this quick video. :)

July 10, 2011 at 9:38 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I've never heard of this? Very cool and your tutorial was not confusing at all. Thanks for sharing it!

July 12, 2011 at 7:21 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Genious! I have never seen this Thanks for sharing mind is turning.....

July 14, 2011 at 4:14 PM  
Blogger Mimi said...

Wow! I'm so excited to see this! (hopping over from Somewhat Simple) I've been wanting to cut bottles into glasses and planters! I can't wait to try this! There is a great place at my husband's plant that I can try this so I don't burn down the house :) Thanks so much for sharing

July 14, 2011 at 4:38 PM  
Blogger Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

This really worked?
I can't wait to give it a try! I'm adding you to my friday's favorites so I can find you again.

...Now ~ to finish that big bottle of woodbridge.

July 15, 2011 at 4:58 AM  
Anonymous Eve@ Not So Artsy said...

Wow that is SO COOL :) I would love to try that. We have a ton of really cool wine bottles I have been saving so this project would be perfect for them! I found you at I Heart Nap Time :)

July 16, 2011 at 9:02 PM  
Blogger Cristy @ Art•ing Shed•quarters said...

Sounds pretty straightforward. Very neat trick, I would love to try it. I can think of some great uses for old glass bottles.
~via I heart naptime party.

July 17, 2011 at 6:21 AM  
Anonymous Darlene said...

Thanks for this great way for cutting bottles. I recently found a youtube video for making wind chimes with bottle top. Now I will use your idea for cutting the bottles and the bottoms will make your great candle idea. Great blog. I also want to use your shutter idea for my dining room! Thanks again!

July 18, 2011 at 5:34 PM  
Blogger Kelli W said...

How cool is that! I love a good recycling project:)

July 21, 2011 at 6:07 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hello! I'm Kassandra from Coffee and their Kisses. I featured this here at my blog. I hope you'll come by and grab a featured button to show how awesome you are :o)

July 22, 2011 at 12:24 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Turned out gorge! I've been trying the cutting glass w/ a string for years and it never works for me... I'm going to try scoring and heating w/ piping hot water and then cold. I've heard that leaves a super clean edge! Again, Great job!!!

July 27, 2011 at 12:18 PM  
Blogger chrisdd said...

This is a very nifty idea, but there is a safety issue that needs to be addressed. When you sand the glass you are creating glass dust, which is very hazardous. You don't want this stuff in your house, eyes or lungs. You need to wear an N95 particulate dust mask/respirator. Surfaces will need to be wiped down with a damp cloth to keep from spreading the dust. Be careful not to bring the dust into your house on your shoes and clothing.

August 8, 2011 at 8:57 AM  
Anonymous Mrs_Mashburn said...

hello! i found your idea via "Pinterest". LOVE IT!! Can i use "hemp" instead of the yarn to burn/cut the glass?

August 12, 2011 at 10:58 AM  
Blogger jewbug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

August 14, 2011 at 5:58 PM  
Blogger Jaime Lyn at Crafty Scrappy Happy said...

I would be really really happy to give you advice if you have a hard time with this method. I am by no means a pro, but I know what I did and how it worked for me. I would think that hemp would work fine Mrs Mashburn, and I would love to hear if it worked for you! I did have to delete "jewbug"s comment because there was profanity in it... I feel bad if the technique doesn't work for you, but I would love to give you advice... It did work for me!
Thanks for the nice comments and questions!
Jaime author of Crafty Scrappy Happy

August 15, 2011 at 4:03 PM  
Blogger Basco said...

I was so excited about this. I got all of the supplies, and it didnt work for me either. :( Do you let the string burn completely away? or just let the nail polish remover burn off? I just grabbed some polyester yarn for a $1 to use. Maybe I need different string...

August 16, 2011 at 9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Couldn't get it to work with a wine bottle, but a beer bottle did. And yarn caught fire much better than this hemp like stuff I tried first.

August 18, 2011 at 6:49 PM  
Blogger Sprost said...

I fell in love with this idea and after a few tries last night I got it to work on a wine bottle. For me there were a few key things to making this work properly:
1. 100% Cotton yarn
2. Letting the flame burn for longer than the 20secs suggested. I let it burn for almost a minute and as the directions state it is a very controlled burn.
3. The water needs to be very cold.
I also had to try a few different wine bottles, some are thicker than others. But I now have a great way to save bottles with labels that I find particularly nice and they make great vases for the upcoming wine party I am having!

August 19, 2011 at 6:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found this on Pintrest as well and can't wait to try it. I'm not wild about sanding glass because I don't really have an outside space to do it, nor do I have the right protective gear. Do you think there is something I can put around the edge to cover up the sharpness? I'm thinking about hot gluing some ribbon... anyone else have ideas?

August 27, 2011 at 3:29 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I was wondering the same thing, Tiffaney. This would be a great way to use our saved wine bottles, but I'm hesitant on sanding the glass and wondering if there would be another option to cover the sharp edges.

August 28, 2011 at 8:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't get it to work! I keep trying, but nothing. My husband got it to work, but the glass cracks alot below the break. Grr. Any tips to help us out? Am I using the wrong remover? Wrong yarn? Water too cold?

August 28, 2011 at 11:38 AM  
Anonymous JaimeC said...

Ours didn't work the first two times. We used a bottle from cooking wine. We kept experimenting - we used more yarn (seven or eight times wrapped around). Our flame burned for more than 20 seconds, but we had success when we let it go for 30 or so and then plunged it (still lit) into the ice water. Still, the break was not as clean as we would've liked - but it was still a good experiment.

August 30, 2011 at 6:06 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Dietplaid, it's impossible to say if you're using the right materials because you didn't say what materials you were using.

Any nail polish remover should work. But it has to be 100% cotton string. If you use yarn, you may get a slightly different result but it should still work. The reason you use string is because it's a cleaner "line" and will create a more concentrated burn.

September 5, 2011 at 9:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mine didn't work boo! I tried it on 2 different wine bottles. The flame went around in circles on it's own and nothing happened when I put it in cold water not even a crack or a mark :(

September 7, 2011 at 3:00 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

I have tried this and just can't get it to work.... what am I doing wrong???

September 8, 2011 at 5:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cute idea!

Just a suggestion though- It's hard to look at the pics when you have to tilt your head for every single picture.

September 14, 2011 at 8:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds great, will give it a try

September 14, 2011 at 8:49 PM  
Blogger Emilie said...

This works awesome! i'm making an indoor herb garden! and i've been looking for a cheap method to cut glass! thanks!!

September 17, 2011 at 11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone made drinking glasses this way...or bowls from pickle jars???

September 18, 2011 at 12:37 PM  
Blogger kathleen said...

boo hoo... this did not work for me. I tried glass dr. pepper bottle, and a enchilada sauce bottle. Tried one wrap of string, tried 6 wraps of string. I had such high hopes!

September 21, 2011 at 5:26 PM  
Blogger Yumi said...

what a cool idea... i have to try this... thanks for sharing!!!

September 28, 2011 at 11:45 AM  
Blogger BrightDaisy said...

I tried this at least 5 times on the same bottle, what am I doing wrong ??? I did use cotton twine (like you use to truss a chicken), could that be the problem ? I SO want this to work , help !

September 28, 2011 at 5:26 PM  
Blogger Janice said...

My Favorite is "In Order To Bloom" because I am a teacher and every time I walk into a classroom I have to remind myself of this.

October 1, 2011 at 9:43 AM  
Blogger Rachel R. said...

I assume that the nail polish remover needs to be the "old-fashioned" kind, with acetone. I wonder if some readers are using acetone-free, and that's why they're having trouble? (I haven't tried it yet, so that's not experience speaking - just an idea.)

Also, I have read elsewhere that you can sand the edges of the glass by putting a piece of sandpaper in the bottom of the sink, with the sink full of water, and rubbing the cut edge back and forth on the sandpaper. It seems that would eliminate the glass dust issue.

October 1, 2011 at 12:11 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Didn't work for me :( Perhaps my bottle was too thick?

October 4, 2011 at 2:20 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...

I just tried this. Awesome!!! Thanks for sharing. It worked wonderfully for me.

October 4, 2011 at 5:37 PM  
Blogger Ladette said...

Didn't work for me either. Not sure if I didn't have enough yarn (to cause enough heat to cut the glass) or if my glass was too thick or what. Any ideas?

October 5, 2011 at 6:28 PM  
Blogger The Nielson Family said...

I got it to work, but I went and bought a glass cutter at Home-Depot for $4.00. Then did the hot water method. I'm using pretty thick bottles too. I'm going to try it this way again with the glass cutter first then burning. We tried many times, but couldn't get it to work.

October 5, 2011 at 9:21 PM  
Blogger The Nielson Family said...

Ok just tried it again. I used different yarn, I think it was 100% cotton because it worked! I scored one with the glass cutter and one not and they both worked. Only thing I'm having problem is getting even cuts. Good luck everyone.

October 5, 2011 at 9:41 PM  
Blogger KRusso said...

I tried this but it didn't work...maybe my string is not 100% cotton? I want to try it again so test two I will make sure my string is 100% cotto.
Question?? Have you tried this trying to make a small circular hole in the bottle instead of cutting the bottle in half?

October 7, 2011 at 10:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tried this, several times, and it didn't work. I tried rotating it for longer so that maybe the glass would get hotter, I tried putting it in ice cold water - nothing. My string is 100% cotton. I don't know what else to do ...

October 10, 2011 at 12:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An update to my previous comment: "I tried this, several times, and it didn't work. I tried rotating it for longer so that maybe the glass would get hotter, I tried putting it in ice cold water - nothing. My string is 100% cotton. I don't know what else to do ..."

I felt like the nail polish wasn't burning very well - there was hardly any flame. So I started using acetone, just acetone. It definitely burned better. And yet, even with using ice water, nothing happened. I tried wrapping it around only a few times, and 5-6 times. NOTHING had any affect on the bottles what-so-ever.

October 10, 2011 at 6:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those not wanting to sand the edges - take the bottle outside, turn the cut side down and rub it against the sidewalk or driveway cement. it does exactly the same thing, and you don't have to get your hands close to the sharp edges!

October 13, 2011 at 11:36 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

Hmmm I thought this was a good idea, but it didn't work. The acetone free nail polish remover didn't stay lit long enough for the bottle to get hot, so I tried rubbing alcohol. It stayed lit a bit longer but still not long enough. I used cotton crochet yarn. Any ideas?

October 14, 2011 at 11:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If it doesn't work have the water ice cold, then try it it only works because of the rapid thermal expansion of glass. Put it in ice cold water an it shrinks back breaking along the weakest point which will be where its been heated with the yarn. Also use acetone nail polish remover or else it just wont burn properly

October 16, 2011 at 7:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tried this five or six times, on both a wine bottle and smaller beer bottles. It only broke on two of the times (using 100% cotton yarn, and acetone nailpolish remover) and both of the times it was an extremely jagged break. Very disappointed, as I tried different heating times, different wrap length, etc. Really wanted this to work. =[

October 22, 2011 at 6:37 PM  
Anonymous Lily M said...

This is so neat! I've been trying to make candle holders out of my old bottles but most of them just don't look good. I will definitely be trying this way! Thanks!

October 25, 2011 at 1:47 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

This didn't work for me.

November 3, 2011 at 1:24 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Great instructions. Going to try it.

Girlfriends Are Like Shoes

November 4, 2011 at 1:18 PM  
Blogger alystasmom said...

do you think this would work on baby food jars??

November 4, 2011 at 8:55 PM  
Anonymous Dana @ said...

Love this! And I love that you'll give just about anything a shot!

November 5, 2011 at 6:17 PM  
Anonymous Mark said...

I have successfully done this on two standard wine bottles, tonight in my kitchen. using cotton yarn and acetone nail polish remover and tap cold water in the sink. I found that about 40 seconds works want it to have time to heat up good but you want the flame to still be going strong when you water dunk it...this makes sure there is plenty of heat still when the "cold dunk" happens, so don't wait till the flame gets weak. It took me a few tries to get it to work.

November 8, 2011 at 3:27 PM  
Blogger Mindi said...

What am I doing wrong? I tried this over and over and I couldn't get it to work. Was it the fact I didn't use COTTON yarn?

November 9, 2011 at 8:37 AM  
Blogger Tina said...

i tried this 3 different times. one with a with a wine bottle and yarn and that didn't work. 1 with my husbands craft beer bottle and yarn THAT WORKED! and then again with a different wine bottle and yarn and that didn't work. i'm guessing it has to do with the glass? im not 100% sure but there must be something to it. i would definitely suggest trying lots of different bottles before ruling it out.

November 9, 2011 at 10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you don't want to sand the edge, try dipping it in hot wax. If it is to be a vase, or decorative piece, coating the edge with wax will look cool and keep the sharp edges covered.

November 10, 2011 at 10:08 AM  
Blogger Deni said...

this is awesome! Never heard of doing this and for sure want to experiment with it!
Thank You!

November 11, 2011 at 11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to make a small hole in a jack daniels bottle to insert a electrical cord through...any suggestions on how to use this method for this?

November 14, 2011 at 4:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this does not work

November 16, 2011 at 4:30 PM  
Anonymous Trish said...

Just tried this with cotton string and acetone. Couldn't get the string to even light. I even poured acetone on the string while it was on the bottle thinking that maybe it wasn't wet enough. Anyone else having this problem. Saw a LOVELY arrangement of various dark colored bottles with the bottoms cut out so that you could put a votive under them. Really wanted to do this for Thanksgiving.

November 16, 2011 at 6:09 PM  
Blogger #1 Walker of 6 said...

So, I have been trying this and have not had any luck.

November 18, 2011 at 8:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tried it and it didn't work. The fire burned for about 20 seconds and then I dropped it into a sink filled with cold water....bottle didn't break. I'm thinking the water has to be ice cold??? Next time I will try it with ice water in the sink.

November 19, 2011 at 11:30 AM  
Blogger Kayla said...

I tried it and it worked great!

I used a Jones soda bottle and polyester mix(?) yarn, wrapped it around 5 times, rolled it off, dunked the string in the polish remover and rolled it back on. I turned on the cold tap (the tap is refrigerator-cold in this house), lit the string on fire and slowly rolled the bottle as if I was roasting a marshmallow for about 20-30 seconds. Then I dropped it in the water and POP! it was in two clean pieces.

Now, my husband tried it with a Henry Weinhard rootbeer bottle and his ended up with a ragged and cracked edge, but, he used rubbing alcohol instead, which probably doesn't get hot enough.... :P

November 19, 2011 at 7:53 PM  
Blogger Kayla said...

Note, the edge is VERY SHARP! So be careful.

I also used Sally Hanson remover, in case that makes a difference :)

November 19, 2011 at 7:55 PM  
Blogger Laurie in SC said...

Awesome idea! Thanks so much for the inspiration! I am featuring it on my Blogger's Thanksgiving Top Ten:

November 21, 2011 at 3:37 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

This is genius! I can't believe this works, and so simply! I'm definitely going to have to try this one.

Michelle F
Low Amine Recipes

November 23, 2011 at 10:14 AM  
Anonymous ~Kat said...

I linked to this post in my blog!
Thanks for the great idea!! :)

December 1, 2011 at 2:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did this 3 times last night and it definitely works. How do you prevent the tiny hairline spider fractures within the glass itself? Also, 2 of my attempts did not cut off straight but sort of wavy. Any idea what I did wrong? OR do you sand it till even?

December 3, 2011 at 6:18 AM  
Blogger Annette said...

It took me many tries, but was eventually successful. I used Acrylic yarn and regular nail polish remover. I achieved success after tying the string VERY TIGHTLY around the bottle, THEN soaking the yarn with the nail polish remover, setting it ablaze, and then after letting the fire burn nearly out, I put it in a vat of ice water. Voila!

Thanks for all the great ideas!

December 3, 2011 at 11:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tried a few times , And the last time it was because i submerged it while the fire was about to go out , THAT was important ! So that when the bottle hit the water there was a nice crack sound because the bottle itself was still hot! very important! It will not work as good if you let the fire go out then submerge it in my opinion!

December 9, 2011 at 2:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didnt work for me. I tried different types of string and pure acetone. I used several bottles. I ended up burning my right hand and cutting my left.

December 11, 2011 at 7:41 AM  
Blogger Bree at Clarity Defined said...

I gave this a shot today with a wine bottle and didn't have success. I tried it a few times and then had to call it quits when I got a little careless with the nail polish remover (I say oops and my finger says OUCH).

I'll have to give it another go, but any suggestions?

December 11, 2011 at 11:50 AM  
Anonymous Tara said...

Just wanted to say that I tried this on a Smirnoff bottle and it worked amazingly the first time. I used 100% cotton yarn and acetone nail polish remover.

I wrapped the saturated yarn about 7 times and tied it. Then, instead of holding it, I sat in on the floor and lit it. It burned evenly without having to turn it. When the minute was nearly up, and the yarn was starting to get singed, I picked it up, still on fire, and dropped it in the cold water.

Shattered right in half.

I plan on trying it on a Starbucks coffee bottle next because the glass is a bit thicker. I'll let ya'll know how it turned out.

December 11, 2011 at 8:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A word to the wise: I suggest only attempting this in a well-ventilated room while wearing safety goggles. Unlike alcohol, which is flammable, acetone is _extremely_ flammable: "...air mixtures of between 2.5% and 12.8% acetone, by volume, may explode or cause a flash fire. Vapors can flow along surfaces to distant ignition sources and flash back. Static discharge may also ignite acetone vapors."

Also, note that health insurance policies may not cover this type of activity. And glass can become shrapnel.

December 17, 2011 at 9:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alright I have tried this on several different bottle. Wine bottles, Scotch bottle and beer bottles. I dont know why but I have tried all kinds of things, different yarns, lots of nail polish remover, different amounts of wraps around the bottle, slower rotations, faster rotations, taking the yarn off and dipping it in nail polish remover leaving it on the bottle and pouring it on the yarn, wrapping the yarn very tight wrapping the yarn loosely. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. I have tried the same thing twice and it works once but not the second time or it will work the second time and not the first time. I beginning to think its the luck of the draw. Any body know how to make it more accurate so that I'm not spending so much time on one bottle. I love when it works but it gets frustrating when it doesn't work every time.

December 19, 2011 at 10:57 PM  
Anonymous Madeleine said...

Totally didn't work, and I tried literally a DOZEN times. I could have spent an hour getting snuggly with my husband, and instead I spent it swearing and ruining my skin by covering it in acetone.

December 21, 2011 at 5:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

same here! did it 5 different times. Nothing.

December 28, 2011 at 5:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tried it a while back, not as easy as it looks/sounds...good luck though.

December 31, 2011 at 1:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow!! Mine worked great! I used a wine bottle and what a great project. Thanks for the idea. Very easy instructions. Now I am addicted to this craft project. Thanks again!

January 2, 2012 at 7:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tried it, didn't work :(

January 3, 2012 at 12:48 PM  
Anonymous Jane said...


I did this a bunch of times and finally figured it out--TILT THE BOTTLE slightly upwards so that the hot air stays trapped in the bottle. DO NOT WAIT TOO LONG or the bottle will start to crack on its own which won't give a smooth cut. 20 seconds is about enough. I'll keep trying and I'll comment again if I can "perfect" a method.

January 3, 2012 at 3:54 PM  
Anonymous Jane said...

Also--I used yarn (not sure if cotton or a blend) after trying with twine for a while. Yarn seemed to work better, it probably can absorb more nail polish remover. And I added ice to my water.

January 3, 2012 at 3:57 PM  
Blogger Madeleine @ NZ Ecochick said...

Wow what an amazing tut!! I've always wondered how to cut glass and now I can give it a go. Thanks heaps.

January 6, 2012 at 7:04 PM  
Blogger jglass said...

Tried several times with no luck. Trying it backwards now. Bottle is in the freezer.

January 10, 2012 at 1:27 PM  
Blogger jglass said...

Tried several times with no luck. Trying it backwards now. Bottle is in the freezer.

January 10, 2012 at 1:29 PM  
Blogger jglass said...

Finally.... After I froze the bottle with the yarn attached for about 3 hours I removed it from the freezer ,applied ronsonol lighter fluid to the cotton yarn ,(it burns longer) lit it, rolled the bottle until it burned out, immediately put in sink of cold water, it worked. It should be noted that it was a very thick old coke bottle. Thinner glass may be easier.

January 10, 2012 at 5:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how do you do this..does not work

January 10, 2012 at 7:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This REALLY works, the bottle cracked right in two! Of course, one end shattered, but I assume that's because that was the end that hit the water first and encountered an ice cube.
Re-soak the yarn with acetone right before lighting, quickly wiping excess off the bottle
Stand the bottle up on a safe surface for even heating.
Let the fire burn for 40 seconds or until it starts to go out
Use ice water, or at least ice cold water.

January 12, 2012 at 8:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yeah. I used 100% cotton yarn, wrapped about 6 or 7 times. I also used 100% acetone nail polish remover.

January 12, 2012 at 8:46 PM  
Blogger Njeri said...

You are right up there, next to Martha Stewart ;-). I would never have thought of this, but I have always wondered how it can be done.I pinned this!

January 13, 2012 at 1:14 AM  
Blogger Conanabanana02 said...

Yeah, I learned the hard way that simply using cotton thread will not work. There's some yard lingering out my house. Hopefully it's cotton and I'll try again.

January 13, 2012 at 10:05 AM  
Anonymous sherry said...

thank you, I am too afraid of a glass cutter so now, this might be the answer to my prayers. thanks again for sharing.

January 14, 2012 at 12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My mom remembered doing this in the 70s, only you were instructed to use 100% wool yarn. So we tried it this last summer with a bottle from the recycle bin - only problem is she forgot about the parts of using the lighter fluid(what they used back then) & putting it in cold water. She just wrapped the yarn around & set it on fire, nothing happened. Don't know what she did then, but the bottle ended up in pieces all over the ground (we were doing it outside). Glad to have a tutorial telling me how to do it right,now I'll try it myself! thanks!

January 14, 2012 at 10:57 PM  
Blogger Sirmarkuss said...

Worked like a dream on beer bottles, I have some beautiful cuts that just need a bit of sandpapering, make sure you wrap the yarn tightly and squish it so it is really close together.
I'm still trying to get it to work on my wine bottles which is what I really want to upcycle. I'll post again if I can get it to work :) thanks for the great idea!

January 16, 2012 at 7:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

would this work on a lightbulb?

January 18, 2012 at 7:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tried this today 12 plus times, only worked once and it was a jagged uneven ugly cut. We are calling it quits......NOT AS EASY AS YOU SAY!

January 21, 2012 at 2:36 PM  
Blogger Ashley T said...

This is so cool! Success the first time and I now have a sweet new funnel and new vase. Thank you!

January 29, 2012 at 2:43 PM  
Anonymous glass bottles manufacturer chennai said...

Great comments thanks for sharing!....

February 4, 2012 at 1:38 PM  
Blogger Ande said...

I've cut quite a bit of glass with a regular glass cutter (doing stained glass work) and it is not very difficult. The main thing to be sure of is to never go back over the score you make the first time. It immediately ruins the cutter. After you score (cut) tap the glass with the metal ball on the end of the cutter until it falls apart and never just try to pull it apart! You can make hundreds of cuts with the same cutter! I do want to try this method though, I've never heard of this.

February 6, 2012 at 6:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FYI the post update with the link to the video has a virus attached. thankfully my computer blocked it but I was unaware and it kinda freaked me out. I suggest removing it.

February 11, 2012 at 4:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have tried this numerous times with no success.....dont know what Im doing wrong....does they type of nail polish remover matter???? Tried it on beer bottles and wine both....nothing happens......bummer....

February 12, 2012 at 5:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you are going to sand glass use a wet/dry sandpaper (the black kind) and a sanding block. Get sandpaper wet and then sand the glass. Sandblock helps save your fingers from getting cut.

February 18, 2012 at 1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tried this with a 4 litre pickle jar (glass is 1/8 thick). Used cotton string wrapped 5 times and acetone free nail polish remover (thats all I had on hand). Burned it outside (cause I was nervous) for about 30 seconds by the time I got it to burn all the way around. Then I laid it on the snow, and the jar popped apart with a perfect clean break; I didn't even need to roll it around. Maybe when you put it in water, the water needs to be super cold. Maybe if the glass is thicker, you need to burn it longer.

February 18, 2012 at 2:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tried several times with two different types of nail polish, but the yarn didn't burn long enough. I tried again by soaking the yarn in some old body spray from Bath and Body Works and it worked on the first try! I know it's early, but this has me so excited for Christmas now! I'll have to spend the next couple of months drinking wine so I can make gifts.

February 18, 2012 at 7:49 PM  
Anonymous clh said...

My granddaughter and I finally got this to work by using plain acetone. My nail polish remover had too many added ingredients.

February 20, 2012 at 4:17 PM  
Anonymous Emily said...

Your instructions are not at all confusing. :) I can't get my bottle to break, though! Wrapped the yarn, cut the ends, took it off, soaked it in acetone nail polish remover, put it back on, lit it on fire, let the fire burn as I turned the bottle, then dunked it in a sink of ice water. Tried this several times, and could not get it to work! Any suggestions?

February 22, 2012 at 4:35 PM  
Blogger Dapur Emak said...

waw awsome
scrary but awsome

definately buying nail polish remover tomorrow
there is a cute parfume bottle that longing to be cut
is it dangerous? a parfume bottle will it explode?

February 24, 2012 at 7:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe your string isn't tight enough. It worked for me only when my string was VERY snug and difficult to get back on the bottle.

February 24, 2012 at 5:38 PM  
Anonymous Stephanie Lucarelli said...

I seriously just sent my husband to Home Depot to figure out how to cut the bottom off all of our saved bottles!! Thank you for this!!

February 25, 2012 at 8:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read your post before I read Tiffany's ribbon idea and typed this...oh well! Ideally, I'd hope that this would help both even the edge out and cover the sharpness. I haven't tried it, so don't take my word for it, but it's an idea.

1. Run a layer of hot glue over the sharp edge of the glass; let cool.
2. Take a thick woven ribbon (not one of the satin ones) at least 1" wide, some thick embroidery thread, and a needle. Measure circumference of bottle & cut ribbon 1" longer.
3. Lay your ribbon horizontally. About 1/2" in, sew a running stitch near to the bottom edge for a decorative effect, leaving a long tail. Finish 1/2" from edge, also leaving a long tail. You'll use these to tie a bow at the end.
4. Run a stream of hot glue along both edges of the ribbon, not too close to the edge. Be careful that your tails don't get caught in it.
5. Glue ribbon OVER the glass edge. (Like, if you have a 1" wide ribbon, 1/2" of it goes on the outside and 1/2" on the inside—the decorative edge goes on the outside)
6. Tie a bow with the 2 thread tails.

This probably wouldn't work for candle holders because of the heat, or vases with real flowers because of the water. Also, I see the thread tails as being a potential pain, but I think it would be really cute to have a bow there. Hope this was halfway helpful.

February 27, 2012 at 8:03 PM  
Blogger Kayla Damisch said...

It didn't work for me, what am I doing wrong?

February 28, 2012 at 7:20 PM  
Blogger Caity Hamilton said...

i absolutely cannot get this to work!! i tried 6 times with the same bottle, 100% cotton string, and even put the bottle in the freezer for a while, put icewater inside the bottle, and let the string as long as it would (more than 30 seconds). what else can i try?

February 28, 2012 at 7:50 PM  
Blogger Nortonka said...

I did those same things and it didn't work for me either.

February 29, 2012 at 10:53 AM  
Blogger brenda said...

a special glass cutting bit used with a drill with running water.. non electric drill

February 29, 2012 at 1:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We tried this at home and after 3 bottles done very well the fourth bottle cut my Boyfriends finger and he had to get 6 stiches to please be careful! We love this idea and have wanted to make candle holder out of wine bottles for a long time but didnt have a saw, so this was a great way to get going on our project but we suggest everyone wears protective hand gear like rubber gloves or chain mail. please be prepared before you start this project. Protective gear first!

March 3, 2012 at 7:44 PM  
Blogger every day is different said...

I just attempted this technique with two bottles and both broke cleanly but cracked a little below the cut...with a little more practice I do believe I can become a pro...thanks for the idea and directions!!

March 5, 2012 at 1:34 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

This totally did not work for me at all! I tried several times on the same bottle and nothing happened after I put it in the COLD water!

March 7, 2012 at 7:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The nail polish remover didn't work for me so I used bbq lighter fluid amd it worked really good.

March 7, 2012 at 11:46 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I have go to try to cut bottles. Sounds way cool.

March 9, 2012 at 8:58 AM  
Anonymous Liz said...

Just tried this. First attempt didn't work but only wrapped the string round once. Had a difficult time getting it to lite.
Subsequent attempts worked fine.
Used regular (acetone) nail polish remover; wrapped butchers twine 7 times around a small and then a large beer bottle. Set the twine alite and let it burn for 30-35 secs. Submerged it in cold water (had added ice...but it was melted by the time we got to the 2nd and 3rd bottle).
Incidentally the flame from the acetone was never any higher than 2-3".

Goint to try a wine bottle tomorrow.

March 9, 2012 at 6:43 PM  
Anonymous tyla said...

This is a very simple experiment - around since well, glass bottles were made. There have been many 'contraptions' manufactured to help out but what everyone needs to understand is that the bottle breaks due to the sharp change in temperature. The hot string keeps the heat to a small area and a chosen area in this case and the water (which yes, should be as cold as possible) shocks the glass into breaking. Scoring may also help - it gives the 'crack' a path to follow. Some things that might help, use a clean bottle, use whatever chemical and 'wrap' will keep the line hottest and most concentrated.

If your bottle breaks in a wrong direction, it means that your bottle was already scored or scratched by something deeper than what you're trying now.

Depending on the thickness of the bottle and what kind of glass (even if it's been treated to withstand more shock) will effect your results.

This not new - it's been done by boy scouts for years and years - I'm sure crafty ladies can make it work...and call it pretty :)

March 16, 2012 at 10:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

*Wrap yarn around bottle, tie and cut loose ends.
then 'roll' the yarn off (like u were removing a stubborn bracelet)
then re-roll it on the bottle/jar

March 21, 2012 at 11:42 PM  
Anonymous Wendy Robinson said...

Has anyone tried this on old hot sauce bottles (i.e. Tabasco)? I used cotton yarn, acetone, and left it burning for about 20 seconds, but no breakage. Also, the flame would not stay lit. Could it be the thickness of the bottle? Any thoughts?

March 26, 2012 at 7:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't even get my string to light-and I'm using acetone and cotton yarn. I've also tried jute or hemp, whatever it's called. Don't know what I'm doing wrong.

March 28, 2012 at 9:03 AM  
Blogger The Chapstick Wrangler said...

This is awesome! I really want to try this now but am terrified about lighting nail polish remover on fire in the house. Hopefully I'll gain some back bone and try it out.

--The Chapstick Wrangler

March 28, 2012 at 12:03 PM  
Anonymous Tierra said...

I went to the store and bought twine, which after getting home and trying it out I realized didn't work, simply because it isn't absorbent enought to hold enough nail polish remover for it to burn long enough. After realizing this, and not wanting to go back to the store to buy yarn or cotton string, but still really wanting to give it a wirl asap, my boyfriend came up with the idea to use one of his old socks. So I cut the toe of one of his socks off and than cut it again so I could get so I had a piece I could just roll over the bottle without having to tie anything (about half an inch thick so that there was enough material to absorb a fair amount of nail polish remover). I soaked it and than wrapped aroung where I wanted the bottle to break, set it on fire and rotated the bottle as suggested, and after about 30 seconds to a minute I dipped in the cold water (I added ice to make sure it was cold enough), and the bottom of the bottle popped right off, eazy peazy! Such a great idea, thanks so much for the handy tip to cut glass bottles. Oh and not dangerous if you are even slightly careful. I did it over my kitchen sink and everything is very controlled, the only way I could see it being dangerous is if you maybe dropped the bottle while it the material was burning...

April 5, 2012 at 8:59 PM  
Blogger purls4peace said...

I found a cute planter idea on Pinterest but the bottle had to be cut in half. I was thinking I had to buy an expensive glass cutter and probably cutting my fingers! Thank you for your post. The planter is very cute. You cut a long neck bottle in half, invert the top half, fill it with dirt and a plant then put it in the bottom half of the bottle filled with water. Thanks again for making my project come true!

April 7, 2012 at 10:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would think the thick cotton yarn would work because it soaks up more of the polish remover, then it would burn longer and get to a higher temperature to cut the glass. I'm just guessing, but polyester wouldn't soak up the fluid in the same way.

April 8, 2012 at 7:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It evaporates quickly, so by the time you light it, there is no wet polish remover to speak of on the bottle, only on the string.

April 8, 2012 at 8:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What kind of sandpaper do you use? I purchased sandpaper from Lowe's that didn't work and the cashier told me that I would need sandpaper from an autobody shop. Thanks!

April 11, 2012 at 8:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your post is great! Thank you!

And to the people who don't understand the basic instructions, you shouldn't be playing with fire and glass anyway.

June 22, 2013 at 12:40 AM  

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