DIY Friday: Recycling glass bottles to make glasses & vases

Source: Homemade Modern

Source: Homemade Modern

This DIY project is pretty handy in my home, where clumsiness is an epidemic. And because it requires very few tools, it’s a fun project to try out this weekend!

The project: Using old glass bottles (wine, beer, juice, etc.) to create sturdy glasses, vases, candleholders & more! Cut bottles using simple household objects, or scroll to the bottom for a link to using glass-cutters.





Difficulty: Easy

Time: 1-3hrs (depending on glass quality & sanding time)


  • Glass bottle (note: some bottles break more easily. Wine bottles & sturdy beer bottles are preferable, but may require a couple of tries. Some bloggers have indicated that they broke at least half of the bottles they first tried to cut, until they found the best bottles to work with or the best technique. Try it out for yourself & be very careful when doing it!)
  • Cotton string.
  • Nail polish remover (acetone)
  • A sink/bucket filled with ice-cold water
  • Sandpaper
  • A candle/dedicated flame source

Safety Notes:

  • Keep your fire extinguisher nearby in case of any accidents.
  • Keep the acetone bottle far away from the flame source.
  • Glass may break under flame or cutting, so be very careful with the sharp edges & don’t do this with small children.

Step 1: Prepare the bottle & the materials

Source: Instructables

Source: Instructables

Remove the bottle label. If you’d prefer to keep the label for a decorative feature on a vase, by all means go for it. But if making glasses or other regularly-used items, take the label off. Clean the bottle off.

Fill a sink/bucket with cold water. Some DIYers even recommend putting a bit of ice in the water, as this may assist with difficult-to-break bottles.

Step 2: Preparing the string

Source: Picklee

Source: Picklee

Wrap string around the bottle at place you wish to cut. Some bloggers just wrap it once, but many suggest that you wrap it 4 or 5 times tightly for better results. Tie the ends together.

Now slide the looped string off the bottle & dip in acetone. You could pour the acetone into the bottle cap or any small container – you don’t need much, just enough to soak the string!








Source: Picklee

Source: Picklee

 Step 3: The Flame

Pop the string back onto the bottle in the place you would like to cut the bottle. Set the string alight with your flame source. For good results, hold the bottle & string over a candle & ensure that you heat/burn the whole circumference of the bottle evenly.

Source: Picklee

Source: Picklee


Step 4: Dunk!

Once you’ve adequately heated the string, carefully dunk the bottle in the sink/bucket of cold water. The bottle should break off at the point where the string was held. If not, follow steps 2 & 3 again & use some ice in your water on step 4.

Source: Picklee

Source: Picklee


Step 5: Sand

The bottle edges will be jagged & dangerous. Use sandpaper (80 grit will work well) to sand the edges so that they are safe to use for glasses, vases, candle holders & more!


Here are some other cool ideas for recycling glass bottles:

Source: RecyclArt

Source: RecyclArt


Source: RecyclArt

Source: RecyclArt


















For video tips, check out:


Or check out these great websites:


Homemade Modern:




Good luck! And let us know how your project goes via Facebook or Twitter!


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