Not only does cutting glass bottles into modern vases recycle everyday glass, but it also preserves that celebratory bottle of bubbly from a milestone event or that fancy bottle of red you shared on vacation.
In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to make glass vases from tall wine and water bottles, but don’t let the creativity end there — cut glass bottles could also work hold office supplies such as pens and pencils or even candles with the addition of poured wax. Or they could be used as drinking glasses.
Things You’ll Need
- Glass cutter
- Measuring cups
- Paper towel
- Utility razor
Rinse and dry the bottles after use to make sure any residual liquid is cleaned away.
After deciding where the top opening of the vase will be, use a basic glass bottle cutter to score the glass around the full circumference of the bottle until the two score lines meet up evenly.
Tip: All sorts of basic glass bottle cutters can typically be found at your local craft store or online. You can even make one of your own using this tutorial.
Scoring the bottle will not cut the glass, but doing so will provide the guide for where the glass will separate evenly throughout the next steps.
Over a sink with a soft towel in the basin, pour thin and even streams of hot and cold water over the bottle’s score line until the glass separates. We slipped blue rubber bands along either side of the score line to help guide the water stream over the scored line.
Alternate between streams of ice-cold water and almost boiling water; it may take several cycles, but eventually the bottle top will separate, dropping into the sink basin.
While applying pressure, twist the rim of the cut bottle over a sheet of coarse-grit sandpaper several times until completely smooth. This may take several minutes and a little elbow grease to ensure each crevice and crack has been smoothed. Rub the sandpaper along the outside and inside edges for an all-around smooth edge and the rim will be safe for handling (and drinking from) once cleaned.
Tip: Wipe a small amount of olive oil around the cleaned sanded rim with a paper towel to remove the white residue from sanding.
We decided to leave the label on the bottle if it had nice graphics or a meaningful history, such as the one on our olive oil bottle from Italy.
We removed the labels from the less meaningful bottles, which gave us a good visual mix. The bottles with removed labels seem to transform further into modern containers without screaming, “Hey, I was once a wine bottle!”
If you choose to remove the label, there are a couple tricks for making this process easier. First soak the bottle in warm water to loosen the paper, and then, using a utility razor, gently scrape away the label. Scrub any leftover residue with hot, soapy water and a sponge, and then rinse and dry.
When dry, the vases are ready for use.
Split up a large bouquet among the different vases and group together for a focal centerpiece, or scatter around the house to brighten up smaller areas.
Mary & Tim
Keep up with Mary and Tim’s adventures in DIY, home and gardening on their collaborative lifestyle blog, 17Apart. Find them on Instagram (@17Apart) and page through delicious recipes on Tim’s food blog, E.A.T.
Photo credits: Mary & Tim Vidra