Glass bottle DIYs are littered across the internet, full of inspiring images and creative crafting. But many of these projects require the would-be creator to know how to cut their glass bottle neatly in two. We’ve collected four different methods to cut your own glass bottles. Be sure to wear protective glasses and use gloves whatever method you use.
For all of these approaches the glass should be clean, dry and free of any stickers before beginning. You will also need a deep container and cold water to shock the glass into breaking. Once you’ve cut your bottles, sand down the edges to smooth them out and remove uneven edges. Use a mask while doing this to avoid inhaling any glass particles.
1. Acetone and String
This simple method only requires acetone and string. Acetone is easily found in nail varnish remover. Wrap the string a couple of times around your bottle and tie a knot. Cut off the ends and remove the string from the bottle. Soak your string thoroughly in acetone and wrap it back around the bottle. Try to wrap the string around a line where it appears the bottle has been joined, or where the glass starts to curve. Once your string is neatly wrapped, light it on fire and start turning to bottle to enable it to burn evenly. Allow it to burn until the acetone has burned away and then plunge it into your cold water. The temperature shock will make the bottle will split along the line of the string.
2. Oil and Water
Save that waste vegetable oil after your next meal and prepare to get creative! This approach requires water, vegetable or motor oil, and a blade. Fill your bottle with water up the point at which you wish to cut it. Place the bottle in a deep container and surround it with water up to the same line. Next, carefully pour a thin layer of oil onto the water surrounding the bottle. To keep the layer even, add oil slowly and do not pour from the bottle. If your glass is thicker you will require a thicker blade, but for many glass containers a utility blade is enough. Heat your blade until it is red-hot using a a gas burner or cook top and then place it into the layer of oil. The oil will heat up causing the glass to split. Science!
3. Score Glass
The most effective way to score glass is with a glass cutter, but you can also use other sharp tools. As well as your tool for scoring you will need a candle. Wrap tape around the bottle at the place you want to cut it. The tape will act as a guide to help you score a straight line. Pressing lightly, score a single line around the bottle. Once you’ve scored your line, hold your bottle above the candle with the flame on the line. Turn the bottle to evenly heat the line and once you feel the bottle getting hot in your hands plunge it into cold water. It may not split immediately, so simply repeat the heating and cooling steps until it does. Giving the glass a gentle twist and pull can also encourage it to break.
4. Hot Wire Cut Glass Bottles
For this approach you will need a piece of wire, two pieces of wood, a heat source and a scorer. Once again lightly score the bottle at your desired level. Place the wire around the score line, leave some excess wire to wrap around the wood. These pieces of wood will act as handles so you don’t burn yourself. Heat the wire around the bottle until it becomes red hot, at this point plunge the bottle into cold water. If the bottle does not split, hold it under the water and tap it gently with a stick.
If you need some glass bottle inspiration, check out 20 ecological ideas for upcycling glass bottles.