I have a really fun post today. Now, you will have to be extra careful with this DIY as I am sharing how to cut glass bottles. This has been something I wanted to try for a really long time but I was too scared as I was afraid of the glass cracking or shattering.
I am pleased to report it is not as hard as it seems and I was able to try two methods of cutting which both turned out really well. Do take extra care when working with glass and make sure to use gloves, safety goggles, and a mask when cutting glass.
I have put together a Youtube video where you can see how I cut the items in this post. I will also add some pictures and details below.
*This post contains affiliate links and was originally posted in 2019 and updated 2021
Here is what I use to cut glass:
- Safety goggles.
- Safety gloves that are heat resistant.
- A glass bottle cutter.
- Hot and cold water.
- Medium and fine-grit sandpaper.
Using a bottle cutter to cut a gin bottle
When I was researching how to cut glass I stumbled across loads of ways. Some people were tying strings soaked in alcohol around bottlenecks, lighting it and then submerging them into a sink of icy water.
Then other methods included a cutting knife and candle flames. I decided on getting a bottle cutter off Amazon as I am a bottle cutter newbie. Now, when I first tried my bottle cutter I was completely disappointed.
However, I persevered and tried it with bottles of different sizes and with some practice I was able to get it to work. I found that the bottle cutter was really good at the larger bottles. I was able to cut my Hendricks bottle with the bottle cutter.
The bottle cutter itself is easy to adjust. The one I ordered also came with a really good instruction booklet that had ideas on recycling bottles too.
To use the device you simply adjust it to fit your bottle, then you firmly turn the bottle towards you to get a scoreline.
Once you have a scoreline you then apply some heat. I chose to pour boiling water over my scoreline and then I ran the cold tap over the scoreline straight after and the top cracked off.
You can also use a candle to apply heat to the scoreline instead of boiling water and then pop it into cold water to get it to break off.
You will need to practice this a few times. So, if you have a fancy bottle you want to cut then make sure to practise before cutting it. It is also good to note that some glass bottles may already have cracks in the glass that you cannot see and these can cause the bottle to crack when you are cutting.
Sanding your rough edges on your cut bottle
I know what you are thinking! Won’t the edges be sharp and cut you? Yes, but that is where the sanding comes in. Once you have a nice clean cut you can use a medium grit sanding paper to soften the edges.
I used a medium grit first and then I used finer grit sandpaper to give it a nice smooth finish. It doesn’t take long to sand your bottle. Once you are happy it is smooth you can use it for whatever you wish.
I decided to style mine as vases but you could make candles with yours too.
Using a rotary tool to cut glass
Earlier in the Summer, I was sent a rotary tool from the guys over at Ryobi.
I recently ordered some more burrs for my tool and one of them was a diamond cutting disc. I wanted to do some more complicated glass cutting that the bottle cutter just couldn’t do.
I had seen people online using rotary tools to cut glass so I decided to try it too. When cutting glass it is really important to use a special diamond cutting disc or a cutting disc that is specially made for glass/tile. The great thing about the Ryobi rotary tool is that it is cordless.
So I was able to easily bring it near the sink. It also has a really long cord making it easier to manoeuvre. You can also use burrs from different brands in the rotary tool. Here is a link to some diamond cutting discs.
When cutting glass with the rotary tool it is really important to keep the disc lubricated and stop it from overheating. I popped my bottle into the sink and I ran the cold tap over the area I was cutting.
Now, when you are cutting glass it is really loud and you will sound like you are on a building site, but you will get a cleaner cut.
Make sure to change your cutting disc often as I found even though I kept mine cool it did go blunt. I was able to cut the side out of my whiskey bottle with the rotary tool and I also cut open an old Chanel perfume bottle. Don’t forget to sand your edges with sandpaper when you are finished cutting.
Cutting glass is actually quite fun and I would encourage you to play around with the different methods to see which one suits you.
It can be quite intimidating but I found by popping them in the sink in contained the bottle so if any of them broke it was easy to clean up.
Just be extra safe with this DIY and it goes without saying that this is not a kids friendly DIY. Most importantly, just have fun and experiment and see what you can create.
If you enjoyed this DIY then you might enjoy this one where I drilled through a china plate to make a clock. You can catch that video here.
I hope you found this post helpful and of value. If you did I would love for you to share it with someone who would enjoy it. Don’t forget to subscribe to my Youtube channel and hit the like button if you enjoy this weeks video.
Thanks so much for reading, Chat soon, Catherine.
I love what you have done with these bottles they look great
This is on my craft to-do list. I have so many lovely Gin bottles I want to cut but haven’t been brave enough to try yet. I like the idea of the Ryobi tool. Thanks for the video tutorial.
Thanks so much Kate!
Thanks so much Claire, have fun making yours, would be a perfect Autumn DIY, you could make some scented candles in your bottles x
Wow! This is really nice post and very helpful to us. I definitely try these ideas for cut glass bottles. Please add more ideas to cut glass bottles. Thanks for sharing these ideas with us.