Are you ready to make a unique and beautiful candle holder? I came across this while brainstorming for table centerpiece ideas for my sister-in-laws wedding last June. They fit perfectly into her wedding theme so I decided to take on the challenge of cutting 80 (!!) wine bottles to create ambiance at the guests tables. Thankfully I had a lot of trial and error so you can skip right to the way that worked best for me to save time!
I called our local restaurant that sells wine with their dinners to see if I could take some empty wine bottles off their hands. They said yes! The awesome part about getting their wine bottles was they were all different styles. You can use any empty wine bottle you have around or you can purchase one at the craft store.
The next thing you will need is a wine bottle cutter. Speaking from experience, the single glass cutter doesn’t work well and it’s better to have an actual bottle cutter so it holds your bottle in place while you spin it. They are for sale at Walmart for $17, which was reasonable for my project since I had so many bottles to cut. It’s called the Diamond Tech G2 Generation Green Bottle Cutter.
Otherwise Home Depot has inexpensive glass cutters you can buy that takes more patience to keep the line straight on the bottle. Once you have your bottle cutter and your empty wine bottle, it’s time to remove the label. Soak the bottle in warm soapy water for 10 minutes and the label should peel off easily. If it is stubborn, use the side of a knife to scrape the sticky residue off. Now that the bottle is clean, you are ready to start cutting!
Start with putting the top of the tool into the bottle spout. Adjust the bottle cutter by tightening and loosening the screws to get a snug fit against the bottle. Choose how tall you want the bottle to be and adjust the height. If your plan is to bundle bottles together for decoration, vary the height to add interest to your decor. To cut a straight line around the bottle, you need to have it lined up in a 90 degree angle like the picture above. Hold the tool in one hand and the bottle in the other and slowly apply even pressure and spin the bottle. A small scratch will appear on the bottle as you spin the bottle. Do not push too hard or the bottle will crack! Go completely around the bottle until you reach the point you started at and then stop. Do not cut around the bottle more than once! It will increase the chances of cracking up the bottle.
Start boiling a pot of water. As we learned in science class, when you heat up an object and then cool it down, the glass will break at its weakest point. The weakest point is now the cut you created around the bottle! When the water is boiling, hold the bottle over the sink and slowly pour the hot water over the crack and spin the bottle as you pour. Depending on how well you cut the bottle, you should be able to see the line more and more as it heats up. Then immediately take the bottle and put it under cold running water. You may have to put it under the boiling water for a second time and then cold water again. The bottom of the bottle will fall off when its ready and you should be left with a clean cut line.
Hopefully when the bottom falls off, it is a clean cut line with no jagged edges or cracks. It can be trial and error until you get better at making the cut, but hopefully you get it the first time! It should look like this when it is ready to be sanded. Included in the bottle cutter kit is sandpaper to sand the bottom of the bottle. This is to ensure safety and get rid of the sharp edges. Lightly sand around the edges until it looks dull and smooth.
It’s now ready for your personal touch to make a stunning candle holder!Some candles do better than others under the bottles due to limited oxygen. You can put a tea light or votive under the bottle or put a cluster of bottles together with candles surrounding them. Maybe try putting a ribbon, burlap or paint treatment on the bottle with lights underneath! The options are endless!!
Please be careful with handling the bottles after a candle has been burning underneath because they do get hot!
Happy bottle cutting!