How To: Make Your Own Glasses from Bottles

How To: Make Your Own Glasses from Bottles

Geoff Bentz
Sep 4, 2009

More crafting! Here's a project that's about a 5 on a 1-10 difficulty scale. Actually, it's not that tough, it just requires some precision and a few tools you most likely don't have around the house. And it involves fire.

Please note these are very condensed instructions just so you know what you're getting into. Head over to for more detail and helpful tips.

Glass cutting wheel
Bottle cutting jig
Small butane torch
Lazy Susan (or other rotating platform)
Scrap of plate glass at least 8x8" (or a mirror)
Safety goggles

A suitable glass bottle to cut
400 grit silicon carbide wet/dry sandpaper
Bulk silicon carbide grit (at least 80 mesh)
Tap water and spray bottle
Oil for glass cutting wheel

After choosing your bottle, the first step is to score the glass for cutting. This is where a bottle cutting jig comes in handy. Essentially you will roll the bottle in the jig creating a scoreline. See below.

Once you've made a scoreline, position the bottle on a Lazy Susan and apply heat using a small butane torch. Set the torch slightly above the scoreline and rotate the Lazy Susan with your free hand. You will hear click and pops as the glass literally breaks. Go slow, be patient and be careful. You should be wearing your safety goggles at this point.

Still with me? Now that you've cut the bottle, you'll want to polish the edge. This is called "lapping." Drop a pinch of grit on a piece of glass or even a mirror and lightly wet it using a spray bottle. Then, with the bottom of the bottle facing up, make a figure-eight motion in the grit. This can be sensitive to the ears, like nails on a chalkboard, so you may want to have earplugs or loud, heavy metal music handy. We suggest Def Leopard or Poison.

Finally, it's time to round the corners. This is done simply by rubbing your silicon carbide sandpaper along the edges. Do this gently and carefully, until you can smoothly run your fingers around the edge.

Cool, huh? The tools are an investment, but once you get the hang of it I'm sure you'll think of lots of uses. How about making a candle holder out of a wine bottle? Or a vase from an old-fashioned Coke bottle? An ashtray, kitchen utensil holder or even a dog bowl for Scraps? If you do make something, let us know how it goes!

And if you just want to buy the glasses in the above pictures, here are two sites that sell them.

• 1 Boyland Bottleworks from Sundance - set of 4 for $25

• 2 Sol Beer Glasses from Elsewares - set of 4 for $34

(Images: Makezine)

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