Here are step by step instructions on how we cut bottles. There are many ways to cut bottles and I have tried quiet a few of them. This is what I think is the easiest way and I have had the most success with. Thanks for checking out my blog and good luck!
1. Getting the labels off
You think this would be the easy part but sometimes getting the glue off takes the most time. I soak the bottles in warm water with dish detergent. The longer they soak the easier the labels come off. Then I use a knife to scrape as much as I can. I have a wire brush that I use now to brush more of the label and the glue off. The label should be mostly off by now and I use Goof Off to wipe the bottle clean.
2. Cutting the bottles
This step actually takes the least amount of time but believe me you will get frustrated until you master it. Don’t give up but always remember slower is better when it comes to cutting glass or you will make a lot of mistakes. We use a 7″ rigid tile saw. We did buy a special blade for just cutting glass. It was around $50. We set the guard to the length that we want the bottle cut and slowly turn the bottle until it is etched completely around. You are limited with a 7″ tile saw. I wanted to try to cut a bottle length wise but you need a bigger saw to do that. We now turn the bottle slowly until it is cut all the way through. My husband likes to push it through after he goes around the bottle as the video will show. This technique does not work as well for me so just test it out to see what you feel comfortable with.
3. Grinding the inside edges
We bought a stain glass grinder, around $50, to grind out the chips on the inside of the glass. No matter how good of a glass blade you have you are going to have some chips. We purchased a 600 grit bit and it seems to smooth the inside edges great. Now you are ready to sand!
4. Sanding the edges
We use sheets of wet dry sand paper. Grits from 100 to 600 seem to work fine (100, 220, 400 & 600). This takes a lot of elbow grease but I get the rims to look and feel really smooth. The edges are not going to be really shiny like in a store but these are hand-made by you! I have been wanting to buy a wet belt sander but can not justify the cost. They are around $500 for the cheaper ones that I would want to buy. Just think of it this way, you are using your own energy instead of electrical and helping save the planet while you get a little exercise.
Like I said in the beginning, there are lots of ways to cut bottles. We have found this by far to be the easiest for us. We make a lot fewer mistakes, if we take our time, than with any other way we have tried. You can spend a lot of money and get some good equipment if you really want to start producing. So far we have bought a new blade ($50) for our old tile saw, a stain glass grinder ($50), sandpaper, paints or etching stuff for the decoration (if you want it). Really not a lot of investment and it is a lot of fun!
Here are a couple of videos that show the cutting and the grinding of the inside edges…..Hope this has helped and happy cutting! Thanks for checking out my blog and helping save the planet one bottle at a time. Would you please like my page on