Sunday, July 11, 2010

Bottle tutorial

I love bottles, so I have quite a few - just can't seem to throw them out! The unique ones are used for decor. Alot of them were sitting on my workbench in the garage. Then I came up with this idea, well it was not an original idea, but I did improve on it! : ) I don't remember where I purchased the original bottle (pink), but there is a good possibility it was at JoAnn Fabrics. Sooo if you have some bottles sitting around and want to do something with them besides throwing them in the trash or recycle bin, give this a try.

Tools needed:
Glass/Bottle cutter ( I use EphremÆs Bottle Cutter Kit - Stained Glass Supplies )
Small candle (if not using the above kit)
Wine bottle
Chain (about 6 inches)
Wire - I used 10 gauge aluminum wire. (I get all of my wire at
Fine sandpaper or Glass Grinder ( I recommend Wizling Stained Glass Grinder)
Candle (for inside bottle. Votive size works well for regular size wine bottle)
Something to hold the candle - I used a canning jar lid and ring glued together with small holes drilled for water drainage in case it was left outside in the rain. On the smaller bottles I have used palette cups I found on ebay.

I modified the bottle cutter and mounted it on some boards. It is basically set up to cut the tops off of the bottles, but I wanted to cut off the bottoms, so.....I changed it! I can still move it around to accomadate different size bottles and to cut off either the top or bottom.
This way there is a piece on the left to keep the bottle in place while I turn it to score the glass. I usually go over it at least twice so the score is fairly deep.

Then remove the bottle, hold over a flame from the small candle, turning it so the flame goes along the score line.

After you have been all the way around, remove from flame (blow out to avoid accidents) then immediately put an ice cube on the score line and slowly move it all away around the bottle.

You will probably hear cracking while doing the ice cube, sometime you also hear it during the flame. After you have been around with the ice at least twice, wipe off with a towel. You may have to repeat the last two steps a couple times.

You can see it is cracking along the score mark. If it cracks on either side of the score, you will have to decide if it can be saved by sanding or you could make a "decorative scalloped" edge.

After the bottom has separated, sand the edge of the bottle smooth. You can use sandpaper. I happen to have a glass grinder, so I used that. It also helped make that "decorative scalloped edge" I mentioned earlier. So far that has only happened on 1 bottle.
Then drill some small holes in the lid for water drainage. If your candle holder will not be left outside you can omit this step. I hot glued the lid to the ring - since I used canning jar lids & rings. You can use any jar lid that will fit into the bottom of the bottle.
Then it is time to start bending wire! The 10 gauge wire bends fairly easily and will hold its shape. I just start bending a little at a time and looking at the bottle. Usually two or three times around and then start making the straight part to go up the neck. Make sure though that the last bend is large enough so it does not go up into the neck.
Then test fit the wire into the bottle. The top of the wire does not need to go through the top of the bottle - it is better if it doesn't since there will be a piece of chain attached to the top. Next make the loop at the top for the chain. Add the chain, then put inside the bottle. Pull the chain through the top and attach a hook - either a purchased one or one made from the same wire.

 I just looked at the one on the original bottle and bent the wire to look similar and then hardened it by using a hammer and hammering it on the concrete six or seven times. Attach the hook to the chain, lift the bottle up to add the candle and you are done!

No comments:

Post a Comment