Bottle Cutting Project

Recycle old bottles at home with this activity

Photography: Ocs Alvarez Pictorial Direction: Nat M. Clave

Special occasions call for a drink or two, but what are we to do with all those empty bottles after? Turn some of you lovely bottles into decorative containers that will hold more than just wine. Use them as votive candleholders, desk catchalls, penholders, flower vases, or as containers for your cooking utensils.


  • Glass cutter (available in hardware stores, or order online at
  • Screwdriver
  • Thick working gloves
  • 1 x 1-meter size ½ inch-thick plywood, or a sturdy, flat surface
  • Candle
  • Running water
  • Safety goggles
  • Empty liquor bottles (choose bottles with beautiful colors, like green or blue wine bottles, or go for imported beer bottles with interesting embossed labels)
  • Sandpaper or knife sharpener

Crafts by Bien Po. Pictorial Direction by Nat M. Clave. Photographed by Ocs Alvarez. 

Let's re-do it! 1. Remove paper labels of wine bottle. Wash bottle and let dry completely.

2. Attach glass cutter to edge of table. Determine length of desired cut, then place bottle against glass cutter. Secure bottle using jig, screw, and drill.

3. Firmly rotate bottle against cutter to score a line. Make sure to have a deep and even line on bottle circumference. Don’t forget to wear gloves while doing this.

4. Light candle. Hold bottle on both ends. Always keep gloves on wear goggles for safety – this is so you don’t end up with cuts in your hand or shards in your eye! Heat up lines / markings on bottle. Go over one-third of markings three to five times before washing bottle. This will keep bottle hot and pliant for easier cutting. Then wash bottle under running water.

5. You’ll hear a slight clink while running bottle under water stream. This means you’ve successfully cut the glass. The cut glass will automatically detach itself from its other half. Discard bottle if you see markings other than the line you made using the glass cutter.

6. Use sandpaper to smoothen bottle’s cut edge.
Finished Product Tips:

1. It’s easier to remove paper labels if you soak the bottle in water for at least an hour. This will soften the adhesive on the labels.

2. Don’t waste the bottom part of the bottle – use the indentation as a votive candle holder.

3. A different play on the wine bottle candleholder – place cut bottles in different heights as a table centerpiece.

4. You may grow air plants like tilantsa on the cut bottle base.

5. You may choose to have a mini greenhouse! Place the upper half of a cut bottle on top of a potted plant.

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