Thursday, November 24, 2011

Cutting Wine Bottles

My Craftgwaker and Pinterest obsessions have caused me to hoard used wine bottles. I've asked everyone I know to save their wine bottles for me and I often come home to see a box of empty wine bottles sitting by my door. It may look like I have a bit of a problem, but I promise it's for crafting!

I've read numerous lot of tutorials on cutting wine bottles/glass using fingernail polish remover, yarn, and fire and was really curious as to whether or not it actually worked. So during our latest craft night, a friend and I experimented. We made at least 10 attempts and were only successful twice. We tried using acetone instead of fingernail polish remover, experimented with different types of yarn, and different wine bottles. We had the most success with bulky yarn, fingernail polish remover, and barefoot wine bottles. The more expensive bottles of wine would not break for some reason.

I was slightly nervous about doing this since it involves glass, high heat, open flame, and extremely flammable liquids. However, it was extremely easy and we never experienced anything other than a nicely controlled flame. We took precautions and wore safety goggles and made sure to thoroughly wash our hands to remove any additional residue from the fingernail polish remover before we lit the yarn. As long as you're safe, you shouldn't have any problems.

To do this, you'll need:
1. A wine bottle or other sort of glass jar or bottle.
2. Yarn
3. Fingernail polish remover
4. Cold water/ice
5. A utility sink, bathtub, or large bucket.
6. Matches or lighter
7. Safety glasses

Step 1: Fill your sink or tub with cold water. We added ice to ours to make sure that it was nice and cold. It is the contrast from extremely hot to extremely cold that causes the glass to separate.

Step 2: Wrap your yarn around your wine bottle five or six times and tie it, pulling the yarn as tightly as you can.

Step 3: Slide the yarn off of the bottle and soak in fingernail polish remover.

Step 4: Holding the wine bottle over a sink (not the one you have your water in), or over a paper towel, slide the yarn back onto the bottle. Fingernail polish will run down the sides of the bottle, so the sink or towel will catch the mess. Once the yarn is on the bottle, make sure it is as even as possible so that your cut is even. Rinse your bottle so that there isn't a lot of residue from the nail polish remover left on the bottle. Be careful  not to get water on the yarn.

Step 5: Wearing your safety goggles, light the yarn on fire. The flame will be controlled to the yarn. Pick up the wine bottle and rotate it slowly so that the yarn burns evenly. Do this for about 20-30 seconds.

Step 6: Quickly submerge the bottle in the cold water. We used a bit of force which helped the bottle to separate I believe. Other tutorials we've seen said to place the bottle in the water and watch it separate. No such luck for us.

Step 7: Your edge won't be perfect. It will require a little sanding.

Here is a video to help (I apologize for the excitement at the end, we'd made several attempts and were getting quite discouraged. It was pretty exciting when it actually worked!)

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