April 14, 2013

D.I.Y. Glass Bottle Cutting: Kool or Katastrophy?

Happy Sunday KorKers!
     I hope you’ve had a great weekend and are enjoying the spring weather’s ups and downs, even though pollen is absolutely EVERYWHERE. Anyway, my spring semester of classes is winding down and in less than a few weeks; I’ll be facing final exams- the fearsome things that almost every student loathes to undertake before the sweet and wonderful freedom of summer vacation. (It gets worse as you adapt from loathing them in high school to college, believe me…) 
     With this said, it’s going to be pretty crazy for me over the next two weeks or so, with a handful of papers and projects to slay before finals. The great thing is that this blog is a great way to break away from all of the paperwork for a small amount of time and do something creative or talk about something trending among my friends or college.
      Speaking of that, it brings me to what I did this weekend. I was on Pinterest a few days ago and saw this pin:

     And curiosity struck me- would this actually work? I mean, I have extra bottles after my Godparents visited for the weekend, so why not! According to various websites such as eHow.com and other pins via Pinterest, this is what you need:
     Clean & empty glass bottles (wine/beer/soda/etc.); yarn; scissors; nail polish remover (with acetone); a small bowl (plastic preferably); a lighter/candle (in other words- FIRE!); a large bucket of cool water; and some sandpaper (to smooth out the glass’ edge).
     Make sure your bottles are cleaned and dried- to get the labels off easily, soak the bottles in warm water and use a razor blade or your fingernails to scrape off the label and adhesive. Once cleaned and dried- measure out pieces of yarn that will fit around the section of the bottle that you want to cut it at (aim for a little higher than what you actually need- the cut may make the glass crack lower than you may want it to); cut them, and tie a knot (making a loop)- ensure that they still fit after you tie the knot. After all of your yarn loops are tied and ready to go, fill up a small bowl about halfway full with the acetone nail polish remover, and place the yarn loops in so they can soak.
     Once moving all of your items needed outside (we used a picnic table)- get a large bucket/container and fill it with cool/cold water. 
     With the container set next to the table on the ground- take a bottle and set it on the tabletop near the edge (by the container of water) before placing the soaked yarn loop around the bottle and lighting it ablaze with a lighter or candle. Count to 15 seconds and tap or drop the bottle (still ablaze) into the water. The bottle should have broken into two easily, and voila! Your bottle has been cut. The last thing to do is to smooth the edges with some sandpaper (it will take a while) to your preferred smoothness (based on what you’re using them for). Then you’re done!
     Overall, this project was pretty cool and a great idea for a science experiment in my opinion. As the bottle (heated due to the flammability of the acetone) meets the icy cool water- the temperature change causes the glass to stress and break- just like what happens in the winter when something a sidewalk is frozen, melts, and refreezes again- causing it to crack and break down slowly. 
One of the failed bottles (Cue the large piece broken off)
     This is the exact same case, but much faster. Once you take it out of the water, note that the cut isn’t perfect across and that there sometimes may be extra cracks running down into the rest of the bottle- those are just after-effects of the rapid temperature change. Also, it’s pretty fun to watch as well and much cheaper than getting a professional glass-cutting device, which will do about the same thing. I hope you guys give this a try and let me know how it works out if you do! (My Mom & I had a blast with this one!)
KorK Rating: Kool
Until Wednesday KorKers! –Katie <3


  1. Whoa!!! This is pretty cool!! The fact that there is fire involved makes me happy! I'm going to try this over summer when I have free time!

  2. Definitely a cool looking experiment, I might have to try this on my own. Good find.


Thanks for taking the time to visit! Please feel free to suggest other trends for me to write about- I would love to hear from you! -Katie