I have received several emails asking how I cut the wine bottles for my Wild About Wine party, so I thought I would provide a quick tutorial.
The supplies you will need:
- Glass Cutting Tool (Lowes $4)
- Plenty of empty wine bottles
- tea kettle to boil water
- protective eye wear
- Dremel with grinding stone
Step One: Make sure your wine bottles are empty, clean, and the cork/lid is removed. Then place the bottle on a table and use books/magazines to elevate the glass cutter to the desired height. I cut all my bottles a quarter inch or so above the label. I used books at the bottom of the stack and magazines at the top because the magazines are able to form around the glass cutter making it more adjustable.
Step Two: My husband held the stack of magazines/cutter down firmly so the blade did not move. Make sure you eye it to make sure it is level as well before you begin. Next, I pressed the bottle firmly into the blade so that it scored the bottle rotating it to get a continuous score around the entire bottle. It took several tries for me to figure out how to do this, so start with practice bottles (not your cherished bottle from your wedding day!).
Step Three: Boil water in a tea kettle. I placed an old towel in the bottom of the sink to prevent the bottle from dropping into the hard sink and breaking, but this is not essential. Hold the scored bottle over the towel and slowly pour the hot water from the kettle over the scored line, rotating the bottle as you pour. Repeat this with cold water from the faucet. We found that a steady light stream of water is best. The larger stream seemed to cause more breaks. Continue alternating between the hot and cold water until the bottle naturally breaks and comes apart. Reminder: Make sure the lid/cork is off!!
If you are using the tops of the bottles as your candle holder, you can be done at this point. You do not need to sand the edges because an uneven edge actually helps your candle flame stay lit. It allows air a pathway inside beyond just the top. However, if you are placing these directly on a table, I recommend lightly sanding them to avoid rough edges scratching your table.
If you are making a candle holder with the bottom, continue with the fourth step...
Step Four: Take a sander and carefully sand the top of the rim to give it a smooth edge. Make sure you wear protective goggles for safety. If you don't have a Dremel, you can use very fine sand paper it will just take much longer and is a difficult job.
After sanding the top to even the edges, rinse out the bottle and you're ready for your candle! Optional: You can polish the sanded edge which would look even better. The only reason I didn't do this is because I did all these bottles hours before the party started and ran out of time!!
Hope your wine bottle candles turn out great!