Glass Breaking Session - WIP

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

I love bottles! 
I'll buy olive oils and kept the bottle after i finished it or i just keep any glass bottle that i think pretty.
There are so many ways you can upcycle the bottles. It's all up to your creativity and the intended purpose.

You can turn it into desk lamps like this. You just need to shove the festive lights into the bottles without any hard work required.

Or you can preserve the bottle by painting over it. You can use many types of glass paint available from the craft store. Opaque or stained glass paint type. This would be awesome and pretty easy if you are good at freehand drawing and painting. Like myself, I am not an expert in freehand drawings. I need to follow a pattern in order for me to draw on any glass or bottle.
Given the small opening of the bottle neck, it is hard to secure a pattern from inside of the bottle.

A much more cooler way to upcycle a bottle is to be to cut the neck off or cut it into half before turning it into a flower vase or planter. In order to get a cool straight clean cut, you need to have some sort of glass cutter or glass scoring equipment. I haven't found any craft store that carry the tools here in Malaysia. However if you are really into this, you can buy the tools from or any online craft shops. Below are few products that can help you to do this.

However for me, I am just interested in making a clean cut of the neck in the cheapest way possible. It's not that I can't buy the tools, but at I have tooooo many tools to work with. I even haven’t fully utilized the torch and tumbler that I bought for jewellery making. Lol.

So, I came across this post on Pinterest. Yes, I do have a Pinterest board now. I am loving Pinterest at the moment. And there goes my crazy craft mind. Buzzing around and running in full speed towards this.

The instructions were simple instructions using common household equipment/tools.

The equipment/tools needed:
Bottle(s) -obviously!
Cotton yarn/thread - I used my embroidery thread
Nail polish remover

A sink filled with cold water - I used a tupperware filled in with water and a block of ice. Make sure the water in the tupperware is deep enough to submerge the bottle.

These are the bottles that I wanted to experiment with.

1. Wrap the bottle with the yarn and thread around 5 - 6 times. Make sure you wrap it tightly.

2. Take out the yarn from the bottle and dip it into the nail polish remover and slide it back to the bottle.

3. Lights up! the candle to burn the yarn off.

4. Start to burn the yarn. Hold the bottle bottom and rotate the bottle a few times to burn the yarn dipped in the nail polish remover. You will get a bit flame, but don't worry, it will only burn the yarn and it won't heat up the bottle. Pretty safe.

5. After burning for about 20-30secs, dunk the bottle into the ice cold water. If the heat is sufficient, you will hear a nice POP! sound and your bottle will crack into 2 like below.
Don't worry about the black marks, you can wash it off with dish washer soap.

The cut is not a clean cut because it will as how the heats heat up the surface. To get a clean cut, you need to score the bottle in clean line before proceeding with this technique.

However, when I read comments from other reader, some of them didn't get to pop! the bottle. Me too! I didn't manage to get my 3rd and 4th attempts to pop! and I nearly gave up.

Then I guess, maybe my candles are not producing sufficient heat to pop! the bottle. So I experimented and try to make this technique work.

Modifications made:-
1. The foundation of this technique is the rapid change of temperature of the bottle surface that makes the bottle pop!. The heat applied and the ice cold water will pop! the bottle. Basic physics law. Without sufficient heat, the bottle won't pop. So, I need to use different burning method and I choose my brand new jewelry torch.

2. Some said, I need to tightly wrap the bottle in order to get a clean line. Therefore, I felt like wrapping, removing and sliding it back in is a too much hassle. So I skipped this 'removing-sliding' steps and just apply the nail polish remover directly on the yarn. (Yes, lazy me!)

The hows 1:-
After applying the nail polish remover straigh to the yarn on the bottle, wipe the excess from the bottle in order to have a controlled flame. 

If you don't, this is what will happen:
 After applying the nail polish remover, I didn't wiped the excess on the bottle and I still hand-handle the bottle while holding the torch on the other hand. The excess caught on flames and it spread like wild fire. Nearly burning my hands and heating the whole bottle at the same time. Very stupid of me. I dropped the bottle on the floor and made a big mess out of it. tsk tsk tsk.. Lesson learned!
So i modified the technique again.

The hows 2:
1. Apply nail polish remover to yarn
2. Wipe off the excess
3. Stand the bottle near your sink / the container filled with ice water.
4. Put on OVEN GLOVE on your left hand
5. Hold the torch on your right hand.
6. Apply heat to the yarn in circular motion continuously. Make sure every corner touched the fire for atleast 30secs.
7. Using the hand with OVEN GLOVE pick the bottle and drop it into the ice water.
8. You'll hear a nice pop! right after the bottle touched the ice cold water.

Results 1:
My bottle cracked unevenly and there's a lot of hairline crack around the pop! area. Ah! I forgot that too much heat will produce hairline cracks when the bottle pop!

Modification with bottle #3:
I let the bottle cooled a bit before dunkin it into the ice cold water. Not too long, around 5 sec.

Why: Heating with a torch produced a much higher heat on the bottle compared to heating with a candle. So, if you dropped the bottle immediately into the ice water, the surrounding surface of the intended cut line, will produce hairline cracks instead of a clean uneven cut.

You can clearly see in the picture below.
1st bottle on left - heated with candle. clean uneven cuts with no hairline cracks
Middle bottle - badly uneven cuts because i removed the parts with hairline cracks to make it more durable for sanding
3rd bottle : better cut with only few hairline cracks.  

Final step
To sand off the edges and soften the sharp edges.
You can do this indoor but you need to sand the bottle while dunking it in a tub full of water or using wet sandpaper. The glass dust is dangerous if inhaled and can scratch you internals.
Start with rough sandpaper and ends it with fine sandpaper to create a smooth line.

I haven't get to this step yet. I forgot to buy the sand papers.
However I'm over the moon over this technique and glad that I experimented on it. It took me 2 days to figure it out and as they says, practice make perfect!
Hihihihi ... grinning ear-to-ear

Now, I don't need to buy glasswares/bottles. Any ketchup bottles or bottles dropped in recycling bin will be my best friend!

This will definately benefit my glass painting work and what a great upcycling project this is!
I'm thinking of turning this into a painted vase or just a plain decorative object.

Although the cut lines are uneven, they are pretty. Handmade stuffs are not supposed to look like factory made with perfect cuts and lines. They are supposed to look all crooked and uneven as it portrays our effort as a human being in making it.

Upcycling is KING!


About This Blog

A collection of thought by dreamer with 1001 dreams and things to do.
A salaryman by day and a crazy crafter by night.
Current obsession : glass painting, clay, jewelry making, upcyling craft, cooking, baking, hmm.. too many to list down!

Popular Posts

  © Blogger template Writer's Blog by 2008

Back to TOP