DIY Wine Bottle Drinking Glasses

I’ve seen posts going around about these DIY wine bottle drinking glasses–but the method involves string soaked in lighter fluid–and that just doesn’t sound like it would end well. I made an entire set of glasses a few years ago and think they are freaking awesome. They are quirky, unique, and best of all–a way to reuse, not just recycle. I love that after the initial equipment investment, I can make replacement glasses whenever needed. No fire, just a bottle cutter, sanding pads, a little elbow grease, and water.

The main advice I have, no matter what method, is if you have certain bottles you are really eager to have as glasses—DO NOT DO THOSE FIRST. Practice on some you don’t really care about before proceeding. But, the worst thing that will happen is that you have to empty another of your favorites. If it’s wine, call me and I will assist.

This is the video I watched when deciding that I was going to proceed with this project. He starts showing the bottle cutter at about 3:40, but he says it costs $45–I don’t know when or where he bought it from, but it’s only $15-20 on, which is where I bought mine. I did 2 sizes for glasses–10 and 16 ounces. Just measure water, pour it in a bottle, and mark it with a marker to get your size template.

For reference, mine are 4″ and 6.25″ tall.

glass bottle cutterBasically, you use the bottle cutter to score a fine line–it doesn’t actually “cut” the bottle. Once it is scored, you pour boiling water over it, then run it under cold water. The difference in the temperatures should cause the glass to separate at the scored line. You will be able to see a change at the line while pouring the boiling water on the glass. If for some reason, it doesn’t separate, repeat the water steps.


bottle cutting boiling waterbottle cutting boiling water line

bottle cutting cut edgeAfter the bottles are cut, you need to sand the edge. Being the anal retentive person I am, I contacted a glass polishing expert. I found His Glassworks (links to supplies below) and a guy named Mark humored me, providing suggestions on how to best sand the edges so that we wouldn’t end up with lips full of stitches.

wine bottle cutting sanding padsSince I don’t have professional glass polishing equipment, I use a series of 4 sanding pads, and found they work best when wet. I just rinse the glass off and dry it to check the status before moving to the next level of sanding. Then, dampen the surfaces, sand, rinse and repeat. This is not a project you will complete in one day, unless you only want a few glasses. Prepare for some hand cramps until you really get the hang of it. I can now do a random glass here and there pretty quickly.

wine bottle cutting sanding 1. 200 grit handpad. Use this one to knock the edge down. Also tilt it at a 45 degree angle to bevel the outside edge ever so slightly. When you are done with this step, most of the edge will look frosted with some shiny spots left. You will knock those down with the more flexible handipad next.

2. 400 grit handipad. This is where you’ll smooth out most of the remaining shiny surfaces and bevel the inside of the rim. The handipads are flexible, so you can bend them and access the little surface irregularities.
wine bottle cutting sanding 3. 800 grit handipad. This one really finishes it up nicely. Just hit the inside and outside edges and focus on any remaining shiny spots you identify after rinsing and drying the edge off.

4. Cerium Handipad. This is the last step, but probably isn’t completely necessary. It does give the glass edge more of a dark/polished look instead of a frosted/sanded look.


wine bottle cutting sanding Mine progressively got prettier as I went along. I went back and tweaked a few. But, they don’t have to be perfect, that’s part of the charm–and the man hands you will develop are awesome. (just kidding…..kind of)  :)

Keep in mind that in the dishwasher, any curvature at the bottom will collect water. Just use a wash cloth and soak up the water before removing them.



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