How to Cut a Glass Bottle in Half at Home

January 26, 2012, In: creative DIY ideas

Today, I’m going to share a little bit of a party trick with you. Have you ever wondered how to cut a glass bottle? Turns out, it’s pretty easy and you can do it from home with a few simple items from around the house.

I’m working on my valentine decorations and was thinking of things to put on our mantle. We have several empty wine bottles just waiting to be used in a creative way so I decided to finally use them. But instead of using them whole, I cut the tops off. And I did it in about 15 minutes! Here’s what you’ll need to complete this project:

* a glass bottle
* twine or yarn
* nail polish remover
* match or lighter
* a sink filled with cold water
* sand paper (I used 100 grit)


1. Wrap the yarn around the bottle 5 times and tie the ends in a knot. Once tied, trim the ends short. (shorter than pictured below)

How to cut glass at home

2. Remove the yarn and soak in nail polish remover.

3. Put the soaked yarn, back around the bottle where you want it cut.

4. Carefully light the yarn on fire. Rotate the bottle while burning to evenly distribute the heat. Keep the opening level or even pointed down so the heat does not escape.

Cutting glass with supplies from home

5. When the flame begins to die down, dunk the glass in cold water. It will break where the yarn was.

DIY Wine Bottle Crafts

6. Sand the glass so it is no longer sharp.

Cutting glass at home

Both of the bottles I cut, ended up with small cracks around the opening. I’m not sure if I used too much nail polish remover, if the water was too cold, or if my yarn circle was too thick. I decided that since I’m not planning to drink out of them, it’s fine for my purpose. However, since it’s such a quick project I’ll probably keep experimenting until I get a smoother cut.

I had planned to paint these white, but after adding the puffy paint, I chose to leave them as is. We’ll see if I still like them like this after I get more mantle decorations up.

How to cut glass with supplies around the house

P.S. It turns out this did not work with the large mouthed pickle jar. It’s probably because the heat escaped out the large opening. Let me know if you’ve had success with wide mouthed jars and leave some tips in the comments below.

    • K
    • March 10, 2013

    Is there any reason that this shouldn’t work on Wine bottles? I tried it several times but it didn’t work.

    • Reply

      Not sure why you would be having trouble with the wine bottles. I did several and they turned out ok. Not super clean cuts, but it definitely cut through the glass. I would make sure you are using enough yarn and holding the bottle neck down so that the heat is trapped inside the glass.

    • Jessie E.
    • February 9, 2013

    It does work with larger jars! :) It takes a little more yarn to keep the flame heating the jar longer, but it works. I did this with a spaghetti sauce jar. Thanks for this fun experiment.

    • Kittie
    • February 6, 2013

    Well I just tried this 3 times and it didnt work.. I actually set my counter on fire (only a small one no damage was done) And all of it was for nothing

    • Reply

      I am sorry to hear this did not work for you. I gave a few more pointers to another commenter the other day.
      1. Hold the neck down (or jar opening down) so that the heat does not escape while the yarn is burning.
      2. Make sure you are not using an acetone free nail polish remover.

      When I tried this with a really wide (large mouthed) jar, it did not work for me either. I found it was best with bottles as I was able to trap the heat and have better success. Good luck if you try again and careful with that open flame!

    • Robin
    • February 3, 2013

    Just tried this with a beer bottle and nothing happened. :( I dunno what I’m doing wrong.

    • Reply

      A few things to try…1. Make sure the yarn was really wet with the nail polish remover. You want it to burn for a while. 2. Hold the neck down so that the heat does not escape while the yarn is burning. 3. Make sure you are not using an acetone free nail polish remover.

      Let me know if any of that helps. Good luck!

    • Anoop
    • December 29, 2012

    Nice Idea. Let me try myself

    • Julian
    • November 4, 2012

    Looks great has anyone tried doing this to the bottom of the bottle? Just wondering if its different because the heat is trapped further down. Thank-you.

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  3. Reply

    Hi! I'm stopping over from the blog hop. I have a project that involves glass and enjoyed this post. I am a beginner blogger and would be honored if you would follow me! Shannon

  4. Reply

    Ok, that is really neat! Who knew?!?! Thanks for sharing!! 😉

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  7. Reply

    Very, very, cool!

    I can just see the look of blind panic on the husband’s face when I start lightly stuff of fire :0)

    Thanks so much for taking the time to share at Pin’Inspiration Thursday. Hope to see you on Saturday to help “Beat the Winter Blues”. Have an awesome day.

  8. Reply

    Now that is something else! I would have never thought it would work! Such a cute idea for Valentine decorating, too! Thanks for sharing at the Uncommonly Yours link party! Hope to see you next week!

    • Reply

      Thanks! My pleasure to share. See you next week!

  9. Reply

    Great tutorial!! I’ve tried cutting glass before – I’m a little intimidated by it. I’m impressed you did and it went well!!

    I’ve also seen this video of how to cut glass without using fire. I pinned it here:

    Thanks for sharing this on the Take it on Tuesday blog hop!!

    • Reply

      Thanks for the video. I'll have to watch that later. And happy to join the blog hop!

  10. Reply

    This is awesome…..I’m a jar and bottle collector too :)
    You should join me for Handmade 52!

    • Reply

      Thanks! Looks like I missed the link party last week. I'll have to join your next one. Cheers!

  11. Reply

    I’ve never seen this before! Great idea. I’m definitely pinning this one – thanks for sharing.
    Visiting from Tater Tots & Jello.

    • Reply

      Thanks for the kind words and the pin!

  12. Reply

    That is so cool. I had no idea that cutting bottles could be so easy. I love your designs as well.

    • Reply

      Thanks Sarah! Yep, it's a bit hard to believe even when you do it yourself. I felt like Mr. Wizard in my kitchen. Ha!

  13. Reply

    I saw a youtube video about bottle cutting.. Thanks for sharing this post!

    • Reply

      Thanks Marilyn. I thought about doing a video too. Maybe a future project!

    • amy
    • January 28, 2012

    Wow, great tutorial! A little intimidating…lol. I keep wanting to try writing on bottles like that too but haven’t done it yet. I’d be thrilled if you’d share here:

    • Reply

      Thanks for the kind words. I was a bit nervous on the first one, but it turned out fine. And the writing literally took me 5 minutes standing over the sink using puffy paint – definitely worth trying. I also linked up at your party. Cheers!

  14. Reply

    I agree with everyone else that I would have never thought this was possible! I have a very sizable stash of wine bottles I’ve been saving for various crafts so I will need to try this out!

    • Reply

      So happy I could help give you a few ideas for the wine bottles. I still have a bunch so I'll let you know what else I come up with. Please let me know if you try this and how it turns out. Cheers!

  15. Reply

    I had no idea that was how to cut glass! Seems much easier than I expected…

    • Reply

      Yeah, surprisingly it's not that hard. A little trial and error, but pretty cool in the end.

  16. Reply

    What a great idea! I would never have thought cutting glass could be so easy, but now I might even try it in all my non-crafty glory. :)

    • Reply

      You can totally do it! It's all about the preparation and using the right type of bottle. Good luck! Let me know how it turns out.

    • karahill
    • January 26, 2012

    I have wanted to try this…thanks for posting!

    • Reply

      It's super easy. Give it a try and let me know how it turns out.

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