How to turn wine bottles into custom vases

Guest post by Freshmangos

She brought us her DIY Berry White loose tea favors, and now Freshmangos shows us how to turn wine bottles into custom vases.

Can’t afford vases for the wedding at $5.00 a pop? Know a few winos? Then we have the solution for you: DIY vases made from wine bottles.

What you will need:

Step 1:
Clean and de-label all of the wine bottles. Soak the bottles, then rub down the labels with steel wool and some glue remover stuff.

Step 2:
Set up your tile saw. Make sure water is in the tray and follow the setup instructions to a T. I did remove the guard in order to make cutting the bottles easier. [Editors Note: we totally advise against removing the guard, big ouchies.]

Step 3:
Cut the bottles. Your blade will not cut all the way through a bottle in a single swipe. You need to slowly roll the bottle and cut around the bottle.

My sister was too chicken to get closer to photograph the process, so this video is a good descriptor of how to cut the bottle:

Step 4:
Sand the cut edges first with 100 grit sandpaper. This grit will smooth it all out (a dremel with a sanding attachment will also work). Then sand the edges with the 200 grit sandpaper. This grit will create a finished edge.

Then mix and match the bottle tops and bottoms.

Be creative, don’t just stick to straight cuts if you want to do more than that. I cut a lot of angle cuts, and it was a lot of work to do. I had to cut one angle, take the bottle flip it, then cut matching angle.

Comments on How to turn wine bottles into custom vases

    • I actually just used good old paper mache to cover wine bottles to use as vases! You can use any paper and just 1 part flour, 4 parts water, and some salt. They actually look pretty great, if I do say so myself 😉

  1. For those who absolutely can’t get a wet tile cutter:
    Soak a thick string (think round shoelace width) in acetone, then tie around the part of the bottle you want to cut. Light the string on fire, then spin the bottle to get the whole string ablaze. Let it burn for a second, then dunk the bottle into COLD water. If it doesn’t break straight away, give it a tug or a couple raps with a spoon at the string line.
    This doesn’t produce a very clean cut, so a dremel or a fair bit of sanding will be in order.

    • I have an old book that suggests filling the bottle with water to the line you want to cut, then plunging a hot poker into the water.

  2. Awesome! My only comment – The safety person in me wants to see her wearing a thick pair of jeans to protect those legs!

    • This is a definite must. I realized my mistake after the first batch of vases and went in to change into full jeans.

      Definitely wear full pants people!!!!

  3. If you can’t afford a tile saw or live in an apartment (pout pout), I’m using the technique in this video and it’s working brilliantly: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFXngPx3w3M

    I’m about 20% through making my wine bottle luminaries (cutting the bottom off and putting candles underneath them) and about 1/5 of the bottles crack up the side, but overall it’s a decent technique. The bottle cutter he uses in the video is $50 (YOWCH!) but you can pick up a decent one from Hobby Lobby for about $5.

    • When researching what to do this was one of the videos I saw. It is a GREAT video and a GREAT option. Try to find a bottle cutter on the cheap at a garage sale or a flea market.

    • Thank you! I got a cheap $5 one, and used a candle/ice cube method I saw on pinterst, but it didn’t do anything. After two bottles of zero results, I stopped. But this looks like it’ll work perfectly

  4. Put the saw up on a table so you’re standing in front of it rather than over it, there’s less risk of shards of glass flying into your face and if you lose your balance you won’t lose a limb in the process. furthermore, sand it down with 1,000 grit sandpaper then finish it with 2,000 grit, the 100/200 combination left a lot of gouges and scratches at the top of the glass.
    Also, to make your life easier for cutting things into and angle of V shape you could cut and oval out of a piece of cardboard, place it over the bottle and use it as a template for the lines. it’s much easier to cut along a line than to eyeball it the entire time.

    • Great idea for the cardboard, wish I would have thought of that at the time!

      A table is a definite bonus, sadly we had just moved into our place and had nothing stable enough to put it on. If you use a table, please make sure that it is stable. Chairs and benches generally won’t work.

      Another option for finishing the edges (if you know someone who works with stained glass) is a glass grinder. My aunt actually finished off the majority of the vases after this post with her grinder.

      If you do end up with scratches at the top of the glass, my father in law figured out that you just need to do, is to take a rag, dip it in WD40 and rub it over the scratches. It, for some reason, essentially gets rid of the scratching.

      • My uncle does stained glass, and when I saw this I immediately thought “Hmm, wonder if he could do this for me!”

  5. Post wedding reviews from our guests: People loved the vases and we encouraged our guests to take some home with them. Many people grabbed them up quick, so if you have favourites take them before you make the announcement 😉

  6. I made this for my wedding center pieces and like dootsiebug, i used a string, and work perfect and was more fast.

  7. These are indeed beautiful. But for anyone who isn’t quite a DIY queen and/or who likes things uber simple, I can tell you that I simply stuck flowers in plain empty wine bottles for centerpieces. They looked great and it couldn’t have been easier! Plus, you save money on flowers because you can’t get as many in there. 🙂

  8. This is such a cool idea! However, for brides out there like me, who don’t drink wine, you can also find cheap, nice vases through dollar tree direct. I got 25 vases for $25. They are nice, and will double as favors for families at the end of the night. 🙂

  9. This post is an oldie but a goodie! You can be even lazier if your centerpieces are small and just keep an eye out for colored bottles at the grocery store, especially in international food sections. I bought a dozen Topo Chico sodas that come in pretty green glass bottles recently. Once we drank them, I peeled off the three sticker labels they have on each easily and cleaned them with the use of a little goo-be-gone. They were 50 cents each and if you like the soda it’s extra cost effective!

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