DIY – Make Drinking Glasses from Bottles

By | February 17, 2010

completeHere is a really cool craft project that recycles old glass bottles from beer or soda and turns them into new trendy drinking glasses.

The project isn’t that difficult, but it does requires some precision & a few tools you most likely don’t have around the house.


  • Glass cutting wheel
  • Bottle cutting jig
  • Small butane torch
  • “Lazy Susan” or other rotating platform
  • Scrap of plate glass at least 8×8″


  • A suitable glass bottle to cut
  • 400 grit silicon carbide wet/dry sandpaper
  • Bulk silicon carbide grit (at least 80 mesh)
  • Tap water
  • Oil for glass cutting wheel

Step 1: Select a bottle


Step 2: Score the bottle
After choosing your bottle, the next step is to score the glass for cutting. This is where a bottle cutting jig comes in handy. Essentially you will roll the bottle in the jig creating a scoreline.


Step 3: Apply heat
Once you’ve made a scoreline, position the bottle on a Lazy Susan and apply heat using a small butane torch. Set the torch slightly above the scoreline and rotate the Lazy Susan with your free hand. You will hear click and pops as the glass literally breaks. Go slow, be patient and be careful. You should be wearing your safety goggles at this point.


Step 4: Polish the edge
Now that you’ve cut the bottle, you’ll want to polish the edge. This is called lapping. Drop a pinch of grit on a piece of glass or even a mirror and lightly wet it using a spray bottle. Then, with the bottom of the bottle facing up, make a figure-eight motion in the grit. This can be sensitive to the ears, like nails on a chalkboard, so you may want to wear have earplugs or play loud, heavy metal music.


Step 5: Round over the corners
Finally, it’s time to round the corners. This is done simply by rubbing your silicon carbide sandpaper along the edges. Do this gently and carefully, until you can smoothly run your fingers around the edge.


The tools that are involved are an investment, but once you get the hang of it I’m sure you’ll think of lots of uses to up-cycle all those old bottles into beautiful new creations.

A special thanks to Make Magazine & Apartment Therapy for the detailed how to guide.

17 thoughts on “DIY – Make Drinking Glasses from Bottles

  1. Pingback: Buddhist Temple Built from Beer Bottles - The Go Green Blog

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  3. JL

    Stop spending money on overpriced, snotty, fashion water and buy 4 drinking glasses for the same money. Then, drink tap water. How much energy does it take to make those bottles and ship them across the world– filled with water? Maybe if we stop buying that nonsense, they will stop making them.

  4. Steph

    its not fancy water bottles…. their beer bottles….. oh dear

  5. Amy

    @JL Why must you add negativity to a neat idea? The fact remains there a millions of glass bottles out there. Why not find creative ways to re-use them? If you don’t believe in buying bottled water, DON’T. There’s no saying you couldn’t raid your neighbors recycling bin (with permission, of course). Or local bars and restaurants. Etc. Etc. Think outside the box!

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  7. Kat

    Step apparently you need to get your eyes check, the bottle clearly says water.

    Great idea buy the way!

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  9. solarpanelsforsale

    I think this is a great idea, but I think I would be a little scared to do it myself. Also, I think the bottles here in Japan are a little more narrow than the ones in the states.

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  11. Glass Blower

    That’s awesome, I am a glass artist, I use gravity and a really hot flame to shape glass into art and such. Here’s some more tips if you are going to try this: you can also score glass with the point of a diamond (careful, you have to press hard and keep the line straight to score glass using anything), add a drop of water to the score line and you can snap it apart without heat, kinda like when you snap a glow stick to activate it only way more pressure and the glass snaps in 2. And why not just soften the cut line with the butane torch?? Screw the sanding thing, what a pain! Not to mention a hazard with all the glass dust, don’t inhale that. You might want to get your bottle really hot in the oven if you do use the torch to melt the edges so that it doesn’t thermal crack or shatter. Use oven gloves or preferably a really big pair of tongs to handle the hot glass. This project can be dangerous if you don’t set up properly or clean up after-wards properly. Clean all the glass dust by spraying with windex and wipe away with paper towel, don’t sweep it up. You don’t want micro glass particles floating around waiting to get inhaled, ever heard of silicosis of the lungs? It’s not a pretty picture…

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  14. Slim

    Ever heard of The Amazing Ronco Bottle & Jar Cutter? They were $9.99 in 1964…We had one when I was a kid………google it & check it out.

  15. Amy

    While I probably won’t do this- I think this idea is very clever and supercool. I wish I had some of these glasses.

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