- 5 years ago
- Wedding: October 2011
I originally posted this as a thread, but since then I found out about the DIY section, so I’m reposting them here for anyone who is interested in how to make these!
I really loved the look of these wine bottle candleholders, and I wanted to do something similar for our centerpieces, but these are very expensive to buy:
So, I decided to find out how to cut the bottles myself. My family, FI’s family, and our friends are all wine drinkers, so they’ve been very helpfully collecting the bottles for us. We then take them and remove the labels by a) soaking them in water, b) scraping with a razor blade, and b) scraping them again with some goo gone and a second razor blade. This part, I admit, is kind of a pain.
Once they are all clean, it’s time to cut. We followed the advice of Dan Rojas and used the scoring/hot water method. You can watch his video here.
You definitely have to get a good score on the bottle – no breaks in the score line, and as straight around as you can get it, but it does not have to be deep at all. It’s really more of a scratch than anything. We did not buy the $45 scoring tool that he uses in that video. Instead, I bought a glass cutting tool at Home Depot ($8), which we placed parallel to our countertop, sandwiched between two phonebooks. My FI then pushes down on the phone books to keep the tool in place, then I place the bottle on the counter, push it firmly into the blade of the scoring tool, and rotate the bottle. You can place the tool in between different pages in the books to put it at different heights and thus cut the bottles at different heights. You could probably also use a vise to hold the tool in place, but we didn’t have one!
Then, over the sink, slowly pour a stream of boiling water over the cut line for about thirty seconds, slowly rotating the bottle while doing this part, to make sure the entire line gets hot. Then place the cut line under a stream of cool water from the faucet, again rotating the bottle. The water coming from the faucet should be *cool*, but not super cold. If the cut end doesn’t fall off after a few seconds in the cool water, go back to pouring the hot water over it. It will most likely fall off then.
This doesn’t work perfectly *every* time – I’d say probably every 4 out of 5 bottles works great, then we’ll end up with one that splinters or forms vertical cracks. So you’ll probably need to collect more bottles than you need in the end, because a few will get messed up.
After cutting, we sand the bottom edge to make sure it’s not too rough or sharp. We will also be placing these on mirrors, so as to avoid any sharp edges doing damage to the tables or the linens.
*One other important note!* With this cutting method, the cut on the bottom is almost *too* good. There is very little air that can get into the bottle under that smooth cut, so there’s no flow from the top of the bottle to the bottom, and when we first put candles under the bottles, they would only burn for a minute before going out. What we did to fix this was take our Dremel drill and use one of the bits to sand out a little hump on the bottom cut edge of the bottle. This allows enough air to get in to feed the candle, and we just turn the side with the hump toward the center of the centerpiece.
*Last important note!* When you put a candle under the bottle, the heat from the candle will cause the top of the bottle to get very hot. Please don’t touch the tops of the bottles! Only touch the base of the bottle at that point, because the top will burn you.
So here is our version of the wine bottle candle holder centerpiece:
I think it looks pretty good, and will work perfectly for our green & gold color scheme!
UPDATE: The centerpieces looked great at our wedding! We did end up having to tinker around with them a bit more to get the airflow issue worked out. Originally we had tried notching the bottom of the bottle to let in air, but if the candle wax spilled over, it sometimes covered the hole, prevented the air from coming into the bottle, and snuffed out the candle. So what we ended up doing that worked brilliantly was glueing little, clear rubber “feet” on the bottom of the bottles. They were basically those bumpers that you put on the inside of your cabinets to prevent them from banging when you close the doors. We found little tiny 1/16th of an inch ones, and glued three on the bottom of the bottle. Worked like a charm. Here’s the centerpiece in action on the big day:
I loved them!
For those who were interested in purchasing them, I’m sorry to say that my mom told the caterer to just toss them at the end of the night. But don’t worry, you can easily make your own!