Introduction: How to Cut Bottles in Half (Lengthwise)

Picture of How to Cut Bottles in Half (Lengthwise)

If you are looking for a way to up-cycle glass bottles, this might be for you.

In this Instructable, we look at one of the ways to cut glass bottles lengthwise.

You can make interesting bottle dishes, planters and other cool things.

Some of the materials/tools used:

For your own safety:

Make sure to use a cordless rotary tool, not one with the cable.

If you are Interested in the video version of this Instructable and the embedded video does not appear on your mobile device, here is an alternative link

Step 1:

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First I marked a cutting line with a copper adhesive tape.

You can use a permanent marker or don't mark the bottle at all.

Some bottles will have a line on the sides.

I prefer to use the tape as it's easier to see it.

Step 2:

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You will want to lubricate and cool the bottle with water.

Since I don't have a workshop, I had to do it in the kitchen.

I used a suction vise to hold the bottle.

It's perfect as you can attach it to the sink.

Step 3:

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Take a cordless rotary tool with a diamond cutting disk.

Start cutting the bottle while pouring/running the water on the spot you're cutting.

It can get wet, so you might want to cover things near your sink with the plastic.

First I cut one side of the bottle, then the bottom and then the other side.

Step 4:

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Most likely the cut will not be perfect and you will want to sand it.

I used silicon carbide powder.

You mix it with water and sand the bottle on top of a piece of glass.

You can also use a wet sandpaper or a rotary tool with a sanding bit.

Step 5:

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In one of the bottles I planted a wheat grass and other I used as a dish.


Raitis (author)2016-03-09

Great work, I admire the patience to do it with a rotary tool and sand by hand!

If you have the space and area for it and plan on cutting more, just get a wet tile cutter for this with a thinner disc for glass. Makes it all a lot easier, I've cut bottles with one in almost any direction, including longitudinally (odd time, for a magazine cover).

Kanyoi (author)Raitis2017-10-08

Hello Raitis, please confirm the model of tile saw that is best for cutting glass bottles as well as the best model of diamond wheel. In short tell us what you use. Also please tell me how long it takes to cut one bottle using the tile saw

Kanyoi (author)Kanyoi2017-10-11

Thank you

Raitis (author)Kanyoi2017-10-11

Hi Kanyoi, any wet tile saw should do the trick with the standard diamond wheel. My cutter doesn't spin exactly straight and the wheel has some vibrations and therefore chips the glass more than it otherwise would which is why I can't recommend anything in particular.

As for the cutting disc - I recomment changing the standard one to a thinner one. Can't recall what the thickness of mine is right now, but the thinner it is - the better should the cut quality be. My guess is that something like this would be the best. Although the lifetime of it might be lower and you don't have to go that fancy for a nice cut. Just look for a disc that's thinner than your standard one and you're moving in the right direction.

Keep in mind that for a perfect rim you will still need to do some finishing work regardless of the blade you use.

gravityisweak (author)Raitis2016-03-11

Wow, that's a great photo!

Raitis (author)gravityisweak2016-03-14

Can't take credit for that, I only cut that bottle and glued the cork in! :)

corporatelab (author)Raitis2016-03-13

Raitis, what an amazing job of (what I would call) cross-sectioning. This is truly awesome. I'm not sure what a wet tile cutter looks like, but it sure looks worth finding out.

ShakeTheFuture (author)Raitis2016-03-09

I did not take that long, but If I will ever want to cut many bottles (set of 12 ice cream dishes), wet tile saw sounds like a good option.

Thank You!

Laral (author)2016-09-09

I just found and ordered on eBay New Dremel EZ402 & EZ545 EZ Lock Mandrel 1 1 2" Diamond Cutting Wheel | eBay, from a seller with 99.9% positive feedback, both for $12.99 total, free shipping. The wheel alone on Amazon is $14.99 plus shipping if you don't have Amazon Prime. The mandrel is an extra $5.69. So that's over $20 for both, compared to $12.99 on eBay.

Laral (author)2016-08-27

This is the best method I could find for doing this. How long did it take to cut the bottle? What grit silicon carbide powder?

jeanniel1 (author)2016-03-15

OK, so I thought with the copper tape you were going to heat pop the bottle in half, but you used the diamond blade dremel --- lots of manual labor, but good job. The coup de grace - sanding the bottle - perfect!!! This is what we do for making sure what we are sanding it perfectly flat for post-glass blowing finishing! Well done.

Laral (author)jeanniel12016-08-27

Same here. I anticipated connection to a high-current source, like a car battery. :)

ShakeTheFuture (author)jeanniel12016-03-16

Thank You!

Lavoz24 (author)2016-03-11

I have been searching for an ible on how to do this. As yourself, I also thought it would be nice to use them as dishes It's also arum way to portion control and as I host picnic style lunch and dinner parties in the spring/summer/fall I will now do this to use for some of the this year.

My reason for not doing it sooner is because I couldn't get around the whole using a string with acetone lengthwise. I tried and failed because I couldn't get it straight or it would just slide off and I could never get it to tighten enough.

Many thanks for sharing this ible with us. I will post pics and maybe a small video when I do this.

ShakeTheFuture (author)Lavoz242016-03-12

I am glad you found it helpful.


debzam (author)2016-03-10

:) I like the idea of using it as an ice cream dish.

Eh Lie Us! (author)debzam2016-03-10

My thoughts EXACTLY! Great, great idea. Thank you for posting.

ShakeTheFuture (author)debzam2016-03-10

Thank You!

haltenfelder (author)2016-03-09

During study-times I made a pond from half bottles, hanging from the ceiling like stairs. Sounded like 12 little waterfalls. Next step would have been to color the water, install uv-LEDs and use different colored half bottles, but somehow I never finished the project...

Too bad you did not finish it.

It would have been nice to see it.

azizkres (author)2016-03-10

lovely recycling!!! great craft too :)

ShakeTheFuture (author)azizkres2016-03-10

Thank You!

Chesshaus (author)2016-03-10

why do you say that I should use a cordless Dremel, rather than a corded one? I'm really curious.....

ShakeTheFuture (author)Chesshaus2016-03-10

Yes, like some people said it's because of electricity and water.

Of course if you know what you're doing, you can use a corded rotary tool.

I don't want somebody to drop a corded rotary tool in a sink full of water.

pechkin85 (author)Chesshaus2016-03-10

because electricity and water

Tystud (author)pechkin852016-03-10

I understand the desire to not mix electricity and water, but a cordless one uses electricity too... I guess you have more potential electricity with a corded one.

ShakeTheFuture (author)Tystud2016-03-10

Yes, cordless rotary tools also use electricity, but it's less likely to receive a fatal electrical shock.

I don't think it's even possible (with a small rotary tool's battery) as the battery usually does not exceed 12v and it's low-ish in amps.

Maybe if you have a weak heart and you drop it bath you're lying? :)

Maybe somebody who knows more about electricity that I do could comment on this.

What would you need to do to receive a fatal electrical shock from a rotary tool's battery?

pechkin85 (author)Chesshaus2016-03-10

because electricity and water

J-Five (author)2016-03-08

Cool, at first I thought it was a brush, LOL!

ShakeTheFuture (author)J-Five2016-03-08

Now when you said it - It does look like a brush :)


J-Five (author)ShakeTheFuture2016-03-09

But it's very ingenious, and a good way to recycle.

lglira (author)2016-03-08

Cool project

ShakeTheFuture (author)lglira2016-03-08


liam.plybon.3 (author)2016-03-08

Reminds me of an instructable I made last year, but with better photos and craftsmanship! Good job!

Thank You!

About This Instructable




Bio: Innovative Projects, Diy's, Life Hacks
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