Introduction: How to Cut a Bottle With String and Nail Polish Remover!

Picture of How to Cut a Bottle With String and Nail Polish Remover!

A wonderful use for a glass bottle is a container. However a container can only contain that which will fit in the hole. This solution to how to cut a reasonable good cut, quickly and effectively in a glass wine bottle will be instructed below.

I do hope you enjoy and stay safe! as this can be quite dangerous!

Step 1: Gather Materials

Picture of Gather Materials

To do this all you will need is:
Some string
1 Glass bottle (the thinner the glass bottles wall the better)
Acetone (Most commonly found in nail polish remover
Some form of abrasive paper (I used emery board)
Sink filled with cold water (the colder the better. I used ice which helped)
Igniting source

Step 2: Prepare the Bottle

Picture of Prepare the Bottle

Fill a large sink with cold water. The colder the better! My end try ended up working with blocks of ice) Do make sure that the sink is not only wide enough to hold the bottle but deep enough to thoroughly submerge it.

Gather your string and wrap a portion of it around the circumference of the bottle. Tie the string together and cut off the excess.

Take the string off the bottle and submerge it into a volume of nail polish remover.

Put the string back around the the bottle and prepare to ignite! So keep the bottle of nail polish away and be prepared  for accidental fires.

Step 3: The Big Dunk!

Picture of The Big Dunk!

*Unfortunately my camera decided to have a nap during the video process of this step so I will explain what happened including mistakes and improvements.*

What is done now is to ignite the string soaked in acetone and rotate the bottle as the flames lick around the bottle. This increases the temperature around that portion of the glass, inducing stress in the material. Glass is one of the materials which doesn't like being heated and chilled quickly! This property is used to our advantage in this process.

Once the bottle has been adequately heated it is quickly, sharply and abruptly dunked into the volume of cold water. This massive change in temperature at the strings location on the glass causes a thermal shock, rippling a crack around the glass and splitting it in two!

I found out however that one run with the string wasn't enough to heat the glass so once the flame extinguished itself from lack of fuel, I replenished the fuel by dripping nail polish remover over the string then re-igniting. In order to get enough heat I had to do this three times, so expect to replenish the fuel. 

On the contrary, the idea of the experiment was to create a massive difference in temperature so if you can't get the bottle hot enough, make the water colder! I found out that this was almost necessary for my experiment so a dozen or so ice cubes helped to bring the temperature of the water down.

Once the glass had split in two, I ran several emery board strips against the inside and outside rim of both portions, removing the hazardously sharp edge of the bottle. Now I am left with two containers of which aren't effected by most chemicals, transparent, strong and above all, fascinating!

Step 4: Final Thoughts

Picture of Final Thoughts

Filling it with soil and planting a rose would be a beautiful gift for a loved one, using them as containers to hold pain brushes while they sit in white spirit, toothbrush/pens/pencil holders at work, elaborately welding the top back on in the reverse direction to make an intricate piece of art! The possibilities are only limited by the imagination!

Stay safe and enjoy! :D


ronald.ferreira.39 (author)2015-03-31

use a saw and then grind the glass with a stone or what ever should work

I have a queston is anybody there?

ST NZ (author)haveaquestion2017-03-13

so am I.

lseb (author)haveaquestion2016-02-06

Yes, I am.

lalitnarayan.taparia (author)2017-02-13

That's a really nice and handy idea. My wife tried this on few empty wine bottles at home and some how she managed to do it. Of course, I helped her. We have made some beautiful wine bottle crafts and posted with other crafts ideas here.

See if you like some for your home.

Best Bottle Cutting Guys

I'm sure she couldn't have done it without you.

Wahana (author)2016-11-01

Nice one.. i got cracked at the bottle, so bad cannot use it anymore, maybe because too much heat.. or because the glass material.

Agen Judi Bola

debby59 (author)2016-08-09

wrapped yarn around twice after it soaked lit it let it burn out and done. it worked no problem.i wanted to do this because i was given a wine bottle and on the bottom was a rose. couldn't throw that away. way to pretty now to figure out what to do with it.TY

no_one59 (author)2016-04-24


FiberMuse (author)2015-11-06

I did this and it did NOT work. The soaked string never caught on fire, smoked, or anything.

sandie58 (author)FiberMuse2016-02-01

I also had the same problem, but it wasn't the instructions, it was me! You have to use nail P. remover with acetone.....or lighter fluid. The remover is cheaper! It works!!!!

Seawillow (author)2015-03-29

tried it & it did not work for me. I re-fueled the string several times, too. Maybe my string or the glass was too thick.

sowders.jordon (author)2014-11-20

Place in freezer to forget ice bath

-Daisy (author)2013-12-28

Great tutorial. And a great story.
Maybe mineral oil would burn longer? Kerosene would but I don't know if it gets as hot
as some combustibles. Maybe pure acetone from the hardware store would prevent the re-fueling process. And some various sizes of sand paper. So you can save your Emory boards for your nails. Again, great tutorial. Thanks for sharing. (:

brainscan (author)2013-06-23

If you score the glass first you will need a much lower temperature difference and it will fracture where you want it.

zowi420 (author)2013-02-01

what if you used several 'bands' of string at once, and wrapped a piece of metal wire around the bottle, under the layers of string?

Joshuakingdom (author)2013-01-04

Seems like it'll be a serious trial and error ordeal but definitely more exciting than using a glass cutter, I'm definitely going to try it!. How many bottles did you mess up in the process? or really what I want to know is what was the most common pitfall, thanks

Nanovirus (author)Joshuakingdom2013-01-04

Hello there :) Well the biggest trail and error thing I encountered was trying to get the temperature difference great enough. It's difficult to do but like I stated it's not just getting the bottle really hot, it's also getting the water really cold. However the nature of the glass that bottle was made of was very brittle and it ended up cracking quicker then I had liked it. The most common pitfall was that nothing happens lots of the time. I wish I had video of it and it does seem crazy but it is possible :) I only messed up the 1 bottle in the end ;)

Joshuakingdom (author)Nanovirus2013-01-05

Thanks for the reply!, do you think it's worth keeping the bottle in the oven on low/medium whilst the string's being re-acetoned?

Nanovirus (author)Joshuakingdom2013-01-05

Good question :)
To answer your question it would be best to leave it in normal air without going in the oven. What you want to do is create a very distinct band of heat difference meaning that the only place where heat should be is where the string is. If you imagine a thermal image of the bottle (you can google "thermal image" to understand what they are) you need a very thing bright ring around where the string is. If it were to be put in the oven the entire glass would be hotter, rather than that specific spot.

h8864 (author)2012-03-20

this is nice.
Maybe i could give my mom an ash tray for her birthday

EmcySquare (author)2011-12-05

This method is a classic but has lots of draw-backs like those irregular edges.
I did a search and the method I prefer is this:

susanrm (author)2011-12-04

I've seen this before. It's very handy!

Hippymike96 (author)2011-12-04

never knew you could do that

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm a fun loving, happy, caring and creative person who loves a challenge and enjoys keeping the mind busy with projects!
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