Introduction: Make a Broken Jar

Picture of Make a Broken Jar

Turn an empty jar into a cutting-edge vessel that challenges established aesthetic conventions.

This project has gotten such an overwhelming response maybe it should become a whole new website. Unfortunately "" isn't available.

Photos by and of Will Bosworth

Here's what you need.

Step 1: Scratch the Surface

Picture of Scratch the Surface

Dip the end of your glass cutter in oil before scoring the jar. Use a tuna can or other object to keep it at the right height. Don't roll back over the old cut or you'll blunt your cutting wheel. No one has actually ever resisted the urge to do this, so this glass cutter is horrible.

Step 2: Beat on the Damn Thing

Picture of Beat on the Damn Thing

You know, to get that crack to break off cleanly

Step 3: Harder and Harder Until It Breaks

Picture of Harder and Harder Until It Breaks

A real scientist would have done it with baking soda and vinegar.

Step 4: Sure It's Beautiful, But Does It Work?

Picture of Sure It's Beautiful, But Does It Work?

The intrepid Will Bosworth tests out this cutting-edge vessel.
Great art is not just to be looked at, but experienced with all the senses.

When you've got a broken jar you really like, rub the sharp edges with sandpaper til they're rounded off and don't cut you.

Excited to learn more about broken jars?
Try this one:

Step 5: Wine Bottle Art

Picture of Wine Bottle Art

It's been a year or two and I got the urge to try again.
I've got this amazing huge wine bottle left over from some celebration.
I thought I'd turn it into a giant drinking glass.
So I put it in the sink with water running. I put a piece of cardboard over the drain so it would fill up with water.
I took the grinder that almost killed me and started grinding around the bottle.
The exhaust compressed air from the grinder blew the water away from the part being ground on, and it threw red sparks of glass! I didn't know that could happen. It also put a lot of silica dust in the air, and my nose feels like a coal mine right now. I ground all around the bottle. I was going to just cut it off with the grinding wheel. But then I got sick of breathing that glass dust and tried to break it at the line by wacking it with a trowel. It broke off pretty easily, but not exactly at the line.
Then I sanded the edge to make it blunt and safe.

Okay, it's a pitcher, not a glass. TA DAA!


didexo (author)2015-03-13


bfedorowytsch (author)2012-11-25

I suggest cutting the glass with heat.

DR_UNIX (author)2007-08-27

I have the banner for (once the site is created.)

fallental (author)DR_UNIX2010-12-22


Honestinwilkesbarre (author)2008-11-29

His first sentence.... Turn an empty jar into a cutting-edge vessel that challenges established aesthetic conventions. The last sentence of the actual instructions... When you've got a broken jar you really like, rub the sharp edges with sandpaper til they're rounded off and don't cut you. He considers this an art project. You have to read more than just the title before you comment, please.

WolfVecho (author)2008-10-11

LOL I love the jar "hit it till it busts" it would be easier to just drop it on the cement

Oblivitus (author)2008-07-26


Camisado (author)2008-07-15

I can't believe the oh-so-great TimAnderson would make something this horrible! ( No offense )

PC_Maestro (author)2006-07-25

in the second photo he swallowed a peice of glass. This is the crapiest instructable ever.

Flumpkins (author)PC_Maestro2008-07-04

NO DUH!!! That's why it was in the "Worst. Instructables. Ever." Group. Did you expect it to be the best in the world?

DJ Radio (author)Flumpkins2008-07-04

Look at the guy who made this, why dont you...

Flumpkins (author)DJ Radio2008-07-05

This is actually the first thing from this guy that I saw. So... yeah!

awkrin (author)2008-06-25

u could just put the top of the bottle in hot water, then put it under cold water. it's a lot easier

blazing Ang3l (author)2006-07-05

what is the almighty point of this?

what is the sound of one hand clapping? point of this. there is no point to anything!

Grey_Wolfe (author)dianneiyisan2008-06-19

Sounds kinda like a flat tire in a bugs bunny cartoon.

Valche (author)2008-05-28

While it doesn't suit my particular aesthetic taste, I like that you made something that brings up the subject and asks the question of what beauty really is. Very nice, +1 :).

Dungeonbrownies (author)2008-03-09

it must dribble horribly, artistic or odd, iono, but unpractical fosho. it does make everything seem more... iono. post modern i guess.

haptotrope (author)2008-03-05

also, perhaps tap it from the inside. tapping on the side of the score confuses the glass!

haptotrope (author)2008-03-05

I've had mixed luck with the string and fire method... but I was looking for an awesome way to not have to buy a bottle cutter. But the can as a smooth support is brilliant. I'm going to use a taller can for cutting a wine bottle!

kiwi20 (author)2008-03-03

yeah.... I agree with motorsk8ter- just throw the dang jar on the ground

bowmaster (author)kiwi202008-03-04

Or slam your jar into your head.

clanger (author)2008-03-02

HU !!!!!!!!

rocksalt2342 (author)2008-02-17

"how to make a broken jar" uhh, throw a jar on the ground?

katrina_ (author)2007-11-04

A guy I know made one of these at the bar last night.

Doctor What (author)2007-11-02

oohh, that looks like it might hurt, alot,

tooluser (author)2006-07-23

Never done it myself, but I've been told that heating the score line over a flame will cause it to pop at the score line.

tcabeen (author)2007-08-23

I laughed so hard and for so long at this instructable that my fiancee put on headphones. It's just That Good.

spinach_dip (author)2006-06-26


benhudson (author)spinach_dip2007-08-23

*puts lips there*

PC_Maestro (author)2006-07-25

First of all this looked nice until the 3rd step, it was actually looking cool but then it crapped up. If you look at the second picture on the last step you see that he swallowed a peice of the glass, it's funny and ironic. The glass got it's revenge. Second of all VG CATS FOREVER!!

how did he swallow glass?

mollypierucci (author)2007-07-30


TimAnderson (author)2006-06-27

It's a metaphor for American foreign policy.

TimAnderson (author)TimAnderson2006-06-27

You know, it started out as one thing, and then it changed, and now it's all broken and someone's drinking out of it, and the broken shards are laying all over place, and could cut anyone at any time.

TimAnderson (author)TimAnderson2006-06-27

Which really sounds a lot like a relationship. And the only thing to do is just make the best of it, and not get too hung up on any one thing, and try to keep those glass spears from jabbing you in the eyes when you're you're really thirsty and tired and would like to blame someone else, except there you are messing with all this broken glass for no reason.

adidame (author)TimAnderson2007-07-20

And it worked fine, as a drinking vessel, before you broke it, just a little uncomfortable if you have a big nose. Imagine your nose cartilage after your relationship changed/jar broke!

Grimling (author)TimAnderson2006-06-27

If i am really thirsty ,and i don't have a glass or a cup ect. , I just drink from the bottle or from the crane ... Use the brains dude ...

TimAnderson (author)Grimling2006-06-27

You can't drink from a crane in this country because they're endangered. Which is silly because it's mostly due to habitat loss. We ought to plow under some suburbs so we can all drink from cranes again. Do you bleed them and mix it with sour milk?

saites2001 (author)TimAnderson2006-06-27

Very nice interpretation. Too bad there is no room for pulling all your jucie out or not needlessly breaking glass . . .

Bigdawg (author)TimAnderson2006-06-27

Hey Tim, I, for one, get it.

spinach_dip (author)TimAnderson2006-07-18

I thought it was a broken jar.

lemonie (author)2006-12-26

Yes, flame it with a blow-lamp. I've seen professional glass-blowers do it this way.

Xanthippe (author)2006-07-29

I don't know why everyone is so very hostile. Deceived, you cry, deceived! "I thought it would be cool, but it's simply a broken jar!" The title says "Make a Broken Jar," and that instruction you did recieve. The beauty lies in its simplicity, a symbol, a story, a sculpture or a weapon... or just a stupid broken jar. So stop bitching.

AgentDanny (author)Xanthippe2006-12-08

Torch the glass and smooth the edges out.

TheThompsonFive (author)2006-11-12

I've heard of this before. I think its something humans call "humor".

Hornpipe2 (author)2006-08-07

I guess this project also turns your shirt around backwards when you take pictures while holding it.


About This Instructable



Bio: Tim Anderson is the author of the "Heirloom Technology" column in Make Magazine. He is co-founder of, manufacturers of "3D Printer" output ... More »
More by TimAnderson:磨刀的技巧Tricks zum Messerschärfenナイフの研ぎ方のこつ
Add instructable to: