Introduction: Tabasco Bottle Shot Glass

Picture of Tabasco Bottle Shot Glass

Make a shot glass from an empty Tabasco bottle!

This is a relatively easy project, and only requires a few simple tools to complete.

This is the first time I've ever attempted to cut a glass bottle into two parts, and I was surprised by how easy it was. Unfortunately I didn't get a completely perfect break, as you can see in the photos, but I'm quite happy with it nonetheless.

Grab a glass cutter and your favorite drink, and let's do this.

Note: The frosted look of the glass in the main photo was achieved by simply keeping the glass in the freezer prior to taking the photo. Just in case anyone wonders! :)

Step 1: Score the Bottle

Picture of Score the Bottle

There are numerous jigs and fixtures online that you can either buy or make to help you score glass bottles.

For a small bottle like this, you can do it quickly and easily with just a block of scrap wood and a basic glass cutter.

For this 2 ounce Tabasco bottle, I trimmed a piece of scrap wood to be 2 5/8" tall, which was the perfect height for setting my glass cutter on to score bottle just above the label, but below the curve.

Be sure to put a drop of oil onto the cutting wheel (I used sewing oil.) Press onto the glass cutter and support block with one hand, while holding the bottle firmly against the block and flat on the table. Gently but firmly rotate the bottle against the scoring wheel.

Make sure you create an even score all around the bottle.

Step 2: Optional: Tap the Bottle

Picture of Optional: Tap the Bottle

I'm not sure if this helps or not, but I gently tapped all around the scored line on my bottle.

Edit: As pointed out in the comments, this is not effective or helpful. Thank you, ironsmiter!

Step 3: Also Optional: Protect the Labels

Picture of Also Optional: Protect the Labels

To break the bottle, I used a combination of fire and ice, alternating heating and rapidly cooling the glass until the shock breaks the glass along the scored line.

This method alone would quickly ruin the paper labels on the bottle, so in order to keep them intact you need to protect them from both the moisture and the heat.

To do this, wrap on a tight layer of cling wrap followed by tight a layer of aluminum foil.

Just make sure the protective layers cover the labels completely, but leave the scored line uncovered.

Step 4: Fire and Ice (er, Snow!)

Picture of Fire and Ice (er, Snow!)

To heat and cool the bottle, I used a candle and a bowl full of real snow (we've got a couple feet on the ground where I live, so why not?)

Alternately, if you don't have fresh snow available, cool running water or a tub of ice water will work.

Rotate the bottle under the candle so the flame is focused on the scored line for about 20 seconds. Then plunge the bottle into the cold media (whatever you are using.)

Repeat until the bottle gently breaks apart. It took me about 5 or 6 cycles before my bottle popped apart and rewarded me with a puff of that excellent Tabasco-y aroma.

I then removed the aluminum foil and cling wrap to find the labels in perfect condition.

Photo 3 shows (or attempts to show) the crack spreading after the 3rd or 4th cycle.

Step 5: Clean and Sand the Edges

Picture of Clean and Sand the Edges

At this point the glass edges are ridiculously sharp. You can either gently rinse out the glass now, or sand the edges.

Since I live on the edge, I quickly rinsed and dried it first.

I then used some 220 grit sandpaper to gently remove the sharp edges of the glass.

You can coat the outside of the bottle to protect the labels with either lacquer or some other sealant, or just leave it as is. If you leave it as is but want to keep the labels intact, this will need to be a "wipe-to-clean" kind of item.

That's it! I hope you'll make your own.

Hey, I've got a 1-year pro membership for the first person to make one of these and post a photo of it in the comments. There's only one catch: you have to do it with a perfectly clean break, unlike me!

Good luck!


ironsmiter (author)2015-01-03

tapping on the outside does nothing good. Tapping on the side of the glass OPPOSITE the score (inside the bottle, in this case) will propagate the crack through the glass. You are using the temperature differential method to propagate the crack instead, so just skip this step (MY favorite is boiling water inside up to the score, and icecube on the outside; may be problematic with the tiny opening of a tabasco bottle though).

Clamping the block/glass cutter to the table will allow you to use both hands on the bottle. may make for a cleaner score/break.

bigblue1973 (author)ironsmiter2015-01-03

hi.... I found that if you put lighter fluid on some string then tie at the cut, set it alight then after around 10 - 15 seconds extinguish under cold water. The top should drop off or part with a little pressure.

Darthorso (author)2015-10-30

For some spicy drinks ;)

GustasMax (author)2015-05-31

Nice project !

SophiesFoodieFiles (author)2015-02-14

A cool crazy idea! :)

Yard Sale Dale (author)2015-01-24

Has anybody tried tying stainless steel safety wire around a glass, then heating it somewhere just off the bottle with a soldering iron?

Mariane B Wolf (author)2015-01-14


dollarseed (author)2015-01-11

I was told that the better way, is to soak a piece of fine string in acetone, kerosene, anything flammable, and tie it around the bottle where you want to cut it. Light the string on fire, and once it burns out, dunk the glass into a bowl of ice water, and it breaks clean. No scoring needed. Haven't tried this method yet with labels, but it works great with larger bottles to make drinking glasses, and leaves a nice straight cut.

Seems legit

desoi (author)2015-01-11

The Tabasco labels look cool but I'm wondering if there's a way to protect the labels so they can be hand washed instead of just being 'wipe to clean'? Making glasses out of painted bottles might be the way to go

herrbag (author)desoi2015-01-12

I would dip/ foam brush several coats of a water based polyurethane gloss finish. Alternatively, a dip in a bar-top epoxy.

Jessydinks (author)2015-01-12

When I was in the army we cut beer bottles with engine oil. Fill the bottle to the desired height. Heat a steel round bar, 10mm to red hot and carefully put it in the bottle. Hold it in the oil for a while. The hot oil gives a clean break.

Orngrimm (author)2015-01-11

I decapitated my bottles always with hot and cold water from the tap. Works a charm; hot-cold may to be repeated 2-3 times.

Gave me wonderfully clean and straight "cuts". Learned on YT:

ironsmiter (author)Orngrimm2015-01-12

Dan has a presence here on Instructables. Lots of stuff posted, but I don't think the bottle cutting demo is one of them :-(

desoi (author)2015-01-11

Just to clarify, by painted bottles I mean the bottle comes with the 'label' pre-painted / printed straight onto the glass and not a scrap of paper in sight!

2hlwf8 made it! (author)2015-01-11

perfection is a journey, not a destination. thanks for the idea, man. love tabasco, myself, got a few of these laying around. gonna make a whole set.

seamster (author)2hlwf82015-01-11

Awesome, I'm glad you gave this a shot!

I've sent you a code for some free pro membership time, so check your inbox!

JorisWillig (author)2015-01-11

I actually read a pretty cool way to cut glass: You tie a thin string around the bottle, pretty tight. Then you take the string of without removing the knot and put it in aceton-containing nail polish remover and put it back on the bottle. Then light the string on fire and after letting this burn for a few seconds, douse the bottle in ice water. the bottle will break beneath the string.

buskrat (author)2015-01-04

Instead of a candle take a cotton string soak it in lighter fluid wrap it around were you marked it with the glass cutter tie a knot in and light it on fire for 10 seconds or so then dip it under running cold water supporting both sides of the cut and then it will just pop off this method can be done with out marking it with a glass cutter but it will give a much cleaner edge

Ellystu (author)buskrat2015-01-11

I like this instructable Seamster. Thanks! And this comment, Buskrat. But one question: You say "it will give a much cleaner edge" but what will? scoring first? or using the string/lighter fluid without using the glass cutter?

Nate_o_bae (author)2015-01-03

I don't know if this counts! But I did beer bottles

mikecz (author)Nate_o_bae2015-01-11

For a tasting flight, of course!

of course your beer bottle shot glass collection counts. It is fabulous. i love the tray they're on also. Great entertaining item.

RobertA2 (author)2015-01-11

Here's a tip I got from a glazier years ago. ONLY use mineral spirits, turpentine etc. to lubricate the glass cutter wheel. Oil holds onto microscopic glass dust.

Meanebaby (author)2015-01-11

I do this with beer bottles to make glasses out's a fun little project. You get to play with fire and ice....

Andsetinn (author)2015-01-11

Nice instructable.

I only break wine bottles (so far) but I have found that the finer the cut, with the glass cutter, the cleaner the break will be. If you get glass splinters from the cut you are using too much force and increasing the risk of the break spreading sideways. Never cut twice in the same place. I use thin stream of hot running water and after passing the cut few times under the water it will break. Oxyacetylene torch will melt the edges cleanly and in my opinion is the best way to finish the glass. You can fix uneven edges using diamond file/plate but I have found that if you do the cut right you can usually go straight to the torch.

seamster (author)Andsetinn2015-01-11

Excellent tips! Thank you very much. I've been experimenting cutting bottles a lot since initially posting this... and have realized just how crude my method was!

NL_Buddha (author)2015-01-11

Here is a tool we used in a restaurant I worked in. Super heat the tongs, made of iron, hold them on the neck for about a minute or two. Then apply cold water.

4ntiSp4m (author)2015-01-11


discostu956 (author)2015-01-11

I watched a video with a guy who perfected cutting bottles like this (I must have been bored!). his best success came scoring just like you did, but then dribbling hot water from the kettle over the score line. said he got very neat clean breaks that way. I really like this idea, alas I'm not a drinker or Tabasco sauce user!

mpulliam1 (author)2015-01-09

We killed another limited edition Stoly bottle last night and I found that it didnt fit in my "future project" box. I'm going to have to get brave and try this soon... Hate to just throw away such pretty bottles.

gravityisweak (author)2015-01-08

I may have to try this with a bottle of Frank's hot sauce. None of this tobasco BLASPHEMY! Lol!

Actually, I have one of those collections of hot sauces with fancy names. I bet it would make a great collection of hot sauce shot glasses!

orozconleche (author)2015-01-05

I'm definitely doing this, amazing

olboyuk (author)2015-01-05

Great project, one I will try as soon as the bottle is empty!

Blechmen (author)2015-01-04

Love the idea

iceberg742 (author)2015-01-04

If you put boiling water inside the bottle first and leave it for a couple of mins, you can remove the label without damaging it. The water heats up the bottle and heats up the glue residue.

tomatoskins (author)2015-01-03

I tried this with some old Jones Soda bottles about a year ago. Mine failed miserably. Though I like your technique much better!

tpatten-scheinost (author)2015-01-03

I'be seen these before, but it's always nice to see another's attempt. I am beginning to be brave enough to try it. Thanks for posting. Great job!

CJA3D (author)2015-01-03

Great Idea, i think i am going to have to try this with Beer bottles ..

About This Instructable




Bio: I got an old sewing machine when I was just a kid, and I've been hooked on making stuff ever since. My name is ... More »
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