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How can I transfer an image onto a wine bottle? Answered

I want to hand engrave a wine bottle with my Dremel but can't seem to find a way to transfer an image onto it.
I don't want to go the stencil and chemical etching route.
I haven't been successful sliding the print of the image inside the bottle and doing it that way either.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!


Thoroughly clean the bottle using detergent, then glass cleaner, vinegar or rubbing alcohol.
Reverse-print the image in B/W onto glossy photo paper for inkjet printers, using a laser printer or photocopier.
Cut out the image and affix the printed side to the bottle with masking tape.
Using a regular clothing iron on high heat, carefully iron the back side of the image for 2-3 minutes, making sure to cover the entire image evenly.
Allow the bottle to cool completely, then soak in water for at least 1 hour.
Peel off the top layer of paper, then soak again for another hour.
Carefully peel off the remaining paper. The image will remain on the glass. It may not be perfect, but if the bottle was clean and you ironed evenly, there should be enough there to use as a guide for engraving. If necessary, touch up the design with a Sharpie marker.
When you are done engraving, remove any unwanted remaining toner with acetone.

Thanks for the detailed answer!

I've found a few things online that talk about using acetone on a photocopy as well.  Would you say that the ironing is a better way to go?

I've never tried acetone transfer onto a bottle (or anything made of glass, for that matter) so I don't really know. It works very well onto fabric, but i'd be afraid it would slip around too much to make a good transfer onto glass.
It couldn't hurt to give it a try, though. If it does work, it would have to be easier than ironing a wine bottle. :-)

I tried the ironing method today. It's really difficult to iron a wine bottle.  :D
I'm having a few issues getting the paper to come off and not take all of the toner parts with it.  Luckily I have a few extra photocopies so I can try a few more times.
The acetone didn't seem to work at all.

I'm totally making this up now, but one thing you might try is preheating the glass by filling the bottle with hot water. It'll take a little longer to cool, but the extra heat might help the toner to stick a little better. If your image is large. maybe also try putting it on in sections. That sometimes helps with larger copper transfers, anyway.
I am not at all surprised that the acetone transfer didn't work, but it was worth a shot....

Yes, I would like to see you iron a wine bottle. Have you actually done it, or is this a, shall we say, theoretical approach ?

Semi-theoretical. I have ironed toner onto flat glass, which wasn't a perfect transfer, but it would have worked just fine as a guide for engraving. I have also ironed onto a largish copper tube, which was a pretty good transfer and didn't need much touchup at all.
I have no reason to suspect that ironing a toner image onto curved glass wouldn't work, although it would undoubtedly be somewhat awkward if the image was very large.

Forgot to mention that after you cut the image with the dremel, use goo be gone or finger nail polish remover to remove the ink. This is a desert scene of a Saguaro Cactus.


I use a permanent ink marker pen to draw an image onto my wine bottle. I am sure you can tape a stencil onto the bottle and use the ink also. If you are artistic you can draw an image freehand. Here is an image of a bottle I did using this method.


5 years ago

I have been transferring images onto microscope slides. I used Powerprint to bind the pigment of the image. Then I stuck the image on a glass slide and let it dry for 24 hours. Then I put the slides in my oven at 110 centigrade for about an hour and a half and let it cool down. Then I soaked the slides in (cold) water and rubbed it of with my fingers. Warm water seems to soften the transfer medium and the image would come off the glaas again. I find it difficult to get all the paper residue off the glass without rubbing off the image as well. But for now I was satisfied. But maybe a bottle in the oven? It is something else for a change...

 I have found a pretty good method:  Spray the clean bottle with hairspray to give it some "tooth".  Let it dry.  Then, using the carbon paper made for transferring patterns for sewing, (comes in a pack of four or five different colors, white and yellow are really good for transferring on dark green and blue bottles) tape the carbon down on the bottle, carbon side facing the bottle.  Now tape your pattern over it and trace around the design with a ball point pen.  It really works great for me.  Good luck, and share your finished project!