Introduction: Make a Glass Bottle Wind Chime

About: Creating DIY projects

It's been a while since I've done a project involving bottle cutting, so I decided to try making a wind chime from a glass bottle. I wanted it to be a bit unique, so I came up with a design where I would cut a bottle into spirals. I had some challenges along the way, but in the end things worked out great! In this Instructable I focus on the steps that worked, so if you decide to make one of these you won't need to worry about some of the complications that almost stopped me from completing this.

Some of the steps in this Instructable will refer to other Instructables that I have made. I will link to those as they come up.

If you would like to see the video version of this Instructable, I have it split into 2 videos (because of the complications) and you can view those videos here:


Step 1: Draw the Lines

First, I marked all of the lines where I wanted to crack the bottle. The easiest way I could think of to draw straight lines for the spirals around the bottle was to place some tape on the bottle then trace that for the line. I used one piece of tape and moved it for each spiral. I sectioned it off into 4 equal spirals.

Step 2: Score the Bottle

With the lines marked it was time to score the bottle to start the cracks. For the spirals I just scored about 2 inches of the length and not the full length of the spirals. For the bottom I used my Bottle Scoring Jig and scored all of the way around the bottle. The top of the bottle I didn't score at all. I explain in a later step how I removed the top.

Step 3: Removing the Bottom

I started by cutting off the bottom of the bottle. I used the same technique that I used in my Instructable: Cut Glass Bottles Using a Soldering Iron. If you wanted to then you could sand and polish these surfaces at this point, but I waited and did all of the sanding at the same time.

Step 4: Cracking the Spirals

Once the bottom was removed I cracked the spirals, using the technique from my Instructable: Cut a Hole in a Glass Bottle (Using a Soldering Iron).

When guiding the cracks down, they stop near the bottom of the bottle when they are about 1/8" away from the edge. This is normal. I put on some gloves and I gently work the cracks to finish breaking through.

When guiding the cracks up, I guided one of the spiral cracks around the top, then I removed the top.

Step 5: Seperating the Sections

This is the step of the project that gave me some trouble, but ended up being a lot easier than I was trying to make it. For this Instructable, I won't explain this step how I did it, but rather what I would do next time. If you would like to see what I actually did, you can check out my video of the process:

Because of how the glass cracks with these spirals, they won't just slide apart. I ended up using only 3 of the 4 sections, so you will want to pick one of the sections and break it. You'll want to be careful because, you know... broken glass.

Step 6: Sanding Down the Sharp Edges

The most important part of this step is the SAFETY. I wore gloves to keep from getting cut from the sharp edges, but glass dust is also very dangerous. Even though you won't be able to see it, the dust will be in the air. Wear a dust mask and safety glasses. If you breathe it in, it can damage your lungs. At the very least it will make your sinuses hurt. If it gets in your eyes, it can damage your eyesight. It will also give you a headache and make your eyes feel like they're burning. Working with glass like this needs to be done with care. Sometimes you won't notice the effects until much later.

Using 60 grit sand paper and water, I sanded all of the corners and edges. I wasn't concerned about having polished edges, but if you would like information on how to do that, you can check out my Instructable about that: Polish Glass Bottle Edges After Cutting.

Step 7: Drilling Some Holes - Side Pieces

In order to connect the pieces of glass back together, I needed some holes in the pieces. Rather than trying to find a very small glass drill bit, I used a cylindrical diamond coated carving bit for my Dremel. These need to be used with water, so I just submerged the part that I was drilling into a bowl of water.

I started by holding the bit at an angle and slowly tilted it vertical. This helps make it easier to hold in one place while starting the hole. Then after it was vertical I wiggled it around as it drilled through the glass. I didn't apply much pressure while drilling, mostly just the weight of the tool.

In each of the side pieces I drilled one hole at the top and two holes at the bottom.

Step 8: Drilling Some Holes - Top and Bottom

In the top piece I drilled 3 holes about equally spaced. In the bottom piece I drilled holes to line up with each pair of holes from the bottoms of the spirals. It ended up being 6 holes, each approximately evenly spaced.

Step 9: Prepare the Top for Hanging

Now is a good time to decide how you want this to hang. The bottle I used has a screw off cap, so I just used that. I drilled a hole in the center of the cap. You could use an eye bolt in that hole to give you something to attach to. But I just used a string with a loop. I made the knot inside the cap big enough so that it wouldn't pull out through the hole.

Step 10: Prepare the Sides for Attachment

I decided to connect the pieces using some 24 gauge copper wire (silver colored.) I cut the wire into 4" pieces and wrapped one end of each wire through each hole of the side pieces. I figured that this would be easier than trying to fiddle with attaching the wires while juggling several pieces of the glass.

I was a bit concerned about the loose glass pieces banging into each other and chipping or breaking, so to prevent that I added some tape wings to the glass. My thought was that the wings would help hold the pieces apart from one another. I think it helped because there wasn't hardly any clanging of the glass pieces in the next step.

Step 11: Assembling the Pieces

While trying to figure out the easiest way to put all of the pieces together, I decided to hang it. With the top hanging from the cap, I attached the sides to the top using the wires I attached in the last step. With all 3 sections connected to the top, I did the same for attaching the sides to the bottom.

Now that the glass pieces were all connected together, I removed the tape and adjusted the positions of the pieces. It's now ready to take out to the backyard.

Step 12: And That's It!

And that was all there is to building this! I really liked how this turned out and I love how the shadow looks! I didn't expect that. I think an awesome improvement to this would be to paint the sections of glass with different colors of transparent paint. If you make one of these, or even an improved version of this, I would love to see how it turns out! Please leave a comment with your thoughts/improvement on this, and feel free to share your results.

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