Introduction: Recycled Wine Bottle Half-Hour Glass

We thought it would be fun to make an hourglass out of two recycled wine bottles.

With trial and error, we have succeeded in designing and creating the Half-Hour Glass Timer. This was fun and just a little challenging, but here is our idea free of obstacles that we encountered.

We would like to share our idea with anyone interested in crafts, woodworking and recycling. Oh, wine lovers too.

Our DIY instructions include pictures and illustrations of our idea, process, and final creation.

We hope that you too will find this fun.

Step 1: Making of the Orifice & Glass Assembly


2 wine bottles

1 of the corks

Sand, color of choice

⅛ inch diameter straw (coffee stir stick)

Silicon sealant



⅛ inch drill bit

½ inch unibit (procurable from Home Depot or Lowes)

Step 2: Drilling Out the Cork Orifice

Drill ⅛ inch hole through the center of the cork from end to end.

Using the unibit, open up a tapered funnel like area at both ends of the cork.

Step 3: Installing the Straw Orifice

Due to the difficulty in drilling a clean smooth hole through the cork material we had to install a ¼ inch long straw to create consistent and steady flow of sand.

Cut the ⅛ inch diameter straw to a length of ¼ inch.

Glue the straw in place inside the center section of the cork with the silicon sealant.

Be careful not to get any silicon inside the straw.

Step 4: Mating the Two Bottles

Pour the required amount of sand into one bottle (approximately 1 lbs. 8 oz.)

Press ½ of the cork orifice assembly into the wine bottle.

Invert the second bottle and press it onto the remainder of the exposed cork assembly.

Step 5: Making of the Stand


1” x 12” x 24” oak board

Three 1” x 1” x 26” oak dowels

Six screws (wood or sheetrock)

Minwax wood conditioner (prestain)

Minwax Antique Walnut (stain)

Minwax Clear Semi Gloss

String or twine (1/8 inch)

Rope (3/8 inch)


Screw Gun

1/16 drill bit

¼ Drill bit

Dremel tool


Jig Saw

Tape measure


Three, 3 inch paint brushes

Glue gun

Step 6: Cutting the End Plates

Take the oak board, using the marker draw two 10 inch diameter circles.

Using the jig saw, carefully cut out both end plate circles.

Step 7: Sanding the End Plates

Once cut, use the sander to sand the edges to eliminate roughness.

Step 8: Drilling the End Plates

Draw an equilateral triangle on both end plates with an edge distance of ¾ inch from the edge of the plates and mark these three points.

After the points are marked, drill pilot holes all the way through, using the 1/16 inch drill bit.

Change bits, using the ¼ inch drill bit, drill part way through each pilot hole, only go half way through the end plates! These holes will be on the outsides of each end plate and are for making the screws sub-flush.

Step 9: Spindels

Take the three spindles and mark and cut each at 26” long.

Mark the center of each end of each end of the three spindles, using the 1/16 drill bit, drill a hole 1 ½” deep on all six ends.

Using the Dremel tool notch out the four corners of both ends of all three spindles about ½ inch from the ends, making the notches 1 ½ inches in length.

Step 10: Staining, Pre-stain

We used a three step process from Minwax.

Pre-stain each of the 5 pieces with a light coat on each side, let dry for 15-20 minutes, then wipe away excess stain.

Step 11: Stain

Using the stain, begin painting each piece one side at a time (drying time for each side 6 hours).

Once dried use the steel wool and lightly scuff over each of the pieces.

Using the tack cloth, wipe over each of the sides you’ve steel wooled making sure there are no more wool fragments on the surfaces.

When each piece is properly cleaned repeat the staining process and re-scuff with steel wool and then use the tack cloth again.

Step 12: Clear Coat

When each piece is clean, begin applying the semi gloss clear coat to each side (drying time of 2 hours). This will take two coats, using the steel wool and tack cloth between coats.

Step 13: Lacing the Twine

Cut six pieces of the 1/8 inch twine, 46 inches long.

Take one spindle and starting at the bottom of the notch form step #9, tie a series of clove hitches ( in the notched area until you reach the top of the notch. Tie one last clove hitch to secure it.

Repeat at both ends of the remaining dowels and trim of the tails.

Use a small dab of glue on the first and last knot to help them it from unraveling.

Step 14: Dressing Up the End Plates

Heat up glue gun.

Make a small bead of glue roughly 6 inches in length along the outside edge of the end plate.

Apply the ⅜ inch rope to the glue, repeat in 6 inch sections until it wraps completely around the platform.

Once both ends meet, cut off excess string and carefully glue both ends together.

Repeat with the second end plate.

Step 15: Bringing It All Together

Using the screw gun attach the three dowels with screws to one of the end plates.

Flip it upside down.

Using silicon sealant bond the bottom of the hourglass assembly in the center of the stand.

Step 16: Final Step

Place silicon sealant on the top end of the hourglass assembly and attach the second end plate to the spindles with the remaining screws.

Step 17: The Finished Project

We hope you'll have as much fun as we have doing this project!