Make Jewelry From Glass Bottles

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About: Innovative Projects, Diy's, Life Hacks

In this Instructable, I demonstrate a way to make your own jewelry from glass bottles.

What you will need:

  • Microwave kiln
  • Glass bottles
  • Jewelry blanks (rings without the stone, end hooks etc.)

You will also need a kiln paper.

You could buy a special glass that comes in all colors you could want, but there is a cheaper option.

You can melt the glass from the bottles to make your own jewelry.

It is also a great way to upcycle glass bottles.

If you are Interested in the video version of this Instructable and the embedded video does not appear on your mobile device, here is an alternative link

Step 1: Get Your Glass

In the previous Instructable, I demonstrated a way to drill a hole in a glass bottle.

I kept the glass circles so I could use them to make jewelry.

You don't have to use round glass pieces for the jewelry, you can just smash the bottle and use the pieces as they are.

I used 4 different color bottles to cut out the circles for the jewelry: Green, another shade of green, white (transparent) and blue.

Step 2: Prepare the Kiln

Put the kiln paper in the kiln. It will prevent the glass from sticking to the kiln as well as protect the kiln.

You can mix different color glass for different effects.

I put 3 different color circles in the kiln.

My kiln was damaged in some areas, that's why I did not put the glass in the center. Normally you would put it in the center.

Step 3: Fire It Up

Put the lower part in the microwave and after making sure the glass is positioned the way you want it, put on the top piece.

Turn on the microwave for a few minutes on a high power.

Time needed to fuse the glass will vary depending on your microwave, size of the kiln and the glass you use.

I need around 5 minutes to melt the glass.

You can check the kiln every few minutes or even seconds to see the progress.

When the glass has almost melted, check the kiln after every 10-15 sec.

Just lift up the top piece and have a look.

Make sure to wear gloves and goggles.


Step 4: Cooling Time

When the glass has melted, take out the kiln and leave it to cool down before opening it. (around 20 - 30 minutes)

Make sure to put it on a heat resistant surface.

In the picture you can see the glass when it's hot and when it has cooled.

Step 5: Attach the Glass to a Blank Jewelry

Now you can attach the glass to a blank jewelry.

Rings, bracelets etc.

All that jewelry was made from glass bottles.

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    44 Discussions

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    pasquep

    2 years ago

    Very cool project, thanks for sharing! Can I use the same microwave that I cook food in, or does it leave chemicals behind that would contaminate the food?

    2 replies
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    Zaachariapasquep

    Reply 2 years ago

    I use the same microwave for food and glass - just make sure you do not use any lead based colors. It has been a decade or so since lead has been banned from any food-related containers so it would only be introduced by adding colors.

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    ShakeTheFuturepasquep

    Reply 2 years ago

    Some kiln manufacturers recommend to use a different microwave for the kiln, some say that as longs as you clean it properly after every use, there is no danger.

    So there is mixed information.

    I personally don't see any danger in using the same microwave for the food as long as it's properly cleaned after every use. However, if you are planning to use the kiln a lot, I would definitely get another microwave.

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    gilbert_57

    2 years ago

    Be careful mixing the different types of bottle glass that you use for this kind of project. The coefficient of expansion (COE) may range anywhere from 40 to 88 or so. Basically it means that the glass at 40 COE expands and contracts at a different rate than the 88 COE and the pendant that you made could crack, break apart suddenly or shatter. Yes, you might get lucky and get a couple of pieces of glass from two bottles that have the same COE, but unless you test the glass, you cannot be sure and would be advised to avoid gifting Great Aunt Midge a hand-made pendant or selling your extras unless you've tested the glass. There are instructions on the web as to how to test a glass' compatibility with another.

    9 replies
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    eklypzgilbert_57

    Reply 2 years ago

    I was just going to say the same thing. I did something similiar when I was just starting out and had the necklaces literally explode on people's necks...sometimes months later. Only use 1 bottle for each one and do not mix please! it is highly unlikely they will have the same CoE!

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    Zaachariaeklypz

    Reply 2 years ago

    All you need to do is run some COE tests - pieces of each color/kind of glass fused and cooled then take 2 polarized lenses and rotate them so the no light gets through then look at the glass with light behind it - the lenses will allow no light through unless the glass is stressed. Stressed glass will bend the light so that it will be visible. My very first glassblowing project is a paperweight - I think that is the standard first project - has a stress fracture in the center of it. I have been watching the fracture and it has expanded by about 2 centimeters over the last 10 years - I expect it will crack/shatter in about 20 years.

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    gilbert_57spark master

    Reply 2 years ago

    I'm all for testing and finding out the limits of glass and what you can do with it with what you have. My nephew was fond of melting glass and then watching it pop when it cooled.

    I've been fusing glass for 15 years or so and I've seen one too many people melting stained glass together and trying to pass it off as something that will last. Or taking bottle glass and melting it without annealing it properly.

    I've seen people melt bottle glass into cabochons. Some of the bottles with printing on them are real interesting because the paint that's used is fired on and can often survive being melted again.

    And if you want to be real scientific about it, keep a log of your fusing schedule and the results. Like I said, have fun!

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    spark mastergilbert_57

    Reply 2 years ago

    I looked around a bit and found nothing diretly related so if you have a link that would be nice . Thanks

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    gilbert_57spark master

    Reply 2 years ago

    Compatibility testing/COE testing:

    http://www.glass-fusing-made-easy.com/compatibility-testing.html

    http://www.paragonweb.com/Kiln_Pointer.cfm?PID=221

    https://www.bullseyeglass.com/images/stories/bullseye/PDF/TechNotes/technotes_03.pdf

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baqrQ33Lodc

    Have fun!

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    spark mastergilbert_57

    Reply 2 years ago

    THANKS!!

    there are days when this site leaves me wondering who coded it and why....do thenk in linear fashion or in some strange multidimentional one. I hit reply and cannot see your reply, I see the comment that causes me to reply to whit you replied to my question......aaaarrrggghhh charlie brown.

    Thanks so much for the links

    Maybe I will earn some Sparkie Points!!!

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    blenderbendergilbert_57

    Reply 2 years ago

    Ditto! I have a whole box full of failed pieces from when I first started fusing using scrap bottle glass that I keep to remind me to test first.

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    Heather OsbeckR

    2 years ago

    how do u attach the pendant holder, if making a necklace? Glue it to the already cooled glass? And what type of glue would you suggest, crazy glue? I really wanna try this...of course I gotta click the link on where to buy the kiln, praying its not expensive! Lol

    3 replies
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    paula539Heather OsbeckR

    Reply 2 years ago

    Hobby Lobby I saw a microwave kiln there for around I think 100$ I'm going to get me one Hobby Lobby often has coupon in paper for money off your total purchase I think like 40 percent hope this helps.E-6000 glue

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    Zaachariapaula539

    Reply 2 years ago

    The price is now down to about $30-40 for the large kiln.

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    In the video I used a super glue, but it's not the best option.

    I find that 2 part epoxy glue is one of the best choices.

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    Doing

    2 years ago

    Whole lot of good information here from you and the comments section. Thanks for this.

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    Heather OsbeckR

    2 years ago

    darn, $50 bucks for kiln & paper...gonna hafta wait til after Holidays....

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    shyrell

    2 years ago

    O YA!