Turn Your Iron Gate Into a Work of Art!

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Looking for a way to spiff up your wrought iron gate or fence? How about adding some cool wine bottle art!

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Step 1: What You'll Need

  • Wine bottles (count on some bad 'cuts' and have extras).
  • Bottle scorer of your choice. We used one called the "Amazing Bottle and Jar Cutter" that we found on eBay
  • bowl of ice water
  • taper candles with some sort of holder such as a clamp or even a candlestick
  • something to grind the glass with
  • adhesive foam tape or rubber spots to hold glass in place
  • silicon caulk

Step 2: Collect Wine Bottles

This is the fun part, especially if you enjoy wine...
  • Drink wine. Boxed wine doesn't work, nor does oversize wine bottles
  • Encourage friends to drink wine. Usually this is not a problem - you'll find many who are wiling to help
  • Remember to save the bottle (depending on how much of Step 1a you did, this may present a problem)

Step 3: Score Bottles in Preparation for Cutting

Using your favorite bottle cutting gizmo, score a wine bottle 1-2 inches from the bottom. Circle the bottle just once to prevent multiple score lines.

Step 4: Turn That Scored Line Into a Fractured Line...

Once the bottle is scored, you will need to apply heat and cold to have it crack smoothly.
  1. Add ice and water to a bowl or pan
  2. For heat, we found that a taper candle held in a vise worked best. Boiling water is ok but with the number of bottles we were cutting, that was too time-consuming.
  3. hold bottle over flame and turn slowly to heat all around the bottle where it is scored
  4. After 2-3 complete turns - or when the entire scored line is heated - dip the bottle into the ice water for 5 or so seconds.
  5. Your scored line should now be fractured all along its length. Hold it up to the light to check it out. Any spots that aren't fractured you can re-heat and dip in cold water.

Step 5: Separate the Bottom of the Bottle

Once the bottle is fractured, carefully pull the bottom of the bottle away from the rest of the bottle. These seems like the scary part but generally goes without a hitch. If it won't separate, you may need to have another heat/cold treatment.

Step 6: Smooth Bottle Edges

No matter how clean the cut is, its a good idea to grind the edges a bit to remove any sharp edges. Not all of our bottles cut this cleanly...sometimes the fractures had a mind of their own and we had uneven edges. Grinding is more important then.

Step 7: Place Bottle Bottoms Into Gate

Now for the meat of the matter: getting the bottoms into the iron circles. You will find that wine bottles are not uniform in size. And, of course, the many colors are what makes it pretty.
  • Use the adhesive bits to hold the glass in place and centered in the circle
  • Place all the bottoms in a color pattern that suits you. Ours was pretty random.
  • Have them all placed and arranged before you start caulking

Step 8: Apply Caulk

Caulk from the front and back of the bottles.

Enjoy!

Oh...and one more thing ->

Step 9: Recycle or Re-use

Be sure to recycle your leftovers and save for another project. Like, maybe, vases or glasses or bird-feeders or.......

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    9 Discussions

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    DIY-Guy

    3 months ago

    Looks really nice to see these swinging in the light in a gate.
    Does the impact of the gate hitting home seem to jar the glass mountings?
    Or does the silicone caulk handle the stress without delaminating?
    (I ask this question from the cold climate where we live, in the Inland North West.)

    2 replies
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    faysterDIY-Guy

    Reply 3 months ago

    It’s been 9 years since we did this. They’re still there! We don’t have the cold issue but definitely the sun! Silicone has withstood it.

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    DIY-Guyfayster

    Reply 8 weeks ago

    That's good to hear. 9 years!

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    Rituguptascs

    3 months ago on Introduction

    This is such a cool thing to do! With relatively little effort! Unless of course your gate is really complicated and you're going to have to try and cut out the shapes that you have on your gate… If it's just simple squares and circles like this, this could be a really nice thing to do and it will look even better when it's done!

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    yanksguy

    4 years ago on Step 9

    Great project. Thanks. Have you tried the burning string method of cutting bottles? I haven't yet, but wondered if that would also work.

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    Gabeuse

    5 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks, you just gave me useful tips about using the glass cutter

    (about circling only once and the use of the candle intead of the boiling water)

    I will give an other try because my bottles cracked at the wrong place (maybe because I circled too many time). Do you think I can use a turbo torch to apply the heat or it will be too intense?