• Glass,  Upcycling

    Smirnoff glass, a long story short

    It was a typical upcycling project, almost like deja vu. Every step was a repetition or an exact copy of something that had already happened in the process of cutting glass containers. I sometimes find myself saying “Nothing changes, only the size and colour of the bottles”. That’s why I’m trying to tell the story short, in just a few paragraphs fortified with a couple of pictures. Upcycling glass always starts with scoring, followed by splitting and sanding. But maybe that means the process is perfectly mastered and that’s why it works every time. It’s rather predictable and repetitive than…

  • Glass,  Upcycling

    Tia Maria glass

    That wasn’t the first Tia Maria bottle I attempted to cut, but this time, it finally cracked the way I wanted. The process of separating the bottom from the top is usually unpredictable, so when the results are satisfying, I can’t help but jump for joy. I also employ an alternative glass-cutting method using a rotary tool, but this particular technique is my favourite due to its time efficiency. The jig I made years ago still performs good – I use it with the same C-clamp, only occasionally refreshing the wooden base and cutters for maintenance purposes. The workpiece is…

  • Glass,  Upcycling

    Neckless Cointreau bottle

    Using a rotary tool to cut glass had not been attempted in my workshop before that project. I had always used a glass cutter and dipped the workpiece alternately in icy and boiling water. That method worked okay, but it was quite unpredictable, with a failure rate of roughly 50 per cent, which meant that one out of every two attempts was a reject. That was still acceptable for me since all the material was free, but it was sometimes frustrating to see a rare bottle cracked in a way I didn’t want. Additionally, the old-school method had other limitations,…

  • Glass,  Upcycling

    Skull candle

    It used to be a Halloween skull-shaped candle, filled with scented wax and designed to burn for a certain period of time. I knew from day 1, that this candle would be given a second life, if not as a flower pot then something else. The choice was eventually made and from a candle, it became … another candle or a candle holder to be more specific. Not a big difference but it required some work and time. What has surely changed was its ability to be used again and again. First, I had to empty out what was left…

  • Glass,  Upcycling

    Krupnik Old Liqueur glass

    This liqueur is one of my favourites, it comes in a redesigned bottle now that is perfect for drinking glasses and other containers – like flower vases. The front label is easy to remove but the back one requires white spirit to come off. As always, I cut the bottle with my jig and once the line is scored, I alternately pour boiling and cold water over it and it cracks. I use jars, oil bottles, wine bottles and everything else – square, round, it doesn’t matter. As long as the line is scored straight, there’s a big chance that…

  • Glass,  Upcycling

    Purple portable lamp

    This project is a remake of something that was made earlier and wasn’t used too much. It was called a bottleneck vessel and was made from an old champagne bottle. Cutting and polishing the bottle was briefly explained in that post, so I can now focus on part 2 of the making. The easiest way to insert a cable to the inside, and not do it from the top, obviously, is to drill a hole on the side. Another way is to cut off the bottom as I do every so often. But in this project, I drilled a hole…

  • Glass,  Upcycling

    Cranberry lamp

    Indeed, it looks like cranberries in a bottle, it’s even a cranberry liqueur bottle. Coincidence? – I don’t think so. The contents determined the LED string colour, it could be anything, but for this project, I used red lights. I simply drilled a hole for the LED string, installed a grommet and plugged the lamp in. Power consumption is very low, as this is a USB string, it also doesn’t generate heat. It’s a great present idea or a beautiful decoration for any table/shelf. Here’s the How-It’s-Made part: Drilling the hole was easy and done with the bottle completely submerged.…

  • Glass,  Upcycling,  Wood

    Gin bottle lamp

    This is a continuation of my latest project – square gin bottle cut – largely about woodworking as the glass was already cut and ready to go. With the right tool, which was my new bandsaw, cutting the base was easy and accurate. I cut it just outside the line and removed the rest of the material with my belt sander. I also eased the edges with sandpaper, the top one just a bit and the bottom one quite much. I usually do the same for table tops, platforms and such, but I use my router instead of a sanding…

  • Glass,  Upcycling

    Square gin bottle cut

    Rhubarb gin, very tasty if I may say so, in a bottle that could be used for a few projects. I was lucky with this one as it cracked as planned and gave me 2 parts, the bottom one could be a drinking glass and the top one, probably be some decorative lighting with a wooden base. Thick walls, clear glass, flat bottom. It would be way easier to process it if the bottle was round, but that project was a little more challenging and time-consuming, more rewarding though. As always it was done step by step: removing the labels,…

  • Glass,  Upcycling,  Wood

    USB LED lamp

    This lamp replaced my x-mas lights in a bottle one, as it simply burned out after 2 ½ years of use. The project involved cutting a new bottle and making a wooden base for it. The old bottle finished its life in a recycling bin, it was time to try alternative methods and approaches to making bottle lamps. The challenge was always about inserting a wire through the glass or placing it into the glass (bottle) in a nice and only way, which was from the bottom. There were no safety features to be concerned with because it was using…