If you've ever logged onto Pinterest, you've definitely seen some DIYs for cutting wine bottles. There are about a million different tutorials out there, and I've tried many only to fail miserably. So I got a Kinkajou, and now I can cut wine bottles like I'm the Michael Phelps of bottle cutting. It's $49.99, which is maybe a little pricey, but if you want your bottle-cutting projects to turn out nicely, it's more than worth it.
"Bottle cutting" is actually a little misnomer, because you never actually do any cutting. The Kinkajou works by etching a score mark around the bottle, and then you apply hot and cold water to make the top half of the bottle magically fall off (it's some kind of science process, but I'm pretty simple).
The Kinkajou comes with great instructions already, but I'm going to share some of my tricks and photos of the process so you can be a champion, too. (Full disclosure: I am not being paid by Kinkajou to write this post. I just truly love the product!)
WHAT YOU NEED:
- Standard Kinkajou bottle cutter kit (this includes the Kinkajou cutter, two silicone separation ties, a glass finishing tool, and three pieces of silicon carbide sandpaper (80 grit).
- Canvas gloves
- Old towel
- Wine bottles
First, wash the bottle and peel off the label. I know there are sometimes super cute labels that you'd want to leave on, but it just works better without them. If you wanted to go the extra crafty mile, you could always very carefully peel off the label and then re-affix it with some Modge Podge when you're done cutting.
Right before beginning, don your goggles and gloves as though you are a scientist or Walter White's assistant.
STEP ONE: SCORING THE BOTTLE
To score the bottle, you'll use the Kinkajou bottle cutter. Slide that baby on with all three handles in the "up" position. Once you've gotten it to the correct height on your bottle, tighten the screws and then press the two side handles to the "down" position. You want it to be tight enough so it doesn't slide down, but just loose enough so you can easily turn the bottle. Then press the blade wheel handle to the "down" position, and make sure you can still rotate the bottle.
Carefully rotate the bottle, making sure the Kinkajou stays level. When you get back to where you started, if your lines meet up, you will hear a "click" sound. This means you've succeeded! If your lines don't line up, you won't hear the "click" and you'll know that you've ruined your bottle for all time—forever and ever.
And that will probably happen a few times, but don't worry about it. This is the trickiest part. I recommend practicing on a discard bottle a few times to get it right. Before doing it, I practiced making the score marks multiple times on one bottle to get a good feel for it, and it definitely paid off.
While you're doing all of this, it's a great time to heat up a pot of boiling water, which you'll need for step three.
STEP TWO: SEPARATING THE BOTTLE HALVES
Here's the fun part! Now that you have your perfectly aligned score mark, place the two silicon separation ties about a half inch above and a half inch below it. Put your old towel in the sink to catch any stray shards of glass.
Carefully pour the boiling hot water around the score mark for about 30 seconds, and then alternate with cold water. (You might need to repeat this step a few times if you have an extra-thick wine bottle). Eventually, the bottle will break off perfectly along the score line!
If it's not quite perfect, use the glass finishing tool to break off any pieces of glass that are sticking up above the score line. If the glass breaks below the score line, you'll sadly have to scrap the bottle and start over. This will probably happen a few times, and it's very frustrating. But stay positive! I believe in you!
STEP THREE: SAND THE RIM OF THE GLASS
To get a nice, smooth rim (one that won't make you bleed profusely), sand it with the 80 grit sandpaper. I recommend getting the sand paper a little bit wet—this cuts down on the dust and seems to work better.
You did it!