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How To: Cut Wine Bottles Into Pretty Upcycled Flower Vases

If you're like me and enjoy a bottle of wine or two a day week, make sure you hold on to those empty bottles to make beautiful upcycled vases, candle votives and more. 

The possibilities are endless when it comes to cutting and upcycling your empty wine bottles, but it really helps when the bottles themselves are beautiful. I kept my Protea Chenin Blanc and Red Blend bottles because I knew the pretty packaging didn't deserve to be thrown into the recycling bin. The good news is, the wine is also really delicious, so I know I will be accumulating more bottles, and creating more fun DIYs. 

I filled my vases with gorgeous white roses and flowers from 1-800 Flowers, and cut a smaller bottle to make a candle votive. You can also make drinking tumblers, small planters, pencil cups – basically, whatever you need. A collection of vases in differing sizes would make for an impressive dinner party centerpeice. 

Before you prepare to cut up your bottles, be sure you buy a bottle cutter, and read all the instructions before attempting to score and cut your wine bottles. 



  • Empty wine bottles (I used Protea bottles)
  • Bottle cutter (I got this one from Amazon)
  • Candle and matches
  • Olive oil, coconut oil or another light oil
  • Bucket large enough to fill with ice water and fully submerge a wine bottle
  • Sand paper
  • Rags or towels, to clean up water
  • Safety goggles (optional)


Step 1: Start by washing out your wine bottles, and let them completely dry. 


Step 2: Now it's time to use your bottle cutter. Pay attention to the enclosed directions, making sure to line up the cutting end properly to the bottle where you want it cut.

Bottle cutters don't actually cut all the way through, they just create a thin even score line. Pick where you want to create the score, and provide firm (but not too firm), consistent pressure on the cutter and create a thin, even line all the way around. Be sure to pay attention to the score line and try not to overlap or go off track, or it will create an uneven break line. 

Tip: Use a little bit of oil on the actual cutter or around the circumference 


Step 3: After you successfully cut your score line – make sure it is connected all the way through – get your ice water ready. Fill your bucket with cold water and lots of ice, with enough room to submerge the bottle and not have it overflow. Set bucket aside


Step 4: Light your candle. Hold the bottle over the flame, with the score line close to the flame (but not touching). Slowly spin the bottle around at the score line, making sure it gets nice and warm from the flame.

Step 5: When the score line is warm to the touch, immediately dunk your bottle in cold water for at least 5 seconds. If you hear a pop, that means it's ready to separate.


Step 6: Take your bottle out of the water, and gently separate the two pieces. It shouldn't take much effort or pressure to separate the pieces. If the pieces don't separate, repeat steps 4 and 5 until the pieces successfully separate. 

Tip: Use safety goggles to protect against shards of glass. I didn't have this problem when making the bottles, but it is a risk. 

Step 7: Dry off your bottle, and sand the rim using sandpaper until smooth.


Step 8: Fill with water and flowers, display and enjoy! 

Tip: If you want to remove your labels, place your cut bottles into a pot of water over the stove, and bring water to a boil. After the water boils for about a minute, remove from heat and let cool. Once you can safely take the bottles out of the water (use tongs or oven mitts if still hot), then gently peel your labels off. 


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Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

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