how to:: wine bottle centerpieces

My mom recently sent me a photo of some wine bottles-turned-candle-holding-centerpieces and suggested that we should try making some of our own. The cost to buy them was a little much, so we decided to give it a try for the upcoming couples shower we would be hosting for my brother and his fiance. Here’s an inspiration photo I found on Pinterest:


First order of business: collecting wine bottles, which was obviously the hardest and most unpleasant part of the project. We collected a variety of colors and sizes so as to have a nice variety for the centerpieces. We planned to make 3 sets of displays, so we knew we needed 14-15 bottles. Here’s how we created our centerpieces.

wine bottles
glass scoring tool
bucket of ice water

Step 1: Soak bottles in water. We kept ours in a cooler full of water in the garage for several days and then pulled off as much of the labels as we were able to. Most of the labels came off easily, but we used goo-gone pens for the stubborn pieces.


I googled around online to find some tutorials on how to cut glass without a fancy, expensive tool. I found two different methods — one involved a $6 glass cutting tool, and the other involved nail polish remover and yarn. We tried each of them to no avail. So we combined the methods and finally had some success.

Step 2: Tape off the bottles toward the bottom with painter’s tape to create a straight line. Then, score the bottle with the glass cutting tool. Pretty firm pressure is needed in order to get a nice, solid score all the way around. Remove tape.


Next up, yarn! Why do they sell yarn in such humongous sizes? We used about 1/1000 of it for this project.


Step 3: Cut a piece and tie around each bottle, then slip it back off and dunk in a cup of nail polish remover (acetone).


Step 4: Next, time to light them on fire! The yarn should stay lit for about 30 seconds. When the fire goes out, dunk in a bucket (or sink) full of ice water. This is where we had some difficulty with about 1/2 of the bottles. Several of them just popped off immediately upon being submerged in the cold water, and other took some banging against the side of the bucket to pop off. A couple were incredibly stubborn, so Craig re-scored them and we did the process all over again.


Voila! Poppin’ bottles!


This is one of the best, most smooth cuts that we got. Some were a bit more jagged, but we had a plan to cover those up in the displays.

I first tried black stones as a base to set the candles and bottles on and to cover up the jagged edges on some of the bottles, but the rocks were way too slippery. They sure do look pretty, though, don’t they?

The second option was sand, and it was a winner. It held both the candles and bottles in place and it covered all the imperfections. I found that this worked best when the candles were thin enough to leave some breathing room inside each bottle… otherwise, the flames quickly went out. I hope you find this little “how to” helpful!


23 thoughts on “how to:: wine bottle centerpieces

  1. wow this is cool! i would never be game enough to cut a glass bottle (the thought of it creeps me out – no idea why haha) but they look great ❤

  2. I like the rocks display and a simple fix is to put the rocks around the bottle’s edges not put the bottle on top the rocks.

  3. You could use the black rocks if you place the candles and bottles on the tray FIRST, and then put the rocks around the bottles! 🙂

  4. Pingback: 18 Best Ways To Repurpose Glass Bottles And Jars

  5. You can also get colored sand, I’ve seen black at Dollar Tree and Hobby Lobby if that was desired color. Hope event was a success and you had many compliments on your awesome decorations! Thanks for sharing your experience with cutting wine bottles, I may get braze enough to try it soon!

  6. Pingback: Proper Place Setting Tips - Wild Basin Lodge Blog

  7. Hi there,
    I like the way you explained the step by step instructions of easy method, how to cut the bottle.
    Sure, one day I’ll do it my self.
    Thank you very much,
    The person interest with Pinterest LOL 😂.

  8. Seen this done on TV instead of fire you use two rubber bands and pour boiling hot water in between the two bands and then icey cold water and then pop off the glass bottom and the sand the edges

  9. Can you cut a bottle with out the cutting tool. Can you cut a bottle with all the other steps. I can’t get out in time to buy the cutting tool?

  10. I have yet to have a perfect cut using this method. I’ve tried just about every version of heating/rapid cooling and it never seems to work as easily as its made out to be.
    For $20 you can rent a wet saw with a glass/tile blade and cut 5-6 bottles in the time it takes to tie the string.

  11. I wonder if laying some type of metal screen, like quarter inch galvanized square screen or smaller, in the bottom of the tray first. Make sure that the screen is flat and level, put the candle in place and melt some wax into the screen in about five spots the size of the bottle, enough that the wax is coming up through the screen. (Or hot glue. I don’t know. How flammable is it.) Warm the bottom of the bottle and place it over the candle into the wax drops. That could help with ventilation and level the bottle as well, and it wouldn’t slide around that way. I’m like you, I really liked the larger shiny black stones. The light would reflect off the stones nicely. Maybe find a few glass crystals that look like diamonds if it’s for a wedding and place a few among the black rocks for more reflection. Maybe pink or blue for a baby shower, red and green for Christmas, purple for Easter. You could change them out all year. Depends on what you can find. Hopefully Hobby Lobby would have something in the jewelry area that would work. This is a really neat idea that you did with the bottles. I think I’ll try one. Thanks for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s