For my upcycle project I am repurposing three wine bottles into sustainable modern indoor planters. Two of the planters are self watering herb planters and one is a succulent boat planter. For the past few weeks I have been hard at work learning to cut and finish glass bottles to use them for my planters with varying degrees of success. In this post I will detail the progress I have made so far, and explain the steps I will be taking next.
The first step for this project was admittedly to drink the bottles of wine (a very important step). While I was completing that task, I was also researching easy ways to cut bottles. The process I decided to try out was one of scoring, rapid heating and rapid cooling to create a nice clean break along a defined week point. The steps to cut are the following:
- Use a glass scoring knife to create a weak point in the glass, and for which a crack to propagate
- Use a candle or a lighter to heat the scoring line
- Quickly apply Ice to the heated scoring line
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 untill the glass eventually breaks.
This process was really interesting. As I heated and cooled the glass I could see and hear the glass cracking along the line that I had scored. After about 12 or so repetitions of the heating and cooling process the glasses finally broke just where I wanted them to. The next step was sanding the glass to remove any sharp edges. I started with 80-grit wet or dry sandpaper and worked my way up to 400 grit, to get a somewhat passable polish to the edges. The self watering planters work by inverting the removed top of the bottle into its base. The location where I cut the bottles left a bit too long of a stem, so I decided to use old corks as spacers.
Cutting the glass for the succulent boat was a bit more difficult. I had to use a combination of the heating and cooling method from above, and a glass saw to cut through the thicker bottom part of the bottle. Unfortunately during the process of sawing I created too many weak points in the glass, so when I heated and cooled it the crack propagated in some wacky directions. I continued on nonetheless hoping that the less than perfect edge would play well into the “upcycled” theme. Similar to the self watering planters, the next step was sanding to remove rough and sharp edges. I then superglued two corks to the bottom of the bottle as feet for the planter.
I went to Ikea a week or so ago to scope out some succulents for the succulent boat and ended up purchasing a few that I liked. After the sanding process was complete I was able to transfer the succulents into it. Just as I had hoped the succulents hide the imperfect edges of the bottle rather well. The next picture shows the end result. I think it came out fairly well.
The next and final step for my upcycle project is to purchase some herbs to plant in the self watering planters. I am thinking of grabbing some mint and basil. Stay tuned for the final product coming on 22 Feb!