Wine bottles are some of the best household items to use for DIY projects. For one thing, glass bottles are pretty and versatile. But also, they’re not exactly hard to come by in many renters’ apartments. (If your friends are anything like mine, they’ll be happy to help you “prep for your project” by emptying your wine bottle for you.)
And finally, most wine bottle crafts are relatively easy, and provide high-quality results you’ll be able to show off in your apartment for years to come. Who could want more out of a DIY project? If you’re looking for a new project to take on, a wine bottle clock is a really cool piece of decor – and an awesome craft to make in a weekend. Here’s how to make it:
Gather Your Materials
To get started on this project, you’ll need a few things:
A clean wine bottle, without a label.
A piece of wire, or something else you can use to hang the bottle in your apartment.
Access to a kiln that’s large enough to fit your wine bottle (many aren’t quite long enough for the bottles’ tall shape).
Fiber paper for the kiln.
A drill with a drill bit that can be used for glass.
A clock movement kit – these can be found at almost any craft store.
Pick Up a Bottle Online
Most renters don’t have a kiln just laying around, and many landlords aren’t crazy about the idea of their renters using kilns in the first place. If you do have a kiln you can use at home, make sure you get permission first. However, there is a way you can make this project just a bit easier: You can buy a bottle that’s already been slumped. Do some searching in craft stores or online to find a pre-flattened bottle you can use. You’ll cut out quite a few steps, but the project will still be almost totally DIY – it’s a win-win.
Or, Find a Kiln
If you have a particular wine bottle you want to use (like one that holds some sort of sentimental value for you), see if you can find a kiln to use in your area for this project and potentially other wine bottle crafts you’ll want to create. Check out local pottery or ceramics places to see if they’ll allow you to use space in their kilns, or look for kiln timesharing in your area to rent out space.
Once you have access to a kiln, it’s time to get started! Make sure your wine bottle is completely clean, dry, and free of any paper or adhesive from the label. Then, follow these steps:
Place your fiber paper on the kiln shelf. This will keep the glass bottle from sticking to the shelf, which can cause a giant mess and make your slumped bottle look a bit deformed.
Then, lay the bottle on the shelf and close the door.
Heat the kiln for one hour on its lowest setting, then turn the heat up to about 800 degrees Fahrenheit for around 20 minutes. After that, turn the kiln up even higher (to about 1200 degrees Fahrenheit) for a half hour to 45 minutes.
Finally, turn the kiln off, and let it cool down naturally (without opening the lid) for several hours. If possible, just leave the project overnight to give the glass ample time to cool down and set.
Quick note: The way you heat your bottle will depend on the size of the bottle, the type of kiln you use, and a variety of other factors. So, it may take you a couple of tries before you get a perfectly slumped bottle. You may want to practice first on a bottle that doesn’t hold sentimental value in case the glass melts unevenly or creates bubbles.
How to Create Your Clock
To create your clock, you’ll need to use the clock movement kit you bought, which should include a battery-powered motor as well as two clock hands. You’ll need to drill a small hole into your glass bottle (the size of the hole will depend on the clock kit you chose). Then, use the kit’s instructions to assemble the clock through the hole you drilled.
How to Hang It in Your Apartment
If you want to hang your clock in your apartment, the process is really easy. Just place both ends of a piece of copper wire into the mouth of the bottle before you put it into the kiln. The wire will fuse to the glass during the heating process, giving you a nice sturdy loop to hang the bottle from. Voila! If you purchased a pre-slumped bottle that doesn’t come with a wire loop, try attaching a hook to the back of the bottle with a strong adhesive like liquid nails.
Make it Your Own
Remember that the best part of creating wine bottle crafts is finding a way to make them your own. Use glass paint, clock numbers, copper wire, or whatever else you’d like to decorate your new clock. You’ll love the end result!
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