Old Tom bottle candles

One very useful bottle I’ve had donated a couple of times is an Old Tom strong ale bottle, which comes in various flavours, including a chocolate beer. It’s has a heavily embossed branding section on the main body section, but the neck and bottom sections have protruding smooth sections that are just big enough to set the cutting wheel onto, which makes them useful for container cuts or for removing the bottom.

The bottles usuallywick setting cut pretty well as the glass is consistent and fairly thick, and the preparation of the edges goes very well indeed as a result. The photo to the right shows the cut at the neck, finished to a good standard.

Once prepared, the first step I take is to place the wick in the centre of the bottle. I prefer to use  small piece of 1mm black high tack double sided tape to stick it to the bottom of the glass, to really help it stick and allow a strong tension upwards for straightness. Once centred, I wrap it round a wick pin, which I find easier than to pierce the wick with it, as it enables you to tension the wick if required. Orange candle

All that remains is to pour in the candle. I like to use a strong colour dye, such as orange or red, to give a bit of contrast to the bottle colour. There’s much better advice on candle-making on the net than my efforts, but I’ve been quite pleased with the results so far. Most look pretty neat, and make a nice gift for family or a friend. I made a couple for the friend who donated the bottles, and they keep them on the fireplace just for show as they like the end look. The bottle diameter has been good for the candle burn and the melt-pool, without tunnelling, and a test burn I did for curiosity showed a full Old Tom burned for over 24 hours.


Blue bottle suncatcher

I particularly like the Blue Nun wine bottle for use as a bottle tealight hanger, but also wanted to use the bottom of one for a bottle suncatcher that I’ve been making lately. I’d been waiting for one to turn up for a while, so when I got given one last week, I wanted to use it at the first opportunity.

I cut the bottle bottom as low as I possibly could, Blue centreas I wanted to keep the projection and weight down as much as possible, this time using the upgraded Kinkajou bottle cutter. I UV glued the bottom to another 3mm clear glass circle. Back I went to the glass box to see what glass would work with the blue centre. I had a streaky blue glass that I had partly used which looked good along side the blue centre, on quickly settled on that. It cut nicely, and was edged with black backed copper foil to again use the black patina. The final step was to polished the solder with black graphite grate polish and clean the glass before hanging.