So I have to apologize for being THREE WEEKS (PLUS!) behind on this post. I have a really good excuse... there was a family July 4th celebration with feuding neighbors (and cops!), then a day job trip to California, and, oh yeah - my Dremel and camera batteries were dead! And then there was a surprise visit from our friend The James. See, perfectly legitimate reasons for not getting my stuff done. HA!
Hopefully you didn't give up on me! Let's finish our project...
We left off with cut and ground glass bottles. The next steps are drilling holes in the punt and bottom of the bottle, washing the grit off, getting any leftover label goo off, and finally assembling the wind chimes.
Do you know about Harbor Freight Tools? It's a fantastic store full of cheap tools and random garage/outdoor things (hamburger patty presses were across the aisle from a really dull machete!) The stuff there is super-cheap, but don't count on it lasting you forever. When working with glass, you really need diamond tip saw blades and drill/rotary tool bits. One single Dremel brand diamond tip bit is $11.97 at Home Depot; I got this set of 20 different bits from Harbor Freight for $7.99.
Dremel drill press to keep the bit from chattering while it bites into the glass.
The punts are easy to do. Since they're domed, they almost act like a compass; when you put them in the water they usually trap an air bubble under the dome (make sure the dome is facing down).
(See the pieces of green glass?)I thought this punt was awesome! See the 3 little wine bottles design? I almost hated to drill it... almost!
This is a great time to check for cracks. Cutting and drilling has put stress on the bottles and if they crack that crack will run.
(it's hard to see the crack on this one, but it's there)
If you're careful you can salvage a cracked bottle for a suncatcher but don't expect it to make a pretty sound (more of a dull "thunk" than a delicate "tinkle"). Sometimes if a punt is cracked the glass will just crumble away and you'll lose it. In this batch of bottles I lost one bottle and one punt.
Dry your bottles (I just put mine on the counter to air dry since I was out of time to work on them for the evening). Don't be surprised after they're dried if you have to wash them again, I tell you that grit is tough!
Next step is getting the rest of the label goo off. You'll think your bottles are clean, but trust me they're not. Touch them! Are they sticky? If so, that needs to come off! I said before I wished I could find a better cleaner, but right now the Goo Gone is about the best thing I have. I tried nail polish remover but it didn't work as well. Even with the Goo Gone it takes some scrubbing and a couple of passes - guess the wine companies don't want their labels coming off!
For the first batch I drilled two holes through the neck of the bottle and then created a twine contraption that had one loop going through the neck holes (HA! that reminds me of vampires!); then I strung the punt on another longer piece of twine and knotted the twine above and below the punt; I fed the twine through the bottom of the bottle and knotted it several times; finally I had to tie the hanging piece to the loop through the neck. It wasn't very elegant, but it worked.
For my second batch, I had been to the Cherry Blossom Festival in Macon and saw a guy selling wine bottle lanterns (I'll be making some next). He was using a smaller gauge chain and two sizes of split rings (the rings on key chains). The smaller ring was used to hang the bottle and the larger one worked as a stopper going from the body of the bottle up into the neck. BRILLIANT! I got my split rings at Wal-Mart in the crafts section; they also have them at Michael's with the summer crafts.
With this batch I went back to twine but I'm still using the split rings.
I had a nice ball of twine, but the cats got to it, so I just have to cut off what I can.
Come down another 6 - 8 inches (it's all preference) and string the twine through the hole you drilled in the bottom of the bottle. Now you could certainly avoid drilling that hole and just thread your twine through the hole in the middle left by the punt, but I like the way it hangs with the extra hole. Whatever you do make sure your knots are tight and don't slip.
These have been a hit at the craft shows that I've done. Up until now I haven't listed them on Etsy, but I think I will. If you're interested in buying one, here's the link to my shop: http://www.amica813.etsy.com/. I'll try to have them listed this week.
My next project still involves upcycling glass bottles, but I'll be making lamps (electric) and lanterns (candle)!
If you try your hand at the chimes, let me know how it goes!