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Picture of Bottles to Jars

Hi all! In this instructable, I explain how I made these jars out of glass bottles.

Here are the main reasons why I made this project:

  • To have more jars. Instead of buying some food packed into plastic and cartons, I am buying in bulk. But once bought, I need to stock my food... And therefore I need jars!
  • Because I have many glass bottles left, mainly from fruit juice I drink. So it is a nice way to reuse these old bottles.
  • It is pretty. Using bottles as jars is quite aesthetic.
  • I was curious about cutting glass bottles.

Main steps:

  • Remove the labels.
  • Cut the bottles.
  • Sand the edges.
  • Make the joints.
  • Glue the joints.
  • Add text/image on the bottles.


  • Hot water + container to place the bottle entirely + washing-up liquid + stainless steel sponge.
  • A glass cutter // a rope // a bottle cutter (recommended) + a candle + ice cubes.
  • I used my 3D printer for the joints, but I think it could be done with cork. And if you don't have a 3D printer, you can contact the nearest fablab or use an online service.
  • A hot glue gun.
  • A utility knife + transparent sticking paper // etching cream.

You can download the files to 3D print by clicking here!

Also, before to start I would like to point out that I used 3D printed pieces (with PLA) and hot glue for this project. While most of the food stored in these jars will be in contact with the glass only, I am not sure if PLA and hot glue are completely food safe. I have searched for hours on the internet for food safe glue (to stick the 3D printed pieces) and varnish (to apply on the PLA), but I was not satisfied enough. I also contacted many shops (for craft and tinkering) but none said they have food safe glue and varnish. I store my food in these jars for now anyway, but if you know an interesting food safe glue/varnish I could use, please drop a comment below and start a discussion :)

You might also be interested in some of my other 'ibles! You can click on the following:


And make sure to see the next 'ibles I will publish by clicking the "follow" button:

Step 1: Remove the Labels

Picture of Remove the Labels

The first step is to remove the labels of the bottles.

Before to go with fancy techniques, I decided to remove the labels with the simplest solution: hot water. Once in contact with hot water, the glue which is used to stick the labels melts.

How to proceed, part 1:

  • I filled a container and the bottle with hot tap water (maximum temperature).
  • I placed the bottle inside the container.
  • I waited for 30 minutes.
  • And I peeled off the labels. It worked perfectly for the first bottle I used, with no more glue left on the bottles (the glue stays on the labels).

But it did not work as expected on the next ones, and some parts of the labels stayed stuck to the bottles. I guess it depends on the glue used and if the label is made out of plastic or paper.

So I grabbed the first things that could help to remove the glue on the bottle: washing-up liquid and a stainless steel sponge.

How to proceed, part 2:

  • Rubbing the bottles with the sponge, the washing-up liquid, and with hot water, I managed to remove the remaining glue quite easily.
stannickel1 year ago

This is an outstanding article. Only one language suggestion. Remove every occurrence of "have" in the article, and then it would be perfect.

Matlek (author)  stannickel1 year ago

Thank you for the correction. I followed your advice, I hope it is better now :)

candyallis1 year ago

this is great and will be getting my vote

Matlek (author)  candyallis1 year ago

Thanks a lot, I have received the first price of the "Creative Misuse contest" :D!

stechi1 year ago

Nice job! If you are making these in some quantities, why not make moulds from your 3D models using RTV silicone casting material. You can use a harder grade for the mould and a softer grade to make a slightly stretchy rubbery seal. Once the moulds are right you will be able to make lots of identical parts.

Matlek (author)  stechi1 year ago

Thank you! This is a nice idea because it takes a lot of time to print many of these pieces. I am not familiar with silicone casting (btw do you have a link?), but I'll consider this technique for the next jars to come!

stechi Matlek1 year ago

This is a good introduction to the method.

Matlek (author)  stechi1 year ago

Thank you for the link!, I'll give it a try!

attosa1 year ago
I love these!
Matlek (author)  attosa1 year ago

Thanks! Are you going to try making them?

attosa Matlek1 year ago

My best friend works in the glass industry so I am going to use his tools and help for this, yes!

fredh751 year ago
Any petg filament is food safe as well.
A locking clasp on the hinged bottle might be a good thing for people that don’t realize the bottle is hinged...
one of the best detailed projects so far! Look forward to making some!
Matlek (author)  fredh751 year ago

Thank you very much! I have never used PETG, I might try it for the next jars, thank you for the idea.

The locking clasp is a good idea!

I too have not used PETG.
But I understand it is VERY difficult to glue. So a one piece ring and hinge design might be a better idea for PETG prints.
Matlek (author)  Parky19721 year ago

Following your recommendation, I have uploaded a new "one piece ring and hinge" if someone is interested in printing it in 1 piece (no glue needed).

Parky19721 year ago
I'll be honest.
I rarely vote for Instructables in the competitions.
Having read a particular comment which said your instructable was difficult to follow and irrelevant.

I have voted for you.
Matlek (author)  Parky19721 year ago

Thank you! As I answered to the comment you a referring to, I have tried to do my best in documenting this project (I spent hours reading, prototyping, testing, and writing. But it is always a lot of fun). So your vote means a lot.

Matlek (author) 1 year ago

Hello sir,

I am sorry you did not like this article, and that you found it incomprehensible and apparently useless.

I am also ashamed that I could not correct everything in the text. I have tried to do my best though, but you are right in saying that I have forgotten some mistakes. I'd be happy if you could contact me in a private message to explain what I need to correct so that I can improve this instructable!

Pointing out mistakes is right and fair, but sharing knowledge to help correct/avoid them is what makes the world a better place!


jpduroche1 year ago

Apparently you did not read "We have a be nice policy

Please be positive and constructive" so your comment is and was not needed....

I know this isn’t too relevant, but how do you make a gif?

Matlek (author)  winneremerald121 year ago

I am using gif brewery on mac:

You basically take your video, import it on the app, then select the length, size, fps of your gif.

Troubah1 year ago

This is great! And I'm sure you can still come up with new ideas for the joints.

Thanks for sharing this and taking the time to explain all the steps so well.

Matlek (author)  Troubah1 year ago

Thank you! Yes, I already have new ideas, for example using magnets to keeps the junctures closed! The simple ones are not very stables and one fell off and broke... So magnets would be great to keep the jars closed!

This is spectacular! I've been trying for years to find all this info in one place -- and here it is! A couple of comments: (1) re removing labels. My technique of choice after water doesn't work is to use CitraSolv. A paper towel with a few drops, just enough to cover the label area, left to sit for a few minutes et voila! Label gone. (I distrust using steel to scrub glass, but that's me.) (2) re food safe glue. Part A This will sound nutz but try suppliers of chemicals to labs, etc. A lot of times the criteria for safe glue for experimental situations will be even more stringent than for use with food stuffs. Part B Are you sure the Fusion 360 or whatever you're using for the junctures is food safe? That's the part to worry about -- if you want to worry about something -- is anything that might come in touch with the food. // IMNSHO, the hands manipulating the bottle are just beautiful. Whoever it is should find out about hand modelling, if they're interested in the Big BuckS. Yours? Oh my, how nice! // Last, and then I'll shut up. Before using any food stored in glass jars it is wise to check the glass for any breakage. (Sometimes a break is hidden. I was wrapping canning jars a couple weeks ago and something about one of the wide mouth pint jars struck me as odd. I looked at it up and down and sideways, but it wasn't til I looked INTO the jar that I could see the circle that had incised itself intothe bottom of the glass.) My recommendation would be to discard the contents if the jar is damaged, but that is of course up to the individual . . . . speaking of food safety. Thanks for your very nice treatment of this perilous topic!

Matlek (author)  OneBirdieMa1 year ago

Thanks a lot for your very detailed comment and tips!

#1 - I don't know CitraSolv, but if you said it is worth trying it, I will! Concerning the stainless steel sponge to scrub the glass I understand your concern as I guess it can leave scratches. But I had no scratches on the jars I made, I guess it is fine if you are careful!

#2 - Part A: Good idea, I'll try contact them. Since the date of the publication, I also received an answer from one of the shops I asked. They sent me some link for both glue and varnish. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of details on their website, so I'll go directly to their shop to check the products. Part B: Fusion 360 is actually the software, and I have printed the junctures with PLA ( The main problem with this plastic are the chemicals used for the color. Some other members talked about PETG and HTPLA in the comments, which seem to be food safe filaments!

Thanks, these are my hands! :)

And you're right, it is important to check for glass breakage! The bottle cutter is actually a very nice technique and the cut is really neat and smooth.

Again, thank you very much for your nice comment!

PhillipV41 year ago

Makergeeks HTPLA Raptor is food safe AND dishwasher safe!

This is a great project - I'll be making a few.

Matlek (author)  PhillipV41 year ago

Thank you for the link, it can be really useful! I you tried this filament already?

Make sure to post photos of your finished project!

DIYJRAY1 year ago

Quite impressed with the quality of your instructions. Great gifs and extra research. It's very practical too. Got my vote!

Matlek (author)  DIYJRAY1 year ago

Thank you very much!

EugenioR81 year ago

So, I understand joints are 3D printed?

Matlek (author)  EugenioR81 year ago

Yes exactly! I have used PLA, and you can find the files here:

But at first, I wanted to try also with cork (I did not have time though). Cutting and gluing the cork to the upper part of the bottle. So it would look like these jars:

Phoghat1 year ago

This way of edge polishing is much quicker, but requires much more care. This is how we did it in labs when I was in Uni:

Matlek (author)  Phoghat1 year ago

Yes, indeed it seems much quicker. I guess the glass melts which makes the edges smooth. Unfortunately I cannot try this at home... But thank you for the idea!

These are great and your directions are so thorough!

Matlek (author)  Penolopy Bulnick1 year ago

Thank you, I have tried to do my best!