How To Cut Glass With Yarn

How To Cut Glass With Yarn
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Rumor has it that you can cut glass with yarn by soaking a piece of yarn in nail polish remover, tying it around a glass bottle, and lighting the yarn on fire.

Let’s just see about that.

Materials Needed to Cut Glass With Yarn:

– Glass bottle
– Yarn – the rougher, the better (acrylic works best)
Acetone nail polish remover (needs to be 100% acetone or it won’t work)
–  Match or lighter
– sink full of ice water

How to Cut Glass With Yarn:

First, loop a bit of yarn around the fat part of your bottle (where you want it cut) a few times. Secure the ends by either tying them in a knot or just tucking them in. Then carefully slide the yarn back off the bottle (keeping the shape of the loop). Soak the yarn in a dish of acetone based nail polish remover, then slide the yarn back on the bottle where you’d like it to be “cut”.

**Bad photographer. I neglected to take pictures of the above explained part. But hopefully with my lovely description you can envision what’s supposed to happen.

Next, hold the bottle in a safe manner, and have your lovely assistant light the yarn on fire.

how to cut glass with yarn
Let that yarn burn. Ain’t it purty?

How to cut glass with yarnThe flame will go out in about 30 seconds or so, at which point you need to immediately plunge the glass into your waiting sink of ice water.

With sudden temperature change between the flame and the ice water, this is what happens (shown in a blurry action shot with a different bottle):

how to cut glass with yarnThis was was so cool and caused so much excitement among the kids (and adults) that we had to do it a few times.

how to cut glass with yarnAnd then we did it a few more times…

how to cut glass with yarnIt was pretty darn cool.

Extra Tips to Cut Glass With Yarn:

I have had a few people tell me this experiment didn’t work for them, and usually through talking we figure out what we did differently.

  • First off, to cut glass with yarn, you have to use a rough yarn, not a cotton string or a thread or a shoelace. It has to be something rough (like acrylic yarn) with lots of fibers or hairs – that’s what keeps the yarn burning.
  • Secondly, in order for this to burn hot enough, the nail polish remover needs to be acetone based – which is an itty bit more expensive than non-acetone remover.
  • Not all glass bottles are created equally, so try this out with thinner glass as well as thicker glass. Also experiment with how many times you wrap the yarn around the glass and see if that changes the way it “cuts”.
  • If you plan on using these cut glass bottles for anything, you will need to sand the glass after it is cut. Also, please practice-practice-practice this before cutting a family heirloom bottle or something fancy you picked out. It doesn’t always cut straight, and sometimes the cut ends up brittle and jagged.

Can you cut glass with yarn? Sure you can! Here's how.

Tired of the sugarcoated version of homeschooling? Read my book The Homeschool Highway: How to Navigate Your Way Without Getting Carsick.

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