Today I’m going to explain how to drill holes in glass – wine bottles, mason jars and more. like glass bottles are such a versatile medium. You can decorate them in so many ways both inside and outside. I had a few projects in mind where I would need to drill a hole in a bottle. Unfortunately, I kept having visions of glass shattering everywhere and the chaos and injuries I endured. So I was a little hesitant. But the creative bug bit me and I had to figure out how to do it. It’s actually not as hard or scary as I expected, and with practice I’m getting pretty good at drilling through glass.
- Clean glass bottle
- Electric drill
- Glass drill with diamond tip
- safety goggles
- spray bottle with water
- Non-slip pad or a small towel
- packing tape
- painters tape
- permanent marker
- sandpaper (optional)
Before you begin, remember to follow common sense safety guidelines. Always wear your safety glasses when drilling glass. It’s also a good idea to wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants.
1) Start by inserting your drill. I used a half inch bit, but diamond bits come in a variety of sizes. Just check and make sure the drill bit you are using is rated for drilling glass.
Set it up by placing something soft like a towel or non-slip mat (like you might use in a kitchen drawer to keep utensils from sliding) on your countertop. It keeps the bottle from rolling, absorbs some of the pressure of drilling, and collects the small bits of glass dust and debris that drilling produces.
2) Tape a few small strips of masking tape roughly where you want to place the hole. Make sure you don’t drill over the seam of the bottle. I’ve never tried drilling at the seam, but it seems more likely that if you drill there the bottle will crack or shatter.
3) Using a permanent marker, draw the location of your hole on the painter’s tape.
4) Tape the bottle to your work surface. This prevents the bottle from rolling away while drilling. I use a piece of tape along the neck of the bottle and a piece across the bottom of the bottle. You’ll be using both hands to operate the drill, so you don’t want the bottle rolling around.
5) Use the spray bottle to spray the area where you are going to drill.
It’s time to drill the hole. Start slow.
6) With the drill at a slight angle and at a slow speed, start drilling the bottom of the hole. Gradually tilt the drill so that the drill is perpendicular to the bottle. I think it works best to let the drill run before it touches the bottle.
7) Once the hole is started, stop the drill, lift it off the surface, and spray the surface with water again. It is important to keep the area you are drilling wet. Reposition the drill and continue drilling. You can gradually increase the drilling speed. Remember to apply light pressure to the drill. You don’t have to press it onto the bottle very hard. It’s okay to stop and mist the bottle if necessary.
You can tell when you’re almost through the bottle by the sound on the glass. It will start getting higher.
8th) After you finish drilling, you can remove the package tape and painter’s tape. Pour the round piece of glass from the bottle. Gently rinse the bottle and the area around the hole with water until all the glass dust is washed away. Use a thick rag to dry the hole if glass splinters remain.
9) If necessary, you can smooth the area around the hole with a small piece of sandpaper.
You can hang a bottle (or three) on the wall to use as a wall vase. But why stop there? Watch out for my next post about glass engraving. If you can use a pen, you can engrave glass. You will be surprised how easy it is to make a beautifully engraved glass bottle suitable for displaying on your wall.