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How to drill a hole in a glass bottle

Updated February 21, 2019

Drilling a hole in a glass bottle is a skill you need for many craft projects that seems more complicated than it is. Lamps, candle holders or wall vases all start with a hole in one side of a glass bottle. It's possible, although very difficult, to drill a hole in a glass bottle without a drill or a diamond drill bit. Practice on old glass bottles lying around before attempting to drill a hole in your project piece. You will need to follow several safety precautions, as working with glass can be dangerous.

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  1. Mark the area you would like to drill with a permanent marker. Draw a small dot on the outside of the glass bottle to show where you are going to drill.

  2. Wear safety gear. Before drilling, put on goggles, rubber gloves and a long-sleeved shirt. Even when using a diamond bit, there is a possibility that the glass bottle will break. Even if the bottle doesn't break, it is likely that shards of glass will fly towards your face.

  3. Slowly drill a hole in the side of the bottle. You should use a drill or rotary tool with a diamond bit. Using a diamond bit will prevent the glass bottle from shattering. Drill slowly to prevent breakage.

  4. Wet the hole while drilling. Every few seconds, use a spray bottle to spray small amounts of water onto the hole. This way the shards of glass will not fly around as easily, and the bottle is less likely to break. The temperature of the drill bit will stay low if you spray water on the bottle frequently. Remove excess glass around the bottle with a damp cloth.

  5. Polish the drilled hole using silicon-carbide sandpaper. If the hole looks particularly rough, rub sandpaper around it to smooth out any rough edges. Go very slowly and carefully. Do not take the goggles or protective gloves off until you have finished sanding the bottle.

  6. Tip

    Drill slowly while continuing to wet the surface of the bottle every few seconds.


    Exercise extreme caution when drilling through glass.

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Things You'll Need

  • Permanent marker
  • Drill or rotary tool
  • Diamond drill bit
  • Spray bottle
  • Water
  • Goggles
  • Rubber gloves
  • Damp cloth
  • Silicon-carbide sandpaper

About the Author

Megan Smith has been a freelance writer and editor since 2006. She writes about health, fitness, travel, beauty and grooming topics for various print and Internet publications. Smith earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in writing from New York University.

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