DIY: How To Drill Holes In Glass


Yesterday, I showed you my DIY Rope Cloche that is an alternative to Pottery Barn’s version that sells for $99.00. 

As promised, today I will show you what you need in order to drill the holes in the glass.  Don’t be intimidated or discouraged by how many pictures there are – I just want to be sure and show each step for those who think it is too difficult to deal with. 

In addition to your drill, you will need these items:


You can purchase diamond grit hole saws in various sizes.  These are the two sizes I used.  The 3/16” is the perfect size if you want to attach a knob to the top.  Obviously the size of the rope you use will determine what size of the larger hole saw you decide to use.

Just an FYI, the above pieces are by Bosch and fit any standard drill.

If you use the 3/16” saw, you will also need a 1/4” drill bit.  I will explain why in a minute.


Getting started…

You want to tape the inside and outside of the vessel where you will be drilling.  This helps prevent splintering.   You also need to mark the center of the vessel.


Insert the AutoStart Quick Change Mandrel into your drill and use it to score the point of entry.  Once you place it on your mark, it will push down and you will begin to drill. 

DO NOT PUT HEAVY PRESSURE ON THE DRILL.  You will risk breaking the glass and possibly an injury.    

Very light pressure to help guide the bit is all you need – and patience to let it happen slowly.  



This is what it will look like after you have scored it:


Next, you will use the 3/4” saw.  The nice part about this is that it snaps right onto the mandrel while the mandrel is still in your drill.  You won’t exchange bits or saws during the process.


So, with the mandrel still attached, you still have the scoring point inside the 3/4” saw.  

You will place the point back on your scoring mark, push down so that the 3/4” saw blade is touching your glass and again, without putting heavy pressure on it, drill to score the large hole.  

You will see both scores:


You will now begin to drill the hole, but first, a couple of things to point out.

1)  You will be pouring a small amount water where you are drilling, just as you would when cutting tile.  For those of you who are not aware of this method, it is to keep the saw and glass lubricated and cool.  It will also prevent the glass from getting too hot and breaking or cracking. 

Because you are using water, you should really be using a cordless drill!


2)  I used painter’s tape but clear packaging tape would be a better choice if you have it on hand. I was out and  wasn’t patient enough to go buy some for this.   

The painter’s tape will eventually tear as you drill while the packaging tape will last longer (plus it is easier to find your center with clear packaging tape.)

Once your hole is started and you have drilled down a ways, you can remove the tape if it gets too messed up.  Just be sure to continue to add water as you drill through!

You will eventually have a hole like this:

(Sorry I forgot to take a picture before I put the rope in!)


If you end up with some rough edges, you can try sanding them down with a sanding block or with a Dremel (or similar) tool if you have one.  However, if you tape and use water, you should end up with a pretty smooth edge.

You are now ready to attach the rope handle.  I chose to do a loop on my large cloche by inserting the two ends through the hole and double-knotting the inside.  I then double-knotted the loop on the outside at the surface so that it won’t slide around.


You are finished!

Now, if you want to do one with a knob rather than a rope for the handle, here is the way to go about drilling the hole:

You will want to get a small piece of wood such as a shimmy, or cut of the end of a paint stir stick. 


Keeping in mind as to where the center of the base is (measure by criss-crossing string or tape and where it meets will be your center) you will tape the shimmy securely onto the glass.

You will then get your 1/4” drill bit and drill a hole through the wood (not the glass!) where your center point is.

NOTE:  You will use the 1/4” bit if you are using the 3/16” hole saw.  If you are using a hole saw of a different size, you need to adjust the bit size.  In other words, your bit should be just slightly larger than the hole saw so that the hole saw can fit in the hole, but not slide around.



You will now remove the drill bit and attach the 3/16” hole saw to your drill.  You will notice that the end of this hole saw is not a sharp point like a screw or a drill bit….it is in fact a flatter surface with a diamond cut edge.  This is why you need the wood shimmy as a guide.  Without it, the hole saw will slide and you will go off center.

In the same manner as the larger hole, start drilling without putting heavy pressure on the drill.

NOTE:  YOU WILL NEED TO USE WATER WHILE DRILLING JUST LIKE ABOVE!  Sorry I forgot to get a picture of that.


Keep on a drillin’ until you go through:


You can now attach a knob of your choice and admire your work!



For more pictures of the finished cloches, go back and look at yesterday’s post!

Be inspired,

Linking to:


Cowgirl Up! at Crafty Texas Girls
HOme Savvy A To Z
The Southern Institute:Creative Me Monday
Everything Under The Moon – Bedazzle Me Monday
Get Your Craft On – Today’s Creative Blog
Metamorphosis Monday
Crafts Keep Me Sane at Keeping It Simple
Home Stories A To Z
Time To Shine at Diamond In The Stuff
How To Nest For Less
Thrifty Decor Chick – First Monday of Every Month

TDC Before and After

Tip Junkie handmade projects
Shades Of Amber Chalk Paint Party
A Bowl Full of Lemons
DIY By Design
Trash 2 Treasures at Kammy’s Korner
Project Queen
Tip Junkie
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Elizabeth & Co.
Not Just A Housewife
Coastal Charm: Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
House of Grace – Twice Owned Tuesday
Live Laugh Rowe

Embracing Change
Fireflies and Jellybeans
Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style
Restore Interiors
Its Overflowing
domestically speaking: power of paint party
blue cricket design
From My Front Porch To Yours
The Brambleberry Cottage
No Minimalist Here – Open House Party
Somewhat Simple
My Repurposed Life
beyond the picket fence
Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Creek Cottage
Delightful Order
A Glimpse Inside
house of hepworths  
36th avenue
The Rooster And The Hen – First & Third Fridays
Serenity Now
Inspiration Friday At The Picket Fence
Frugalicious Fridays at Finding Fabulous
Fingerprints On The Fridge
Chic On A Shoestring
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
Tater Tots and Jello
stuff and nonsense

Funky Junk Interiors
The DIY Showoff
Be Different Act Normal
My1929Charmer: Sunday Best
Homemaker On A Dime
 Sisters of the Wild West – Sister Sunday Link Party
Under The Table And Dreaming
Simply Klassic Home

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  1. Debbiedoo's says:

    You are so good girl. I love this look!

  2. Thanks so much for the awesome tutorial Shari! I love these cloches and will DEFINITELY be giving this a try.

  3. Shirley@Housepitality Designs says:

    Ah ha…so that's how it is done….great "toot"

  4. Wow, I'm going to pin this for the next time I'm feeling energetic enough to try something like this… Thank you for sharing, I've always wondered how to do this.


  5. plaits and paisley says:

    Thanks for the instructions, can't wait to give it a go!

  6. Tausha says:

    this is an awesome tutorial! I love this idea. Anything that is cheaper than PB, I am in love!
    Thanks for the idea and great tutorial.
    Have a happy Wednesday!


  7. scrapfancy says:

    They are so wicked and great. Love your tutorial. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Desiree @ The 36th AVENUE says:

    This is awesome!
    Great tutorial!

  9. Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage says:

    Geat looking cloches, Shari! Diamond drill bits are invaluable little tools. We have several in our workshop and use them for drilling into glass, ceramic, tile, stone, etc.

    Thanks for the terrific tutorial and for sharing it at Time Travel Thursday.

    Liz @ The Brambleberry Cottage

  10. Laura @ cookiecrumbsandsawdust.blogspot says:


    These are great instructions! And even cuter accessories. I especially like your clock cloche. My home is pretty accessory bare right now and could use some fun touches like these. I'll definitely have to try this and luckily my handyman has a drill.

    I'm visiting from the Finding Fabulous linky party. I would love if you stopped by my blog.

    Thanks for sharing,

  11. You are brave! Thanx for showing us how to do this. They turned out fabulous! Thanx for coming to THT!

  12. Jen Lossing says:

    I am just loving these. Thanks for the glass drilling tip!

  13. I use diamond bits to drill my teacups and teapots for chandeliers. This has been helpful to realize that I could use a shim (you are too cute to call them shimmy) for a template. Great idea! However, you never mentioned using water with the shim method. Doesn't it ruin the more expensive diamond bit?

  14. Becca @ The Sassy Penguin says:

    This is so perfect. I would be afraid to cut glass. I'm going to have to root through my fiances tool box and see if he has the right tools to do this!

  15. Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. says:

    I'm pinning this for future reference. Thank you Shari!

  16. Shari, these are flippin genius! I saw these in PB the other day and no way am I paying their price. It never occurred to me to make it myself. Now I'm gonna. ;)

  17. Katherine ( Katie) Corrigan says:

    brilliant!!! thank you for sharing the tips xo

  18. gail wilson says:

    shari!! fabulous tips for drilling in glass! thanks so much for sharing this at Catch as Catch Can!

  19. Toqua's Crafts says:


    Thank you for sharing this!
    Your Pottery Barn Cloche's are beautiful!

    I'm here via My Repurposed Life.

  20. jacky @ small home love says:

    Those are adorable! Thanks for the tutorial, still kinda scary but I might try it.

  21. Kathryn says:

    Nice tutorial. I am pinning this for future reference. Thanks for sharing this with us:)

  22. Great tutorial! Thanks for all the details!

  23. Very Clever! I love that! I’ve thought up projects with glass but always back up because it scares me a bit to drill into. Thanks for the tut, I may just give it a shot now. Cute project!