Drilling Holes in Glass Bottles

One of the supplies included in the IZZE Craft Challenge box was a strand of (10) Christmas lights. I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them the second I saw them. (This isn’t the finished product, I just wanted to show you that you don’t have to be afraid of drilling a hole in a glass bottle.) But you probably will need 2 people to do it.

You will need a 3/8″ drill bit made to be used specifically on glass and tile. I found mine at Ace Hardware. I wanted the hole close to the bottom of the bottle, but I had to move it up a little because of a ridge that I was afraid would have made it difficult to drill the hole.

This is a 2 person job unless you have something to hold the bottle in place. I held the bottle while hubby drilled. I also wore gloves to protect my hands. Each bottle took about 10 minutes. There will be some scary noises and smoke but continue on, it’s fine. Go slowly.

If you try to go too fast, this will happen. We only lost 1 bottle out of 6. That’s not too bad! I found out from a friend later, that if you put a piece of masking tape over the bottle it will prevent the tip from slipping. I didn’t try it that way so I don’t know, but it makes sense.

It took a little under an hour to drill all the holes.

Here’s a hint of what I’m going to do.

The whole project will be finished tomorrow. I can’t wait to show you.

{ 21 comments… add one }
  • Melanie @ Mailbox Journey December 9, 2011, 8:06 am

    I’ve been wanting to do this for awhile now, can’t wait to see how yours turn out!

  • Bindu Saju December 10, 2011, 6:50 pm

    What about the glass dust? I heard that you can keep the glass in a bowl of water while drilling to prevent the inhalation of glass dust. That is what they do while drilling holes on beach glasses. Your project looks great. Love that.

  • Cranberry Morning December 11, 2011, 6:48 pm

    I cannot WAIT to see your finished product. This looks like something I will want to do. I think the masking tape is a good idea. I bet you also wore safety glasses. One little shard flying up to your eyes could do a lot of damage. I’ve got to come back and see your project. Looks great so far!

  • Kelli December 14, 2011, 11:56 am

    Awesome! Thank you for the tutorial!! I want to make some! I would love for you to share this at my linky party going on now over at The Inspired Collection. Hope you will stop by!

  • Vivienne @ The V Spot December 19, 2011, 5:39 pm

    Wow! The noise and smoke might shy me off a bit…

  • Pam December 21, 2011, 10:14 pm

    I love this idea! Thanks for the tutorial. I’m definitely going to make some.

    Happy Holidays!

  • Toni January 14, 2012, 6:34 pm

    I know I’m late to the party on this, but some tips for drilling the holes for future projects:

    Keep the glass wet when drilling – it prevents the glass from overheating and breaking. A squirt bottle of water close by should do the trick and keep the hole wet as you’re drilling – it also keeps the glass dust down (see next tip).
    Wear a dust mask when drilling – that smoke isn’t smoke, but glass dust, which is carcinogenic.

  • Judi Rosene March 3, 2012, 11:02 pm

    What a clever idea!!! Can’t wait to see what you do with the lights – you are very talented. Thanks for sharing!

  • Lisa March 26, 2012, 5:47 pm

    Thank you for posting these fabulous illuminated glittery Izzy bottles! Your instructions are really helpful. I love how you drilled holes into the bottles. I had seen lights in bottles but they were always hanging from the tops and the cord showed. Your version looks so neat, and and the glitter is beautiful! I have some random glass vases and I think I will use your ideas to decorate them soon. So excited.

  • LILLIE BUMGARDNER April 3, 2012, 4:16 pm

    Just a tip on drilling the holes in the glass bottles. Ad a few drops of 3 in one oil at the drilling point. This will help prevent the bottle from getting too hot and crack.

  • Nick May 19, 2012, 9:07 am

    You’ve got the technique down for sure. I’ve always tried to keep the right amount of pressure while drilling the bottles free hand like that. Too much and like your pictures shows, a mess. Too little and the bit could sit there for hours and almost solidifies the edges of the glass from the heat making it that much harder to get started again. The bottle string is a neat idea.

  • Carole June 15, 2012, 1:42 pm

    I was going to suggest keeping the glass wet as well. I agree, not only wear gloves, wear a mask.

  • Carole June 15, 2012, 1:43 pm

    And eye protection. 🙂

  • Lindsey July 28, 2012, 3:57 pm

    Do you have to keep the glass wet? I have red often that the glass needs to stay wet.

  • Candace August 13, 2012, 4:36 pm

    I want to put a large hole in the bottom of an old wash bowl to turn it into a vessel sink for my bathroom. Does anyone have experience with this? I’m talking about a couple of inches and of course I don’t want to crack the bowl. Thanks!

  • Witteney October 2, 2012, 9:20 pm

    I used a diamond tip 1/2# drill bit and it goes much much faster – and yes you do need to spray water on it periodically, it will get hot, especially with the diamond tip drill bit. It helps to not wear down the diamond tips also if you use water.

  • Diane Delabruere October 23, 2012, 4:35 pm

    what a nice idea! Love the bottle!

  • Nancy November 26, 2013, 10:11 am

    Well it seems that you have already received plenty of advice about using water so I am just going to say that the bottles are so pretty lit up with glitter! Can’t wait to make mine! LOVE!!

  • Terece September 4, 2014, 10:32 am

    when drilling I kept a bottle of water close by and kept the surface as wet as possible. Another hint was to use turpentine

  • Jhart November 16, 2014, 6:51 am

    using water to cool the glass off while drilling will cut down on the glass dust and burning smell

  • Trish December 4, 2014, 4:57 am

    Can’t wait to try this on some red glass bottles I scored locally! Will make a great Christmas décor! Thanks for the tipz!

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