Wondering how to drill a hole in a ceramic pot? It’s a great trick to know when you find the perfect pot, but it doesn’t have a drainage hole and you want to use it for a plant that requires good drainage. And it’s not nearly as hard as you’d think!
Quick tip: How to Drill a Hole in a Ceramic Pot
Alright guys, time for a quick tip post! I really need to do more of these, especially since I have so much less time on my hands these days. Quarantine killing anyone else? Trying to work my day job with my toddler at home is hard, man. I am really missing DIY.
Anyway, I thought this would be a great quick tip to share, especially because a lot of my plant content is really picking up. It usually does in the spring and summer, but this year is pretty bonkers. Kind of wondering if many of you are going mad indoors and are turning in to plant people. 🙂 If so, welcome to the plant life!
For Mother’s Day, I treated myself to a few plant orders online that will be coming soon. All three are smaller succulents, so I am excited to get one of them in this pot. I got this pot for $3 at target a while ago.
I had a donkey tail succulent in it, but I recently repotted that to a hanging planter. So I decided to try my hand at drilling a hole in a ceramic pot on this little guy. I figured, why not? If I break it, at least it was only 3 bucks.
So here’s what I used:
And here’s how to drill a hole in a ceramic pot.
Step 1: Find a masonry bit
We used a masonry bit to drill our hole. At first we thought we were going to use a bit for tile, but my dad couldn’t find his, so we opted for a masonry bit. Masonry bits are designed specifically for brick, stone, concrete, and similar materials.
This kind of bit can be used with a regular power drill. We used it on a battery-powered cordless drill—we didn’t need a hammer or corded drill. The masonry bit is different from the regular drill bit your drill came with. Its tip is larger than the bit’s shaft, and when you drill slower with moderate pressure, this helps prevent cracking.
You can buy a masonry bit for just a few bucks at your local hardware store or on Amazon. It isn’t a huge investment, but since I didn’t know how often I’d be using a masonry bit, I asked my dad if he had one we could use. Highly recommend phoning a friend or asking a handy neighbor for assistance so you don’t have to buy things you don’t need—most handy people are more than willing to share!
Step 2: Drill your hole!
Pop your masonry drill bit on to your drill and secure it in place. Make sure you add eye protection, too—you don’t want to mess with flying shrapnel! I flipped my pot upside down and placed the tip of the drill bit in the center of the pot. Then we applied moderate pressure while drilling down into the ceramic pot with a slow to moderate speed.
If your pot is quite thick, make sure to blow off the ceramic dust as it piles up. My pot was pretty thin, so we were able to easily drill through it in one go. It took only about 10 seconds total.
Like this? Check out my tips about how to build drainage into planters that don’t have drainage holes, how to plant succulents in pots without drainage holes, and how to seal drainage holes in pots. I’ve got it all! Also check out a roundup of my best DIY planters.
And here’s the finished hole! You can see just a bit of cracking on the surface on the underside. That is, the side the bit broke through on. So just keep that in mind for your project. It isn’t terribly noticeable, though.
And here’s my lovely new succulent planted in it! What do you think? Simple as that, and perfect for a succulent that loves good drainage. If you want a bigger hole, just use a larger drill bit. Or you can drill multiple smaller holes.
If you do that, just make sure the aren’t too close to one another. This could result in the ceramic cracking and potentially breaking out the bottom of the planter.
Can you drill a hole in a ceramic pot with a regular drill bit?
It’s possible to drill a hole in a ceramic pot with a regular drill bit. However, using a regular bit on unglazed ceramic is much easier. Glazed ceramic, which is what most store-bought pots are, will make it hard for the bit to “grab on” to the pot to start drilling the hole.
Additionally, even if you can get through the exterior, if you use a regular drill bit on a ceramic pot you run a greater risk of cracking the pot. The hole could also be a bit rougher looking, which isn’t really a concern for a drainage hole I suppose.
However, the better bits are so cheap, so why not use one? If you don’t want to invest in one, ask a handy friend or family member. However, I have so many plants that I have definitely gotten my money’s worth out of the drill bit I bought for ceramic!