Drilling Glass & Stone: The Next Level
Designing with drilled pieces
So, the drill is warmed up and you’ve been making holes in everything from stones to cabs to glass nuggets and the like. Maybe you’ve even tackled metals and driftwood and whatever else you can get your bit onto. But now… what do we do with all these things? Here’s what I’m doing with mine… perhaps you’d like to try it yourself!
Stones with character
Beach stones or river pebbles with holes are magnificent! They have tons of potential! But they’re common...and here’s an idea to make your unique. How about adding some design to it…
Setting an eyelet
If you’ve used a 2.5 drill bit then you can set an eyelet in the hole easily. I’ve used store bought eyelets because they’re pre-made in a variety of finishes and colors, and they’re all a standard size which makes them easy to work with. I buy them in assortments and then keep them in a divided case so the colors stay separated.
Check the eyelet in the hole prior to gluing to make sure the fit is right. If the eyelet is snug, then go back and drill your hole a bit more to make it a tiny bit larger. Then use a tooth pick to put a small amount of gel superglue into the hole. Fit the eyelet into place and set aside until its attached. Now flip your stone over. You will want to attach an eyelet to the other side as well. If you can’t push the second eyelet all the way in, then you have to use your drill again. This time put on a grinding bit. It’s the one that looks like sandpaper. Using a thin piece of cardboard, punch a hole with a pencil tip and then insert your eyelet through it. Place the cardboard on the table so that the eyelet face is down, and now you’re able to hold onto the cardboard instead of the eyelet while you drill. No hurt fingers! Drill the back of the eyelet down until it fits correctly into the hole of the stone. Then glue it in the same way you did the first eyelet. You can even do two different colors for eyelets, one for the front and one for the back. Make sure you don’t have any gel glue residue inside the hole when you’re done. Use a toothpick to gather up the extra glue. Let your eyelets set completely.
Designing a pattern
I’ve used a core drill bit to make these donut shaped designs on the stone, but you can use any drill bit to make patterns or carve away at the stone face. Make holes, textures or any other pattern that suits your fancy. Drill part way into the stone to make a relief pattern. You can do the front and back of the stone so the pendant will be two sided.
Embed a gem
Drill a hole into the stone that only goes down about half way, so that you can set a pointy back crystal, bead or other component into it. Keep testing your crystal to see how low you have to drill. Then use a tiny amount of gel superglue on the tip of a toothpick to coat the inside of the hole. When you put the crystal in make sure it is resting evenly in the hole. Let the glue set completely before working the pendant into a finished design.
Drilling glass pieces
Get out your diamond glaze! Once you’ve drilled a hole through a piece of glass, its ready for an image. Spray your image with Krylon spray to make sure the inks on the paper don’t run, and when its dry you’re ready to put it onto your image. Use a small paint brush to coat a smooth and even coat of diamond glaze onto the back of the glass. When this is dry, paint the back side with diamond glaze again and put a second image on. This way you’ll see an image from the front, but the back will also be beautiful. Let it dry, and then give it one more coat with diamond glaze to seal it. Trim the excess paper off from around the back of the pendant. Poke the hole through the paper so that the pendant is string-able again. At this point you can set an eyelet into the hole if you wish.
These pretty blobs of glass come in a variety of colors. You can hold them on top of images to see how it will look when made into a pendant, and the image will be magnified when viewed from the front. Always drill the glass stone prior to attaching an image to make sure all goes well. If your glass breaks or cracks then your image will be safe.
Drilled stone buttons are amazing! They make great closures and can work well in garments and can adorn purses, pillows and anything else you can think of. Or, two holed stones have great potential with jewelry. Link them or use them to dangle drops. Beautiful!
Once you’re holding a drill you become empowered! There’s so much you can do with it. Have fun making holes! :-)
“At one time I was scared to death of my drill. It sat in my case for two years before I had the courage to take it out and use it. Now I look back on all the time I wasted when I could have been drilling!” ~ Joliette Marchante