When rummaging in the charity shops, I notice lots of china, porcelain and patterned crockery. I am a bit of a magpie when it comes to china cups, especially ones with ditsy floral patterns. Sometimes I like to upcycle any odd china sets that I have into something new. In this post, I will share how to drill through ceramic or china to create a clock.
While I love to collect pretty china, I cannot always use it for its intended purpose. Sometimes I like to upcycle any odd sets that I have into something new. In this post, I will share how to drill through ceramic or china to create a clock.
Mismatched china can look beautiful together when styled for a vintage tea party. This project is more advanced, but do not be put off by cutting through tile or china, as you can always get someone to help you drill through the plate.
** This post contains some affiliate links and was updated in May 2021
What you will need to drill through ceramic and create your very own DIY plate clock
- A drill and an 8 mm tile and glass drill bit, and you can also use a diamond tip drill bit.
- A vintage plate.
- A clock making kit and a battery. You can get clock making kits cheaply online and in some local craft stores.
- Safety goggles.
- Masking tape.
- A cup of water.
- A plate stand ( optional).
When choosing a plate, keep in mind that the thinner the base, the easier it is to drill through. However, thin plates can crack easily, so take your time when drilling the hole in the ceramic.
When drilling through a tile or ceramic, the key is keeping the drill bit cool and lubricated. So, pausing every few seconds to cool down the tip of the drill bit will prevent the china from overheating and cracking.
Begin by placing two pieces of masking tape to the centre of the china plate, as this helps stop the china from cracking.
Measure the plate to find the centre and mark it with a pen.
Load your drill with an 8mm tile drill bit and slowly drill a hole in the centre of the plate. Apply a small amount of pressure, but let the drill do the work, and it is best to go slow.
Make sure to stop every few seconds and dip the tip of the drill bit in your cup of water. You can also add some water to the centre of your plate.
Be patient when drilling through china plates
It can take a few minutes to drill through china, as it isn’t as quick as drilling through wood, but I promise your patience will pay off. To build confidence, I recommend doing a trial run on a broken piece of china before drilling your final project.
Once you have successfully drilled the hole, you can assemble your clock kit and create the clock. Most clock kits will come with detailed instructions in the pack.
I found my kit easy enough to put together. My tip would be to be gentle with the clock hands, as they can be delicate and bend easily. Once you pop the battery in the back, your clock should start working.
You can add a hook to the back to hand on a wall or use a plate stand. I love the plate stands, as I feel the plate stands are more secure. You can display your clock on a mantle, on a bookshelf or in the kitchen. Anywhere that you can show people and say, “look, I made this!”
If you would like a better look at how I created this clock from a china plate, check out the YouTube video below. Sometimes watching a video gives you a better understanding of how to do something. I know I prefer watching videos when learning to do something new.
Please share this post on your social media if you found it helpful, and thank you for reading. Chat soon, Catherine.