Drill a hole i plastic ornament?

by Bonnie

I have been trying to drill a hole in the bottom of plastic ornaments to make a topariry but have been unsuccessful. Tried glue gun with no glue stick and a drill and soldering gun. Nothing works.

Getting close to the holiday.


  25 answers
  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Nov 18, 2021

    Hello. Have you tried to dremmel? Going very slow it should be able to-bore a hole for you. My unit is older, I believe they still normally have variable speeds.

  • William William on Nov 18, 2021

    You need to drill a small starter hole then switch to the drill size you want. Use a 1/8" high speed drill bit for the starter hole. Then switch to the size you want. Start drilling slow so the drill doesn't wander. You can also melt a hole using a Phillips screwdriver. Heat the screwdriver tip on a stove flame or propane torch if you have one till it turns red. Then just poke the hole. Try not to breathe any fumes.

  • Janice Janice on Nov 18, 2021

    I've used a metal skewer to make holes in plastic. Just heat the tip of the skewer very hot and poke a hole in the ornament where needed. Any other metal object as Walter suggested (screwdriver) works well too.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Nov 18, 2021

    Your issue is most likely your drill bit. Place painter's take where you want to drill and use a plastic drill bit, very small.

  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on Nov 18, 2021

    I agree with Janice, a little screw driver heated up should make your hole without breaking the ornament, it would just melt into the plastic. Otherwise I would check for a different kind of drill bit, something specific for plastic and turn your drill down as low as it will go and go very slow.

  • If you start with a very small drill bit, you should be able to make a starter hole. Another idea is to heat a metal skewer or small screwdriver and touch it to the plastic. This will melt a hole for you.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Nov 18, 2021

    I've used a red hot nail, heated over the kitchen stove flame, hold the nail with pliers or a vise grip so you won't burn your fingers, then immediately push it through the plastic. This will also work with a Phillips screwdriver. I've done this to lots of projects.

  • Chloe Crabtree Chloe Crabtree on Nov 18, 2021

    I had no problem melting the hole in the shatterproof ornaments. Perhaps you are not being patient enough or not using high temperature on your glue gun. It is not quick. You do have to be patient. Here are all of the instructions: https://celebrateanddecorate.com/diy-christmas-ornament-topiary-2/

  • Mogie Mogie on Nov 18, 2021

    If a perfect diameter hole isn't needed why not melt a hole in the ornament? Something like an electric soldering gun should work.

  • We always tap a small home first and then use a large bit once we get it going. Also, I recently received a Ryobi all in one tool that had more delicate drilling attachments and they work great for precision holes.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Nov 18, 2021

    You would need to have the right drill to go into the type of plastic you want to drill. It could be resin? Ask at DIY store . Take ornament with you.

  • Tuula - Color Me Thrifty Tuula - Color Me Thrifty on Nov 18, 2021

    I have had success starting with a very small drill bit, and working my way up in drill bit size until I get the hole I want. You can't just drill a large hole into plastic. You need to work your up.

  • Michelle Leslie Michelle Leslie on Nov 18, 2021

    Hi Bonnie, plastic can be difficult to drill because the drill bits tend to slip on the smooth surface. Start with a smaller wood or metal drill bit. They have sharp points at the end. Put a piece of masking tape over the area you want to drill to give the drill bit something to "hold" onto and press down gently but firmly. Start at a slow speed. Once the small pilot hole has gone through, switch to a bigger drill bit.

  • Bonnie Bonnie on Nov 19, 2021

    I have tried using the dreimal and standard drill with appropriate bits. But the hot nail could work, trying that next. Thanks for all of the input

  • Bonnie Bonnie on Nov 20, 2021

    I hate to admit but am going up on this project I tried all suggestions but they are not working. I really appreciate everyone input. It is great to know they are people who will respond to these die questions.

    Thanks again bonnie

  • Dee Dee on Nov 23, 2021

    It would depend on how large you want the hole. You can use a screwdriver, heat it up and melt the plastic. Or you can drill a hole.

  • Maura White Maura White on Nov 24, 2021

    I love your idea of a topiary ornament! Instead of trying to drill a hole at the bottom, could you try getting the balls that come in halves? That way you have open space to make the topiary and then just put the two side together? Check these out and see if this would work: icon icon

  • August December Home August December Home on Nov 24, 2021

    I find it easier to melt through smaller plastic items, especially thin and brittle plastic. Heat a small nail (the size of the hole you need) with a candle flame, then press the tip into the plastic, where you want your hole. Let the heat do the rest.

  • Those plastic ornaments are tricky as they crack and shatter. You could try putting a strip of painters tape on it, use a very small bit on a high speed drill and carefully go through. Then use larger bits until you reach the size you want. It’s tough though, that plastic isn’t easy.

  • It would be best to make use of a very small drill bit. Or you could try heating it up to ensure that it can create whole without breaking the ornament.

  • Deb K Deb K on Dec 12, 2021

    Hi Bonnie, hoping this helps you out with the drilling ornament problem


  • Mogie Mogie on Dec 30, 2021

    Prior to drilling a hole in the plastic, it’s recommended to clamp down the plastic material securely to a bench or solid surface. This helps make sure that the plastic object stays stationary throughout the drilling process. So, your chances of ruining the material by drilling are minimized. In addition, it is recommended that you place a spare piece of plywood underneath the plastic object. The plywood acts as a barrier and helps minimize your chances of chipping the surface on the bottom.

    In general, when drilling a large hole, a slower drill speed setting should be used. This is because high speeds can melt the plastic. Further, be sure to bring the drill bit speed setting to a lower value every time the drill bit exits the plastic material.

    It’s also considered best practice to use a lubricant when drilling for deeper holes. The lubricant aids in the removal of debris and dissipation of heat. Throughout the drilling process, you should keep a watchful eye on the area around the hole you’re making. In the event that you observe plastic shavings gumming up, you should immediately stop drilling, let plastic cool, clear out the hole, and then resume drilling.

    Finally, you also need to bear in mind that plastic materials undergo expansions and contractions with fluctuations in temperature. So, you want to make sure that your drilled hole is slightly larger than required. Doing so will allow screws placed in those holes to move freely without exerting unnecessary stress on the plastic material.

  • Get a metal skewer or nail and hold it in a candle flame. Use pliers - it will get hot. Use it to melt a hole in the plastic.