DIY Bathroom Sink from Vintage Bowl
In the middle of my small guest bathroom makeover, I decided to go for the custom vanity from a washstand. Naturally, that meant I needed a bathroom sink to match. Historically speaking, washstands would have had a water pitcher and bowl atop. And here enters the bathroom sink from a vintage bowl epiphany.
A DIY Sink Perfect for a Small Bathroom
It feels like every DIY project requires a heavy bit of problem-solving. Like the fact that this washstand is only 17″ deep. There are very few vessel sinks that will fit a countertop that is that shallow. Not to mention the cost.
You would think a small porcelain sink would be less expensive, but you’d be wrong. But I purchased the least expensive one I could find that would fit for $60 used on Amazon.
I had full intentions of using that sink until I was walking through a thrift store and happened upon this beautiful bowl, a vintage bowl for a mere $8. And like every true DIYer I thought to myself, “Why not make my own sink?”
Smaller Bathroom Statement Piece
In small bathrooms, you kind of have to be really careful about how much you add as far as statement pieces, colors, and patterns. It’s really easy to actually make them feel smaller.
And that is one thing I have struggled with in this bathroom design. I tend to be on the extra side of things. And then I hate it when I’m done because my tastes are actually more neutral.
That’s what happens when you try to push yourself to try things. You follow what you believe is a good idea and sometimes it doesn’t turn out as you hope. But I know I’ve struck gold this time!
Watch this on Youtube:
What Can I Use For a Vessel Sink?
A vessel sink can be made of practically any material with a few simple steps. Popular options are fired ceramic, glass, stainless steel, stone, copper, or marble.
Other Unique Sink Ideas for a DIY Bathroom Vanity
- Metal Bowl – Vintage pot, Bucket, Wash Basin, Stainless Steel Mixing bowl
- Antique Dough Bowl or other Wooden Bowl
- Glass Bowl – Milk Glass Mixing Bowl, Pyrex, etc.
- Vintage Pottery – Salt Glaze Bowl, etc.
- Copper Bowl (Copper Sinks are beautiful)
- DIY Concrete Sink (Which would require some type of sink mold)
There’s a first time for everything and I will be honest that I have never drilled a hole with a diamond hole saw to create a bowl sink. But I have used diamond drill bits to make holes in glass. So, I was somewhat familiar with the process.
Two great things about this entire project are its simplicity and speed, it literally took me five minutes. The best thing about this whole project was the total cost, which was $24 total, $8 for the bowl, and $16 for the bit.
- Diamond Hole Saw Bit (the size of your sink drain)
- Drill (Not an impact driver)
- Vintage Bowl
- Pencil or Marker
- Measuring Tape
- Guide Jig – I didn’t use this, but wish I had.
Step One – Measuring to Mark the Center
Initially, I tried marking the middle of the bowl inside but quickly learned drilling a hole that way was not the easiest. So I flipped the bowl upside down, measured that, and marked dead center.
- Turn the bowl upside down.
- Measure the total width of the bottom.
- Mark the center with a pencil or marker.
Note: If I had been smarter and thought this through a bit more I would have created a guide jig from the bottom of the bowl and drilled a hole in the center to keep my drill bit steady during the drilling.
Step Two – Drilling the Hole for the Sink Drain
This part was a hair trickier and was definitely made easier with a second pair of hands. However, I didn’t have any guide jig to keep my drill bit from moving around while I was drilling. If I had made or purchased a guide jig I could have easily done this myself.
- Add some cold water to where you’ll be drilling.
- Put your guide in the center.
- Applying a small amount of pressure, start your drill.
- The bit may slip because wet porcelain is slippery. Do your best to keep it steady. Or stop and readjust it.
- When the water gets cloudy (the porcelain dust will cloud the water) dump it out and add fresh cold water so you can see. You may have to do this 2-3 times.
- Then you will feel the porcelain layers breaking down.
- Don’t push down, let the drill bit do the work. Just hold it in place. Applying pressure once it’s gripped the porcelain could chip the bowl as it comes through the top.
- Slow and steady wins the race.
Note: Measure your sink drain at the largest point that will pass through your bowl into your vanity to ensure you purchase the correct hole saw size.
Troubleshoot: Mine was slightly too small, if this happens to you don’t worry you can easily use the hole saw drill bit to sand the inner circle of the hole down. This will slowly make the hole larger. Simply run water and slowly go in a circular motion applying pressure on the edge while you circle.
Thank you so much for stopping by! This project is so simple, but can really pack a lot of punch when you’re talking about adding character to an otherwise boring space. Anytime you can customize your space, take the opportunity!
Meet the Author
Hi, I’m Julie! Mother to five beautiful kids, Homeschool Educator, Writer, Handicraft & DIY Enthusiast, Photographer, Thrifter, and Furniture Restorer. Follow along for fun DIY projects creating a handmade home on a budget! Read more about me here→
This is the coolest! I’m so inspired for when we decide to re-do our bathroom.
Yay! I agree, it’s pretty cool.
Bowls used as sinks is probably at least in my top 5 decorating ideas. I really want to put in a nice bowl when we renovate the bathroom and now it might be DIYable, thanks!
Definitely DIYable! I love how adaptable it is to your taste as well. 100% personalized and unique. You’re welcome!
I’ve been loving on the idea of turning a bowl (antique or otherwise) into a bathroom sink. I think I’m going to do it in my new place 😉 Thanks for providing so much valuable information on this project. I’ll definitely be referring back to it when it’s time for me to get started.
You’re very welcome! It was such a simple project. I can’t believe I was nervous at all about it. I hope you do it, it’s a really fun addition to my bathroom.
This is so creative! I love the vintage look!
Thank you very much! I appreciate that.
Bowl won’t drain properly. Too flat bottomed.
It actually works fairly well, thanks!
I just discovered this today as I was walking through a thrift store wondering how I would drop a hole in the bottom of a glass bowl 😂 but I watched your whole video and fell like we love double lives. I homeschool 3 kids and do any and all home projects, learning lots of new stuff along the way. In fact, I’m about to install wallpaper for the first time. Thank you for your video and insight! I might be installing a glass bowl for a sink on our back patio now!
Oh that is so much fun! I’m so glad you found me… we homeschool moms are definitely out there being crafty and creatively solving problems lol. I love it! You’re welcome, I’m so glad it could be helpful to you and I hope you LOVE your glass bowl sink.