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.

Finished drilling a hole in the center of a vintage bowl to create a unique bathroom sink.

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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!

Drill and diamond drill hole saw bit attached from amazon, Drillax.
“DIY Bathroom Sink from Vintage Bowl” – A diamond-tipped hole saw bit attached to my Ryobi Drill.

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)

Supplies

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.

A drilled hole in the center of a vintage wash bowl as it is turned into a bathroom sink. My ryobi drill with a diamond-tipped-drill bit attached. I drilled the hole in my kitchen sink with the sink upside down for ease and clean up.
“DIY Bathroom Sink from Vintage Bowl” – I did this project in my kitchen sink. Because you have to use water when drilling with a diamond-tipped drill bit so it doesn’t overheat. The water also helps trap the fine dust from the porcelain.

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.

  1. Turn the bowl upside down.
  2. Measure the total width of the bottom.
  3. 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.

Vintage bowl turned bathroom sink upside down. Drill the hole from the underside for the easiest process.
“DIY Bathroom Sink from Vintage Bowl” – It was much easier to drill the hole from the bottom.

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.

  1. Add some cold water to where you’ll be drilling.
  2. Put your guide in the center.
  3. Applying a small amount of pressure, start your drill.
  4. The bit may slip because wet porcelain is slippery. Do your best to keep it steady. Or stop and readjust it.
  5. 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.
  6. Then you will feel the porcelain layers breaking down.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

Hole drilled in the vintage bowl turned sink now right side up after the hole had been drilled all the way through using a drill and diamond-tipped hole saw.
“DIY Bathroom Sink from Vintage Bowl” – The hole successfully drilled through the porcelain wash bowl.

FAQ

You will need a diamond drill bit, or diamond hole saw depending on the size of the hole you need.

The process is simple, just make sure you use water while drilling. The water keeps the bit from overheating and contains the dust so you aren’t breathing it in.

Use a diamond drill bit or hole saw and water to make a hole in ceramic.

Hold it in place while drilling and allow the drill bit to do all the work. Don’t apply pressure once the bit has gripped the surface.

The best option to drill through porcelain is using a diamond-tipped drill bit or hole saw. Diamond-tipped bits are extremely durable and can bore through even the hardest tile surfaces, such as porcelain.

Yes. You will need to measure the width of your sink drain and use an appropriate drill bit. For wood and metal purchase an appropriate hole saw for those materials. For glass, porcelain, or ceramic you will use a diamond-tipped hole saw.

  1. Choose your vessel: A bowl-shaped object of varying materials like wood, metal, glass, porcelain, or ceramic.
  2. Purchase an appropriate hole saw for the material you’re using in the size of your sink drain pipe.
  3. Drill the hole using a hole saw.
  4. Install your drain pipe and sink.

Absolutely. You would need to purchase and use a hole saw appropriate for drilling through metal to make the hole for the sink drain. However, Galvanized buckets are cheap, durable, rust resistant, and can even be used as a sink.


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!

Sincerely,

Julie

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→

12 Comments

  1. 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!

  2. 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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.

    1. 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.

  3. 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 ๐Ÿ˜‚ 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!

    1. 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.

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