Glass blocks can be made into beautiful Christmas decorations. This is a guide about glass block Christmas decorations.
I have to tell you all that I have tried many different things and settled on the following because they look the best. First, I bought my blocks at Lowe's for about $4.25 a block. I bought them in cases of 8. Next, I purchased a diamond core drill bit online from a company called McGills for $15 (just Google diamond core drill bits).
I used a drill press at a slow pace. It took about 4 to 5 minutes a block. I also used a diamond bit lubricant that I sprayed on with a small spray bottle. Just a little bit will do it.
I then tried different alternatives with the lights. For outside light boxes, which I use as luminarias, set upright, I used regular mini sets of 50 that I bought for $.99. I tied the bows around the sides so the lights only show through the front and back. I sprayed both sides with frosted spray from Lowe's, by Rustoleum, a couple of coats and then set them at intervals down the driveway. Very nice effect.
For indoor ones, I used LED mini lights that I got from a friend who does that for a living, so it gave me a price break. I used pre-tied bows from Lowe's that were $1.99 each. That sort of offsets the LED lights' price. LEDs do not get warm and they use 80% less energy. I would look online for these. I also sprayed these with frosted spray. Oh yes, I forgot I bought some opaque glass spray paint in blue and green to spray stenciled phrases like, "Peace on Earth", etc. on the fronts of the frosted glass block, that I used for the luminarias.
Wash and dry outside of glass block. (I also wipe the block with rubbing alcohol to remove oils, etc.). When block is clean and dry, use a strip of masking tape to cover the plastic "plug", Place plug in hole of glass block.
I just made these blocks, I used a RotoZip tool with a masonry bit (used for tile work) to drill the hole. It was fast and easy, about 5 minutes. I stand my blocks on end, drilling on the side for the hole.
Regarding the dust that falls inside the block while drilling, I used the hose attachment on my vacuum cleaner to suck out the dust, that also works great.
The lights I used were the mini 20 set with only a plug on one end, they are not the end to end type of light, that way all the lights fit inside with the cord and plug hanging out.
I tie a bow on the front of my block and also attach 2 smaller round Christmas ornaments for a little extra flair. These make beautiful gifts.
I am very interested in making the Christmas decorations out of the glass blocks. Not sure I can cut the hole in them. I did find a place that will do it for $5.00 each. Do you think that is a fair price? I think it sounds a little high. Don't really want to make them to sell, just use them as gifts for the girls I work with and maybe some other friends.
Ruth from Tennessee
I think the stores are on to this need to make gifts out of glass blocks.
Hobby Lobby sells the blocks with the holes already cut out and they supply a stopper ( like a piggy bank) to boot.
Hobby Lobby sells these blocks with holes already in for $9.99 each.
How do I get the lights to stay up in the glass without falling to the middle of the block? I tried glue and tape, but it didn't work. Any ideas, please?
Try using a small piece of cardboard, cutting a slit and putting your 'light' wire threw it. Hope this helps the card board should be about the size of the glass. Good luck
How do I make glass blocks with lights in them?
By Mary from Toronto, ON, Canada
I make these, and go to a block company, where they will drill a hole in the back/side wherever. Some that I recently bought have a large hole and a stopper that will also serve as a bank. I than decorate with ribbon, and on a baby gift recently (for a night light) purchased a $1 teddy bear and put it on top as well. Hope this helps.
I bought my glass block @ AC Moore :-) Question- how many lights can you have on a strand of lights without it becoming hazardous?
I am making glass blocks for gifts. After putting in glue and glitter, my husband inserted the lights. While doing this, a lot of glitter came off. What did I do wrong?
By Mrs H J Beers
Glitter just plain has a tendency to occasionally fall off and be rubbed off. The only time I haven't had this happen, is when I buy fabric that already has the glitter on it.
Hi, Try drilling the hole first. Then decorate the outside. When done spray with some kind of glaze sealent. That should help keep the glitter on the block.
I was given a beautiful glass block decoration, but how do you change the lights when they go out?
If it is what I am thinking of, there should be an opening on the bottom or on the back where a light cord with a small bulb goes in or else a string of Christmas lights. You should be able to pull this out and replace the bulb or string of lights.
Yes, you should be able to remove the strand of burnt out lights. Needle nose pliers make the job a breeze. Then replace with a similar size string of new lights.
When making glass block lights, I remove the icky wax-like substance by using a 4 inch razor blade in a "safety scraper". You can purchase this item and the refill blades for a low cost, along with the glass blocks at places like Lowe's. I can clean up to 3 large blocks per blade. Just be sure to do this in a safe and comfortable way.
I place a block on an old newspaper (several layers thick) on my coffee table. It is the right height for me and I am sitting. Always scrape AWAY from your body and keep your non-scraping hand on the 'side" of the block. Scraping the block is a very quick process and makes the blocks much prettier. I then do a quick scrub with hot water and a Brillo pad to remove any left over residue. Then drill! Rinse thoroughly and dry.
I have tried various chemicals and found I was allergic to them. I have bad arthritis in both of my hands and they can be a bit sore after 8 - 10 blocks, but it is well worth the effort. I have found that friends and family really like these with the clean look.
I also have found through the internet 35 count lights 3 inches apart on white cord with female plug. It looks much prettier than double plugs and ugly green wire. I got the lights from the "Christmas Light Source" in Fort Worth, TX. It is really great to have the lights only 3 inches apart, and to be able to order white wire. I was able to get a great price by ordering by the case, 24 sets.
By preheat350 from Seattle, WA
Decorate your glass blocks with polymer clay - You can bake them in the oven (drill holes first) at 260-265 degrees F for 20-25 minutes and the clay sticks to the block.
How do you frost glass blocks for crafts? I want to give one to my new sister-in-law for Christmas.
By Sue from Barnesville, OH
I am making a lamp and need to know what you put on a glass block so that the x-mas lights won't show through. I am going to put some stickers on the outside, but they won't be enough.
By Terry from Seguin, TX
The ones that I have seen only have a design on the front, either painted or decals or rub-ons. Then the people put a ribbon of the proper width all the way around the sides of the block. (10/10/2010)
To add glitz and hide bulbs, I put in foily-type shiny tinsel! It reflects light and looks great! (10/14/2010)
Just found the site, these are great tips. I found glass block at Menards with a nice cutout on one end. It has a variety of 'plugs' that allow for different types of inserts, from light cords and money banks to a large opening for flowers and such. They cost a little more at $6.99, are probably only around for the holidays too. However, if you're just making one or a few and don't want to invest in a special drill bit it's another option. Thanks. (11/13/2010)
To dry the inside of your block after washing out the glass dust, rinse with water and shake out as much as you can. Then turn upside down on your floor vent register overnight. The furnace air will blow it dry overnight! You can also do this with air conditioning or just the fan to furnace running. (11/18/2010)
My wife wanted 10, so I purchased a 1/2" glass drill bit. I used a bucket and filled it with water just over the top of the brick. The brick actually floats, so you hold down the brick and then drill. The drill is cooled by the water and the brick does not overheat/crack. I did about 12 with the same drill bit. It was starting to get a little dull towards the end. The only thing to remember is don't submerge the drill itself in the water. You can usually tell when you are starting to break through the brick. (11/26/2010)
I use the frost spray paint, or Armour Etching cream. I'm finding that 35 lights isn't enough, so I have recently switched to 50. You can't use sealer on top of the frost, or the etching cream, it makes the glass see through again. I also use rub ons, and my all time favorite, window clings. I cut the clings out of the plastic that surrounds it, so that it's just the image. I use spray adhesive to permanently adhere it to the block. They are selling really well. (11/30/2010)
I need some step by step instructions on how to make a Christmas glass brick.
By Kristy from TX
Read the archives below my post here and below the "submit feedback box" cause there are oddles of instructions, ideas, and photos. (12/14/2009)
I just started this for this season. I have enjoyed it! My family and friends are loving them! I have been picking up floral sprays and other "trinkets" to "bling" the blocks! I did some for my kids' teachers, so that they could use them all year long. They are ecstatic with them! (12/28/2009)