Glass blocks can be made into beautiful Christmas decorations. This is a guide about glass block Christmas decorations.
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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.
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.
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
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Here are questions related to Glass Block Christmas Decoration.
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
By Tammy (Guest Post)01/09/2009
Hobby Lobby sells these blocks with holes already in for $9.99 each.
How do I make glass blocks with lights in them?
By Mary from Toronto, ON, Canada
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
By Karen 12/24/2011
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?
By leslie 12/21/2011
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.
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 you frost glass blocks for crafts? I want to give one to my new sister-in-law for Christmas.
By Sue from Barnesville, OH
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By Terry from Seguin, TX