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I have 300+ glass blocks in my yard and have seen the posts for the beautiful lit blocks for Christmas and other holidays. I understand how to drill the hole but how do I get graphics (pictures) on the front? Can you print something from the computer and glue it on? Paint it on? Can anyone help? Thanks!
Carol from Huntington Beach, CA
Editor's Note: There is a great deal of information in the following article, including attaching pictures to the blocks.
I absolutely love making these glass blocks. You can put an image on in several ways. You can paint right on the glass using glass paints or you can do what I did which was to print off a picture on a piece of label paper and put it on the glass. You can also print on regular paper and use a spray adhesive to apply it. I like to seal my pictures with a clear acrylic spray sealer. You can use glossy finishes or matte finishes which can make the glass blocks look frosted. I made a bunch for christmas gifts one year and had a holiday scene on one side and an every day scene on another. If you are giving them away and not selling them, you can use copies of pictures from greeting cards or magazines, just be careful about copyright issues if you start selling them. They also are great for family photos...the possibilities are endless.
I am looking into using the craft glass blocks with the opening, as a memorial to a couple of our pets that we lost. I would love to be able to put a picture of the pet on the outside. I don't want it lit, as I am going to being the pets ashes in the opening. (Yes, the ashes will stay in the bags they are in.) Then I was thinking of putting their collar around the block and have their ID tags hang over the picture. How do I attach the picture?
Use a clear glue. If the blocks are clear, could you put the picture on the inside facing out?
I'm sorry for your loss. Your memorial sounds nice. I would be concerned with sealing the photograph to protect it from dust, and moisture.
One way you could go is to have the photograph laminated. Most office supply stores will do this for you for a nominal fee. It coats both sides of the photo and seals it. It doesnt cloud or interfere with photo quality at all. Then you could affix the photo to the block with strong glue or clear silicone chaulking.
I would choose to encase the photo to the block with a two step sealer like Envirotex. It provides adhesion, it seals the photo to the block and makes it waterproof. It would be a more professional finish and possibly last longer. The sealer provides a layer equivical to more than 50 coats of vanish. You only mix the amount you need, so it will do several projects. You simply mix the two liquids and pour it over the project. It coats thoroughly, and has a shiny thick finish. ( The product is often used on tabletops or bartops ) Michaels carries the product and you can use a 40% off weekly coupon making the price
less than ten dollars.
Hope this is helpful. Good luck with your project.
Would decopage work? I think varnish is the only thing required but youtube can certainly provide specifics. Your plans sound nice.
If there is room on the inside for the ashes and a photo I believe this would work and seal better but if you are going to place them outside in the weather then I'm not sure that varnish would work but a sort of decoupage treatment might seal good enough for a few years (just save copies of photos in case you have to replace them later).
Many decoupage teachers (myself also) will say (for putting on glass) to copy your photos on regular printer paper (not photo paper), then apply an ink fixative (found at craft stores), so the ink will not smear and let it dry thoroughly. Cut photo to size and then put a layer of mod podge on back side and apply photo to glass very slowly and when in place, press firmly and rub with a soft cloth (or tool) to remove any bubbles or spaces. Let this dry (patience) and put a layer of mod podge on the top side. You can repeat, but let completely dry in between coats.
Mod podge is great for this type of thing but here is a link in case you are familiar with using it:
I forgot to mention the collar and ID. That sounds like a neat idea but it will have to withstand the weather also. Maybe leather treatment and laminate the ID and good glue would work for those.
Sounds like you have been fortunate to have pets to love and now cherish their memories. I'm with you on this - great idea!
Could someone tell me how to place pictures on or inside glass blocks?. Do you glue them? How do you keep from damaging your pics on the outside of the glass blocks, for cleaning purposes on these glass blocks, wear and tear, or whatever may come up? Any advise would be great. Thank you.
By crafty pumpkin
There is a decoupage specifically for photo's and then there is a sealant you would use after that dries. When in doubt, make a copy of your picture first and use that to see your final results this way you won't mess up the original. I have done this many times and have never had any problems. I just did this bout 3 yrs ago of my beloved furbaby I had to have put to sleep and had him cremated and made a wooden "chest" box with his pictures on the outside! They turned out wonderful.
I am looking for large decals that are used on glass blocks. I've seen a large Santa face, a cowboy boot, and others. Can anyone tell me where to purchase these decals? Thanks.
By Sandi from Hercules, CA
How do I put photographs on glass blocks? I would like to do this as gifts for family this year.
By KIA730 from Goshen, IN
There's a great website call thistothat.com that tells your how to glue one material to another. It has drop down menus that you select the one material, then another drop down for the second.
It's just fun to play around with too :) -Leslie
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I am trying to locate a place I can purchase a 6x6 cut out monogram letter decal to put on glass blocks. Can anyone help me out?
By L. from TX
(I found this online.) There are several good ways to do it. I actually drill a hole in the end of them and put the clear mini lights inside (don't know if you do or not). On the outside, I have used stickers, rub-ons or whatever. You can also print some great art or pictures, sayings, etc. off your computer onto clear transparency sheets and then decoupage them onto the sides.
I have also seen fabric modge-podged on the sides. Anything you can dream up, you can use on these. They are so very versatile. I have several that a friend made that plug in outside and are on my steps that are Halloween style. She used only the orange colored lights in them and they are great. You could change the color of the lights for each season! Good luck. (12/13/2009)
I've seen the glass blocks at arts and crafts shows and was wondering where do they get all the different pictures for the front of them? I've seen ones with dogs and even cartoon characters on them. Does anyone know?
By Katwalker from Ripley, TN
Most are hand painted or use decals of some sort that have a tolerance for heat if the end product is lit up.
Vellum paper would work well. It is found in any craft store, and though most have a simple "background" design, you will find some with animals, baby motifs, etc. (04/23/2009)
I have printed on window decal computer film from"Invent It" brand. They are self adhesive and worked well. I bought them in Target in the computer paper section. I have also painted on the blocks and used modge podge to decoupage on napkin or Vellum paper designs. The web address for Invent It is:
Hope this helps you. Donna (04/27/2009)
My blocks have rub-on patterns on them. You can find them at a craft store. You need to make sure you put them on right and hard. Then put ribbon around it and maybe a bow depending on size and bow. Really you can decorate it with a lot of different things. (05/02/2009)
By Teresa Kay
Can I use decals or static clings to decorate glass blocks? I am not sure if the lights will be too hot for the vinyl.
debtchr from Hilliard, Ohio
I would. The mini-lights don't get hot enough to damage either the decal or decal clings. (12/05/2008)
If you used low temp LED lights or Christmas bulbs in them and not larger incandescent bulbs, then I'd think you wouldn't have to worry about it.
You also have another way you can go about it. You can use decals that are made for ceramics. They are supposed to be fired into and under the glaze at around 1200 degrees or thereabouts. They are applied with no glue, only water and a squeegee to remove any bubbles. What seals them onto the piece is the kiln firing. You could do a test and try baking one of these ceramic decals on to a glass block in your oven turned up to 500 or as high as it would go for several hours.
Or even better yet, If you know a glass artist that does slumped glass they may be able to fire these decals on to your glass blocks for a price. Also there are many ceramic or pottery studios that can also fire them for you as well as some community colleges. But you really need to use someone who knows glass slumping. You only need to go up to cone 023 and no higher than cone 018. (12/07/2008)