This is one of my first ones. I have made prettier ones since then but these are the only pics I have uploaded.
Very nice! I wanted to do these for my neighborhood craft party but my gals probably wouldn't want to do the 'drilling' thru glass. I checked the web and there are acrylic glass blocks-seems they'd be alot easier to work with, so I may go that route. Nice job!
Oh I love this idea....these would be great as my next PTA Christmas party centerpeices! They call on me every year to so something for their tables. I love this idea! Thanks for the pictures, I have to see something to get it!
The one I saw was standing up on edge. The indention from the side part makes a nice place for the wire to come out of the hole in the block to be pluged in. The lights inside will get warm, but that should not be a problem. I didn't plan on glueing the ribbon, just tie it like this plus sign + and then put the bow where the ribbons cross. The light shines through the ribbon as well as the glass. I think the white wires will show less than the green ones.
Connie, thank you for the pictures. I tried searching for pictures, but I just don't have your talent! I didn't come up with any on my own.
I'm glad you guys like it! I still hope to find someone who has done it and knows if there is anything in particular that I need to know about stuffing the lights into the blocks. I also wonder if I need 35 or 50 lights on a string. I have square blocks and they are 7 or 8 inches square. I plan on doing it stanting up, because it takes less space and is a little more visable.
WOW !!! I love that !!! Great Idea !!!
You did a great job on the glass light block. It's very pretty. A few years back on the Carol Duval show she had a segment where a crafter did these and put pics on the blocks. Here is the link.
Beautiful job! have seem lots of these with pictures, some painted by hand, all very nice ways to decorate the blocks.
I also do glass block lights. I use alot of printer ink though! lol
Since I can't paint a straight line, I put graphics of all sorts on them. and I also do the plain gift looking ones with just lights and bows.
My darling hubby drills the holesand yes they are a little tricky. the trick he has found is just to drill a little at a time take a couple minute break and back to it...lol otherwise you take the chance of the block cracking.
I have gone also to a diferent level with these. At my shows, I take my laptop, printer/scanner with me and we also put family portraits, etc on the blocks. Those are selling like crazy!
Good luck on your blocks!
I am going to try and post a couple here, see if the links work for you to see......
Your blocks are beautiful. Some of them look like you might have painted the edges gold--or is that just the camera making it look that way.
You sure have a nice variety of graphics and bows--something for everyone. Great job.
Thanks so much Luvs....No I don't paint them, it is just the light peeking through and the camera I'm sure
can i ask where do you get your blocks and how much do you pay for them...
I usually get mine at Home Depot or Lowe's--They are about $3.00 each here. The thinner size is almost $4.00 each
I love the glass block lights.
I have looked at the HGTV site, but without actually
doing projects or watching someone else do them, I'm
When drilling the holes, how large does it have to be?
Would a battery operated tea light be able to fit through
And how long does it take to drill the hole? Are the edges
sharp so someone would cut themselves?
How about the acrylic blocks? Can the holes be cut easier,
Thanks for your replies.
I love these lights. I've seen them painted , stencilled,decoupaged - but I love your graphics the most. I'd love to try one , but I'm not up to drilling through a glass block ! :(
Oh I am so excited to have found this topic! LOL.
I purchased one of these recently at a craft show, and would've bought many more if any of the booths had the right colours! Unfortunately I think many other people got to them before I did, and there weren't many to choose from.
Now I know how to make them, and it's much easier than I would've thought. And I bet I could make some great gifts out of these.
I'm just glad to have a man around that loves to drill holes, lol!
I was at Home Depot today ,,,,,,,, and thought I'd check them out . Yup - they are about $3. I never paid attention
to it before. If anyone wants to try it -- It's Cheap enoug !!!
qtiemom wanted to say I sooo love your blocks, just beautiful!
awhile back I found a plastic block at a yard sale, had the hole where you could punch it out, dont know if they are made any more, but could be something to check out.
I just bought one of these from a craft show. They had sold most of them, but it inspired me to try and make a few. I guess the blocks come in different shapes and sizes? I did a google search and saw where a company in Indiana sells them predrilled for approx $6 apiece but the shipping is quite high.
I read the Carol Duvall post on putting pictures on them, but I'm not quite sure I understood how they did it. How does spraying the photo with something allow the light to come thru better?
The above pictures are so pretty. I'll be using the one I bought for a nightlite in my foyer. I'd like to make some smaller ones if I can find the block. My husband suggested the local brickyard.
Thanks so much for this thread and all the info you have supplied!
There are so many things one can do with the glass blocks, and they are beautiful. Last year, I created mosaic lighted blocks for a craft show at my church. They sold like hotcakes. This year they are still popular, and people are still requesting them. These photos do not do them justice.....they look like mini stained glass windows especially when used as a night light or dim lit area. You can create almost anything as long as you have a design in mind. I made snowmen, poinsettias, flag, crosses, grapes, etc. It is so much fun!
ringaroundtherosie, these are absolutly beautiful! How do you the mosiac designs on the blocks?
I originally drew them on with a sharpie, but sometimes the lines would show through the glass in certain areas. Now I usually draw or find a pattern I like, and trace it onto the blocks using black graphite paper.....which if you are not careful smears easily and you can lose your design. I work with a white surface under the block so I can see the dark graphite lines. Let me know if you have any other questions as far as type of glue, drilling holes, etc. I've done about 30 of them so far. I should probably post them on the mosaic forum, too. Thanks for the compliment!
So I made a few of these over the weekend, just the bows and ribbons, though. Not hard at all, once you find the right bit to drill through the glass. (What an adventure that was!)
I've decided for gifts I would like to put family pictures or pictures of my friends/families children on them.
What is the best way to do this?? Do you use normal computer paper, or a special kind thats thinner?? Which adhesive works best? Do you use a spray to protect the ink??
Thanks for any help.
so, the final word is (?) - we need to use a diamond tipped glass drill bit, 1/2 in.? All I have is a regular plug in drill, one speed- that is, however hard I pull the trigger. And I should put a little oil on the spot I am drilling?
From what I read all over the web, and experienced (3 different bits later!) is this:
Carbide tipped glass drill bits, don't do the trick. Ours made one tiny hole, and was done.
Diamond hole saw bits are preferable. However, we don't have access to them here, we'd have to order online.
We found a carbide ceramic tile hole saw, which worked wonders. Keep it wet and cool. Took less than 5 mins, with breaks, to get all the way through.
Oil works, but we used a spray bottle of water, because we were afraid we wouldnt get all the oil out of the inside.
Take breaks to let the bit cool down so it doesn't wear out too fast.
If you use the carbide hole saw, you'll want a file, to smooth the edges, afterwards.
the carbide hole saw thingy - does it fit on a regular drill?
Certainly does. It has a regular bit in the middle, to drill the pilot hole. So that part, goes into the drill just like a regular drill bit.
If by chance the carbide hole saw you find does NOT have its own bit in the middle, you may need to ask for assistance on finding the proper bit to place in the middle. I'm not exactly sure what the bit is in ours.
Then you just attatch them, I'd assume, like a normal hole saw. Place the bit in the bottom smaller hole, and screw on. Then attatch as usual to the drill.
Ringaroundtherosie, you are welcome! The glue that you use is? And the bigger pieces (like the pumpkin stem,etc) are they just larger pieces of mosiac glass? As you can tell, I have never worked with mosiacs! I see some pretty blocks (snowman) behind the mosiacs...could we see more of your work?
ringaroundtherosie, your blocks are so beautiful. I have never worked with tile. Is it hard? Are there any tools, tips, patterns and helpful hints you would be willing to share? I would love to learn to make mosiac blocks as beautiful as yours, especially since christmas is coming around the corner. Please share some helpful hints :)
I just got home from shopping at a big craft show in Cape Girardeau, MO...Just have to see what's out there. Bought my daughter some jewelry. Anyway, I use Liquid Nails Sealant - Clear Seal; it says it is clearer than silicone. I tried weldbond and plain old Elmer's, but it did not dry clear which will ruin your art project. Yes, the stem of the pumpkin is just a larger piece of stained glass. Some of the pieces I just snip until I get the shape I want. I believe the snowman you are seeing behind one of the blocks is a painted snowman I painted on a jar. I didn't take a photo of it. I will try to post some more mosaic blocks later this evening.
This is not a hard mosaic project for you to do. You are working with stained glass (must be translucent). Hold it up to the light, if you can't see through it; don't use it. You'd be surprised how many people don't think of this when they are creating a lighted mosaic project.
You will need an 8 x 8 x 3" glass block with a hole drilled big enough to insert a 35 strand of mini Christmas lights in it (Harbor Freight is where I ordered a 1/2" Diamond hole saw bit for cutting glass - don't try anything else because you will break or crack the blocks,
glass cutters (two round small wheels on end - the only kind that will work for snipping glass, found mine at Hobby Lobby),
liquid nails (clear),
sanded grout (buy big bag if you plan to make a lot, it's cheaper)
Triple Thick Brilliant Brush-on Glaze made by DecoArt, and sheer ribbon and embellishments.
Since you are a beginner, I would suggest you trace a pattern onto the block using graphite paper. Don't try to use intricate patterns. You can find them on the internet or from children's coloring books. Then decide on what colors you want to use for your angel, snowman, etc. and then choose a fill-in color (should be a color not used in your main design). You can glue each piece of glass (leaving 1/4" or less space in between each piece) and place it on the block or you can put glue down in small sections on the block and lay your glass on it. You need enough glue to hold the glass down, but don't put so much it squishes up between the pieces leaving no room for the grout.
After you have finished the main design, start filling in around the design with your fill in pieces. I usually work from the outside in. I like my outside pieces straight on the outside edge, and then anything goes because you'll have to cut some pieces to fit. Let your project completely dry for a couple of days. Then you are ready to grout.
Mix your grout according to the directions on the container. It should be smooth and thick. I've done it so much I don't measure anymore. You can tint your grout using acrylic paint. For my second pumpkin, I tinted it cream instead of white. Once you've placed the grout, remove excess with small grout tool, then let grout rest for 15 minutes. Then gently wipe with a damp sponge. Rinse the sponge removing excess water and repeat until you have all the tops of the glass pieces exposed, but don't wipe the grout from in between the pieces. This is a s l o w process, but well worth it. Let dry overnight. Use a damp sponge to clean grout film from your block.
You are ready to apply the glaze. I usually apply two coats of the glaze. It makes your project look very professionally done.
Once the glaze has completely dried, you insert the Christmas lights (make sure they work before you put them inside the block), put a sheer ribbon around the block and if your hole is drilled on bottom, don't cover the hole in case the lights need replaced. I put a loop bow on top and embellishments under the bow, leaves, greenery - be creative but don't overdo it. I don't like to "take away" from the mosaic art.
I hope these instructions and tips don't scare you from trying it. I just have to explain and explain. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Good luck, and whoever gets one of these will love it!
Here are more of the lighted mosaic glass blocks requested by skyrider. I just wish there were some way I could show you how beautiful they really are. The darker one I didn't use the flash. Hope this helps.
It takes my husband about 15 minutes to drill a hole in each glass block. Since he just hands me a nice, clean block to create my art on, I didn't know the whole process for drilling a hole in the glass block. He's fine tuned it because he broke and cracked several before learning the following process. He said the most important thing to remember is to use the 1/2" Diamond Hole Saw Bit from Harbor Freight (cheap around $10), and the second most important thing is to take a piece of modeling clay, rub between hands to form a piece like a worm, and place around the area where the hole is to be drilled to form a "dam" in which you continually squirt water to keep the bit cool while drilling. Of course, you need to use a drill press with a drill press vice on it. Don't attempt to use a hand-held drill. You still should stop occasionally to allow the bit and glass block to cool. When the bit drills through the glass, you have to fish out the piece of glass in the block using a spring-loaded parts retriever and a very small pair of long needle-nosed pliers, and then rinse the block out with water several times to get ride of the sand residue and glass particles. Don't wait untilt he next day to do this or you will have a chalky film inside. If you want to remove the tacky substance on the edges of the block it can be removed by using a 3/8 inch hand held drill with a round wire brush attachment in the chuck. Hope this information is helpful to those who have not drilled holes in glass blocks before. Since he has used the above process, he has drilled several glass blocks with the same bit, and has not broken or cracked any of them!
Okay, don't think this is something I could do. I'm sure I would end up breaking the glass. It did occur to me to mention that a ball of the clay on the end of a dowel might help to get the glass bits out. Just be careful when you remove it to put in the trash. Your blocks are all so beautiful, and thanks for telling us how the drilling is done. Luvs
Ringaroundtherosie, thank you so much. I really appreciate you taking the time to give me information. Your mosiacs are so beautiful. I would love to make these for craft shows some day.
Just another question, where do you buy your stained glass? I went to Jo-ann fabrics and Michael's and they did not have a great variety. I hear hobby lobby is a great place, but I do not have one anywhere near me. Thank you again for your response.
When I buy stained glass, I usually use the 40% off coupon from Hobby Lobby. They offer one each week on-line on one item not currently on sale. That won't be an option for you since you don't live near a Hobby Lobby Store. I could buy something from that store each week if I go there. Sometimes I just tell myself to stay away.
However, my desire to create mosaics started over 10 years ago, and I knew a gal who made mosaic stepping stone, benches, etc. I was talking to her one day about making stepping stones with my 4-H club, and she told me that she had a 5 gallon bucket of scraps I could have for our project. We made the stepping stones, and I'm still using glass from her donation.
Then this year, another lady I know had a friend who wanted me to make her a mosaic gazing ball using a bowling ball which I did. Instead of her paying me for the ball, she paid me in glass scraps. She also creates stained glass pieces at craft shows. She gave me two small dish pans full of scrap pieces. The biggest job with this type of donation is sorting it into colors. But, it will be well worth it. I have a 4-Her who wants to create a mosaic for her 4-H project this year, and I'm going to give her the glass she needs for her project if she'll come over and sort glass for me!
Anyway, try seeking out someone who works with stained glass and cuts out their designs. They might be willing to work out a deal with you, too.
I have ordered a few pieces on-line because of the color I needed for a project, but the shipping makes the glass pretty pricey.
Good luck and be sure to show us some of your completed mosaic blocks when you get them finished.
I love these blocks and had to give them a try. Of course I must admit I went off on this project half cocked, my usual when I get an idea I want to try. I used a glass and tile bit the kind that looks like a little arrow because that's all I could find and it was only 3/8" (don't do this!!!!). It took me an hour to drill out one block. First I had to drill the hole then go back and make the hole larger because the lights would not fit. I did manage to drill 4 blocks without cracking any, added the lights, decorated them with the laminated pictures and ribbons and took them to my craft show yesterday. They did not get much attention, much to my surprise. But I am not giving up. I am now the owner of the right "drill bit" (1/2" diamond hole thingy) and I will be drilling some more blocks this week. I would love to try the mosaic ones and I really want to paint on some of these. I have a question though....how are y'all drying your blocks? I tried a hair dryer...LOL the hole is way too small for that to work, I put them in the oven for hours (and I mean hourssssssssss) and I still had condensation in them for almost 2 days, there is no sun in MA right now and it's cold, cold, cold...so any hints on how to dry the blocks?
on the bloocks with the pictures are they decopodged on them if so with whatand is the pictures cut from paper or cloth?
Rosie, Rosie, Rosie!!! Just beautiful! If I attended one of your craft shows...the gingerbread man would have gone home with me for sure! He is sooooooo sweet! GB men are my favorite Christmas decorations! I would like to thank you for all the info too. Hope to make one someday soon. Have to get husband a drill press for Christmas! I attended a large craft show this past w/end too...saw only one table with the glass block lights, they were rather plain...I thought Rosie should be here with hers!
Thanks for the nice compliments. The gingerbread guy was a real good seller. I'm stacked up right now with orders for Christmas. I need to make several angels and some sports related blocks. Be careful - once you create one, you won't be able to stop. I've never seen anything so addictive. Good luck!
Diane: My husband said he rinses the blocks out with water, turns them upside down and puts an air compressor nozzle (with a home-made extension on it) inside the block and blows it dry. He then turns them upside down in a warm dry place (inside). I'll admit I couldn't do this project without my husband's help.
A friend suggested the air compressor, and I actually have a small one. Now I have to tell him he was right. Just joking. Thanks for sharing it's nice to know there is a way to dry these things without having to "bake" them for days. I will be drilling some blocks this week end and I want to try the mosiac ones. I have done some stained glass but for the life of me I don't know where my stained glass stuff is...hummm a good reason to go shopping...like I need more "stuff". Your blocks are so beautiful and your instructions are great. Thanks for sharing them.
I tried to post some pictures of the blocks I made using laminated pictures but I can't figure out how to post pictures here; every time I try I lose my message...this is the 3rd time I've typed this now. Anyway they aren't nearly as nice as the ones y'all have posted and I do need to work on making bows.
Thanks again and maybe when I get some more done I can figure out the posting pictures thing too.
OK I think I may have figured out the photo posting thing here. This photo is not very good. It was taken at my craft show on Sunday and is slightly dark and out of focus. I'm a crafter not a photographer :) Let's see if this works
Those are nice blocks. Nice choices of pictures that you used on them. If you make a lot of mosaic blocks, you will need to come up with some creative way to show their true beauty, which is dimly lit room or display. Just the opposite of many displays, you don't want bright lights because they will show up better in the dark. I thought of making a display of black fabric - a dark room, like a photographer. That would be so cool! We displayed ours in a Sunday School room that was poorly lighted, so it worked out great. Anyway, I will be waiting patiently to see your mosaic creations.
Thaks Rosie. I don't think I'll be doing the mosiac ones this year. My last craft show is Dec 1. I do want to do some more blocks though, I would like to have at least 10 for the show. I think having only 4 is why there is not much interest. It kind of makes it look like "left overs" to me. I will be working on more after the new year though (a continuing project for next years shows)as I want to have them mosaic, painted and laminated for next year. Thank you for all your suggestions and advise and if your are doing more please share more pictures. I love what you do. I was thinking about a little dark room type display for them not sure exactly what yet, but I'll keep thinking. Since most of my booth spaces are anywhere from 8x6 to 8x10 I'm not really sure how to display them as I also sell purses and accessories and a few painted items. I'll have to figure something out for the upcoming shows.
Thanks again and I'll post some pictures when I get some of these done in mosaic and/or painted.
I love the mosaic ones. Thanks for the idea Rosie.
Monday night I am taking a painting class and we are going to paint a penguin on a glass block.
I will post a picture when it's done.
Evelyn, that sounds cute. I'll be watching for your picture. Are they supplying the blocks or do you have to take your own? Luvs
Can someone please direct me as to where I can purchase the pictures, graphics online to use for the glass blocks? I understand the rest of directions.just having a really hard time finding the pictures. TIA Wendy
Beautiful. Has anyone tried using the battery operated lights in theirs? I bought a set but I'm still waiting for the holes to be drilled in the blocks.
Yes Luvs they are supplying them. My teachers husband drills
the holes for her. My question to you and others is do you
think that $12.50 per blank drilled block is a fair price.
where do you all get your pictures for the blocks and what do you apply them with and do you apply something to them to keep them from fading when applying them to the blocks? thanks
Evelyn, the undrilled blocks cost between $3 and $4 at Lowe's. Guess you are paying for the talent and time of the driller? I'm so cheap--I'd have to learn to drill my own if I wanted to make several. ;o(
Deja, hope someone can answer your question about where to get the graphics for the blocks. I think I've read that they spray a sealer like Krylon 1311 on the printed graphic and then apply it with something likd Mod Podge. Hope someone else will give you more complete details.
I have being lurking for many years but these glass blocks
have brought me out of hiding. I have painted on the blocks
before but I would be interested in learning how to apply the graphics to the blocks. Would one of you kind ladies please share the details from start to finish. Where do you find your graphics, how do you apply them and how do you seal your finish block? I must add that over the years
I have enjoyed all of your shared projects. Your girls are
so gracious to share with your fellow crafters. Thanks in advanced.
Well, I get my graphics from lots of places n the net that allow you to use them for free.
The way I do my pictures on the blocks:
I of course scan or print out pictures on full size label paper or sticker paper that has adhesive on the back. Like a Peel and Place type.
I place the graphic on the block and then I spray them with an acrylic gloss sealer.they do not fade as I have a few in my home for the past couple of years. The sealer protects the ink and gives it a glossy look.
I tried it with modge podge but you could always see the streaking from brushing it on and I didn't like the way it looked. Anything brush on did that. I tried so many different things. Still, in my opinion anything you can spray on it is better. The acrylic sealer also protects the frosting that I put on the block prior to the graphics.
The main reason I use a gloss is so that you can not see the string of lights all that easily.
I also use white stringed lights because again, the green string can sometimes be seen through the frost.
Anyway, good luck to all of you and if you have any other questions, you can email me or leave them here....lol
Sorry, for the delay in responding here. I've been soooo busy. I also get my graphics from lots of places that allow you to use them for free, like Marci. I print them on regular printer paper. I have a xyron laminator so that is what I use. I use the cartridge that is laminate on one side and adhesive on the other side. That's what works for me. I too have tried modge podge and other decoupage methods, but I don't like the brush strokes. Some people like that look so by all means if you like it use that method. I spray all the backs of the blocks with matt spray also to "hide" the cords (the white corded lights work best but I have a difficult time finding those) and sometimes I spray the front if the picture is too small to cover the entire block. Hope this helps.
I hope Evelyn will be posting a picture of her painted block soon and give us some tips on painting on the blocks.
I made some of these with ribbons and they were a hit! I was wandering if I could use glass paints on them and the black leading. Has anyone tried this?
The glass paints (faux stained glass) would work on these. I think they would be very pretty. I have done several glass pieces using that paint in the past and I loved using it. I even did some glass jars with lights in them using the faux stained glass stuff (Gallery Glass). I just have it in my mind I want to paint a picture on a couple of them...even know what I want to paint on one of them...but but I can't get it to look nice...I keep getting ugly bursh marks/streaks. Enamel/glass paint is too thick and dries too fast (and I paint very slow) and acrylic just plain streaks and has ugly brush marks when the lights are lit. Anybody got any suggestions for painting on these things? If not I guess it will be graphics, mosaics, and maybe the gallery glass for me.
Question. Is this on piece of block that is hollow in the middle or two block tied together with the ribbon.
one hollow block
Here's my first ever painted block that I said I would post.
I'm going to also put it in it's own post cause it might get
lost on this long one.
I love your penguin painted glass block. He made me smile. You did a terrific job painting it as well. If you paint more, please show us!
All of these are just gorgeous! I have an old glassblock I keep in the flower beds, it's pretty old,but it already has a hole in the top. This Christmas, I may add lights and ribbon to it for the front porch:) Thank you all for sharing!
Someone has suggested getting a glass place to drill the holes in the blocks for you - anyone done this? At what cost?
I promised to make several of these for friends at work and thought my hand-held drill with a bit I use for ceramic tiles would work - now, not sure it will (and, my husband won't let me do it and will not be happy if it takes 10 minutes per block!)
I know a woman who did these with the battery lites and used them as a centerpiece for a 50th anniversary party.
You can buy already drilled glass blocks at Hobby Lobby craft stores, they also carry acrylic block that comes apart so it can be filled easier and it also has the hole in it for the lights. Try this website for ideas:
There are different tips and pictures.
OK!! I have tried to find the graphics for the glass night light blocks but with no luck.Several of you have said that you have found them on the internet. Is there anyone that remembers the exact websites that you visited to get them? PLEASE HELP ME!!
I finally found a nice website where you can buy these graphics to apply to your glass blocks. The website I found is Raggedy Scrappin. She has some really cute ones. I'm not sure how you could do this for resale. You might have to buy a license to do that. I just made some for Christmas gifts.
There was a project listed in a Paintworks magazine 2008 that had a Winter Scene painted on the side of the glass block. I got my glass block with the hole already predrilled at A.C.Moores and Michaels for about $6.50.i sold out of these painted glass blocks at our local craft show sold them for $ 30.00 a piece.