One of the newest trends in do-it-yourself gifts is glass block crafts.
Advantages include that glass blocks are readily available at your local home improvement and craft stores, they're inexpensive, and anyone can do it!
What Can You Make With Glass Blocks?
Of course, the only limitation is your imagination!
Some popular glass block crafts ideas include making lighted holiday decorations, centerpieces and nightlights, both fresh and silk flower arrangements, coin banks, lamps, knife holders, decoratively etched display pieces, picture "frames" and more.
Glass block crafts are great because the blocks themselves are heavy and quite stable, so they are hard to knock over. They can be filled with sand or marbles, coins or even water with fresh flowers. They are well-sealed, so they do not leak.
Where Do You Get the Blocks for Crafts?
Any home improvement store will carry glass barriers, and they are typically cheaper there than at the craft stores. Block prices range from about $ 3 to as much as $ 10, depending upon size and style of the glass.
Glass blocks can be clear, or they can come in a wide variety of frosted or decorative glass styles. One style is where the glass has little circles on it, or stripes, or unique varying patterns.
Blocks can be as small as 4 inches by 8 inches, or as large as 12 inches by 12 inches. You can find glass blocks that are 3 or 4 inches thick, depending upon your preference.
One disadvantage to home improvement store blocks is that if you are intending to fill the blocks in any way, you will need to drill a hole in the block yourself with a glass drill bit. This is something that anyone can do, but it does require a little care. Use a 5/8 inch glass bit, and drill slowly so as not to crack the block. Make sure to wear eye protection.
You can also choose to buy your blocks at a craft store like Michael's or Hobby Lobby. They will be more expensive at a craft store, but in most cases the barriers will come pre-drilled with either a one inch hole, or a 4 or 5 inch pre-cut rectangular slot on top.
Blocks from the craft store will range in price from about $ 8 to as much as $ 15.
Some Glass Block Crafts Ideas
Table Centerpiece . One idea for a party or shower centerpiece is to fill a glass block with holiday lights, either clear, white or colored. Try to choose a white cord for your lights since they are less likely to be noticeable.
Stuff a 20-light chain into your glass block. Leave the cord outside the block so it can be plugged in. You may choose to apply a vinyl message like "Fun!", "Party," "Enjoy!", "New Baby!", Etc., on the outside of the block. Window clings work well also.
Wrap the block with a colorful ribbon and tie the top or side with a large bow. You can use this as a table centerpiece or mantel decoration. It looks very festive when the lights are on, and even more so when there are several blocks of varying sizes!
Snowman . Choose 2 or 3 blocks of increasing size, one for each ball of the snowman.
If you choose to paint your blocks, do so before you start to assemble your snowman. You can ask at your local craft store for the appropriate type of paint for glass. Allow the blocks to dry for 24 hours before assembling.
Fill the blocks with clear lights, about 20 lights per block. You may choose to use a longer (50 lights or more) single string in order to make your project simpler. You may need to drill additional holes in the bottom of the blocks to allow the strings to go from top to bottom of your snowman.
Adhere your blocks together with glue at the top and bottom raised edges of the blocks. You can use silicone adhesive, or any glue that is designed for glass.
Decorate the snowman with buttons for his eyes and mouth. Glue twigs to the blocks at the seams for his arms, and add a carrot decoration or other piece for his nose. Some people will add a small hat or scarf, your preference.
Wedding or Shower Gift . This glass block crafts idea uses no lights.
Take a photograph of your choice that is slightly smaller than the glass block you're using.
Cut a piece of adhesive, colored vinyl (craft store item) that is slightly larger than your block. Center your photo over the top of the vinyl so that it will form a border around your photo. The photo will stick to the vinyl.
Place the bordered photo against the outside back of the glass block. When you look through the block, you'll want to see the photo.
Add a large ribbon around the block, and tie a bow on the top. You can add other things if you like. For example, a teddy bear or baby rattle looks nice for a baby shower.
Photo Frame . This is a simple glass block project that anyone can do.
Choose your favorite photograph. Coat the back with spray adhesive and place it on a piece of cardboard, laminate, or something firm but thin. Cut the backing to fit the photo.
Fill your glass block with sand, no more than 1/3 full. Place your photo inside the block and stick in into the sand. The sand will hold it in place. You can add seashells or other small decorative items as desired.
As you see, with a little imagination and creativity, you too can enjoy glass block crafts!