Wednesday, December 7, 2011

How to Make Glass Block "Lights"

For those who wanted to know how to make the glass blocks, it's way easy.


1) Glass blocks - available at Lowe's or Home Depot and surely every other big box retail hardware store.  Also available at craft stores, altho I found them less expensive at the hardware stores.  The "new" ones (sometimes marketed as "craft blocks") come with a 1.25 hole already cut in one of the sides, and usually a plastic "cap" to cover the hole and hold the light string in place.  They are usually 9 x 9, but I did find some 6 x 6.

If the block does not have a hole already drilled in it, you will have to do that yourself.  I would Google "glass block lights" and find a video or better instructions.  You will need a glass drill, and water or oil, and there is a fairly high incidence of breaking the block.  Get the pre-drilled kind if at all possible!

2) Lights - I used strings of 50; one string per block.

3) Ribbon.  I like the wired ribbon that is somewhat sheer, because I thought it made better bows.


Stuff the lights inside.  Tie the ribbon around the block.  That's it.

You can use your imagination all day long, tho.  White lights, multi-colored lights, all red, all green, all purple, or a mix of two colors - whatever turns you on, or matches your decor!  Then mix or match the ribbon.

I used white lights for everyone and a different ribbon for each couple for whom I made the blocks.  I gave them in sets of two.  I also think they could be a really nice thing for someone celebrating Chanukah.

I made five sets in one afternoon - it's really easy!  And, the total cost is $6 - $10 per block, depending on what kind of deals you get on the pieces parts.

For us, I made the third small block because I wanted to stack them.  In the first year, I kept them out all year and changed the ribbon for holidays: red for Valentine's day, green for St. Patrick's Day, and red, white and blue for the patriotic holidays - you get the idea.  Got tired of all that ribbon-tying, so have settled for Christmas ever since. 

Enjoy! and thanks for asking.


  1. How very lovely and fun! I will buy some blocks when I go to Tucson next week. I love this idea and it seems so simple. Thank you very much for giving us the instructions.


  2. Happy to oblige. they are fun and easy! I think they will be beautiful in your desert.

  3. I love the glass blocks and the ones I bought last year, I just realized, have an enormous cut-out in the bottom so my entire hand fits in. And then different plugs for making it a bank or running lights out or plugging it up altogether. So, I put a bunch of red and gold ribbon inside, set it on the dining room table, and surrounded it with red and gold ornaments. Now we are taking bets as to how long it will take to wake up and find the cats have scattered the ornaments to kingdom come. ;)