Glass Block Night Lights

Glass block
Drill & ceramic/glass drill bit (Lowes, etc.)
Glass Frosting Spray
Night Light or mini Christmas Lights
Goo Gone (for getting sticker residue off), long needle nose pliers (to fish the drill bit out in case it falls in while drilling the hole).
Optional for Graphic:
If you choose to put a graphic on your glass block you might need the following; graphic, printer, Mod Podge, laminate sheets.

I love to make nightlights. I'll make them out of tin cans, jars, terra cotta pots or anything I can get my hands on. Here I'll give you some pointers on making a glass block nightlight.

The nightlight in the picture has not only had a graphic applied but it was also painted; I'll explain those steps later.

To begin with these can be purchased in the "flooring" section of your local Lowe's, etc., and I believe they're making them now specifically for creating nightlights so you may be able to find them at your local craft store also.

1. The first step, as usual, is to wash your glass block. If it has a price sticker, peel the sticker off and get any sticker glue residue left from the price tag off using Goo Gone (usually found in the laundry section at grocery stores). Wash block and let dry.

2. The next step is to drill the hole. The size of the hole you will need to drill depends on what type of lights you intend to use. I prefer the clip on nightlights as these can easily be changed when they burn out, but this requires that the drilled hole be large enough for the bulb to go through. If you intend to use the mini christmas-type lights, this will require a smaller hole. The ideal type of drill bit to use is one especially for glass, ceramic, etc; these can also be found at Lowes, etc. Drill your hole in the center back of the block. There are many ways to do this; some suggest spraying water on the drill bit to keep it cool as it will get extremely hot. Keep the lights close by while drilling your holes so you will know when you have drilled sufficiently for the lights to fit. If you are not careful, and this has happened to me many times, the drill bit comes loose while drilling and can fall into the hole being drilled. I keep a pair of long nose pliers (jewelry tools) on hand. These are wonderful for reaching into your glass block and retrieving your drill bit.

3. After your hole is drilled, empty into the trash any bits and pieces of glass inside the block. Turn it over and while manipulating and tapping the glass, attempt to get out of the hole any particles of the glass left in. I then further use the vacuum to get any particles left. Wash the inside and outside of your glass block and let dry thoroughly, usually overnight.

4. Using a frost spray specifically for glass, spray only the back of your block (where you drilled your hole). This will be useful in two ways…it obscures being able to see inside the block where your bulb is and it will help direct the light out towards the front.

5. Choose if you will paint your block or attach a graphic. There are many graphic sites on the internet where you may purchase graphics for your nightlight. If you paint on a design, you will want to spray a finishing or varnish spray on your design once it has dried. If you choose a graphic, upload it to your computer and adjust the size to fit your block. You will want to laminate this; I buy the laminating sheets which are available in craft stores and craft departments as well as in the office supply stores or office supply departments in your Wal-Mart, etc. These are easy to apply to your graphic, just follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Trim off excess. However, you could also opt to use something such as Mod Podge. To adhere my graphics to my block I have found a new way which I just love….spray on glue. These are great to use, however, they can be messy. I lie down a plastic baggie or plastic garbage can liner on my work space. Clear anything away that you don’t want this spray glue to attach to. Lay down your graphic that has been laminated onto your plastic liner. When spraying the glue, you want to be careful not to over-spray. If you over-spray, the glue will squish out of the edges and will be difficult to get off. So…lightly spray the back of your graphic and quickly place on your block. Other ways to adhere your graphic to your glass block include using Mod Podge or an Xyron 900. I personally have an Xyron; I use the laminate/adhesive, this takes care of both adhering it to your block and laminating the graphic. Just print out your graphic, run it through your Xyron, adhere to you block...and you're all set.

Of course if you opt to paint your block, paint it now and apply at least a couple coats of a finishing spray.

6. Insert your lights, wrap a matching ribbon about your block and tie with a bow on top. You can further embellish with silk flowers, etc.

There you have it. A beautiful nightlight fit for any room in your home. These make wonderful gifts.

Tip: Put graphics on both sides; buy the marbles which are flat on one side (at your local craft store), glue these on the bottom as "feet", drill your hole in the bottom of your block; this leaves both sides free for your graphics.





This site has been designed by Bob Greenwalt

Copyright 2007