Halloween kicks off the holiday season for me. I start to think about all the upcoming holidays and stress starts to creep in as I contemplate all the holiday preparations and celebrations that are coming quickly down the road. It seems like time speeds up in the second half of the year. The lazy relaxing days of summer are over and its time to start moving. Its time to start thinking about things to make or buy.
This is the time of year that I try to go to at least one craft fair in hopes of getting some ideas for the holidays. I admire all the people that take so much time to create those wonderful gifts. There are a lot of creative people and I can get a lot of ideas. Craft fairs get my creative juices flowing. I see what they have done and I think I want to try that and add my own flair to it. I just know I can do it !
I bypass a lot of ideas and crafts that I know I will not be able to make. For example, I am not ready to try any kind of woodworking. A lot of it is really beautiful but I am afraid of fast spinning saws and really don’t want to think about buying a whole set of power tools for woodworking.
There are some Christmas crafts I come back and revisit every so often , but I try to find something new each year because honestly there is just so much of any one craft I can give to people before my family and friends are inundated with that particular item.
The common theme in my Christmas crafts is lights. I love things that light up. Christmas lights are so festive. At a craft fair years ago, I found glass blocks with sports stickers that they had filled with lights. I took it in a different direction to make Christmas decorations. I have never seen anyone do it quite like this.
I started this years ago before you could find them with pre-cut holes at craft stores. I spent a lot of time and money trying to find the right drill bit and trying to figure out how to cut the holes. In fact, that’s what led me into my favorite stained glass store years ago. My love for glass blocks and things that light up started me down this road.
You can find pre-cut glass blocks at :
Or if you want a bargain buy them at:
It is substantially cheaper if you cut your own holes – that is after you buy the drill bits they can be expensive. Glass blocks at craft stores cost about ten dollars. At hardware stores, they are about 3 to 5 dollars depending on the size of the block and there is a wider variety of styles and patterns available.
On Pinterest there are many people doing a lot of different things with glass blocks. There are blocks for every holiday and every occasion. Etsy has a lot of blocks for sale. Most are in the 20 dollar range. A lot have pictures and inspirational sayings. They are lovely.
Here are my ideas:
As you can see the wires are hard to hide in a clear glass block. The blocks I bought with pre-cut holes were all clear. The ones I bought at the hardware store are called pristal and have a pattern on the inside that hide the wires perfectly without having to frost or etch the glass.
- A round diamond grit glass drill bit is needed to cut a hole in the glass and then you can remove the white paint that is along the sides. I used this kind of drill bit . I drilled in a bucket of water to keep the drill bit cool and keep the dust from flying around. I like a hole cut about 1 inch diameter. I find it easier to work with a hole that size.
After the hole is drilled, I rinse out the block to get rid of any dust and it gives me a nice clean surface. It is hard to dry out the inside and it takes a couple of days but I like it when its clean and shiny. I put some paper towels in there to help absorb all the water.
After it is all dry on the inside, I use Gallery Glass acrylic paint on the outside to create an illusion of stained glass when it is lit up. This is a video that demonstrates how to create lead lines using black paint to create the outline. I have not mastered that skill – yet. I use adhesive ready lead lines to create the lines I want. They used to have pre-made images like Christmas trees, stars and bells that I used to make my glass blocks. Amazon ( one of my favorite online market places for a diverse array of products ) has some adhesive redi- lines available. But I can’t find the christmas pattern lines that were available years ago.
After the paint dries, I put in the lights. All the wonderful crafters on Pinterest and Etsy use beautiful ribbons. I have not mastered that yet either. I did try on one block to apply a ribbon and stencil on a Christmas saying I like : “For one shining moment heaven touched earth. “ It turned out OK if you don’t look too close.
I have tried Christmas ornaments in some to hide the wires. I have used stickers and pictures in some and combined the paint and stickers on others.
Lastly. I have made candles out of some of them. I use lamp oil and buy wicks with wick holders.
Here comes Santa Claus I better get a move on !
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