Instructions on How to Make Glass Block Lights

Updated February 21, 2017

Glass blocks have been used to construct light-emitting walls or to add a decorative touch to pathways. You can also use glass block to make decorative lights. Glass block lights can be made into customised night lights, holiday decorations or as an alternative to a traditional lamp in any room in the house. Making glass block lights is tricky at first, since the glass has a tendency to crack when you drill the hole. With practice and patience you can perfect the art of drilling the glass bricks.

Put on face mask, goggles and gloves. Place the glass block on a solid surface. Make sure the surface you choose is in an area where glass dust can be cleaned up easily, such as a garage or driveway.

Drill a hole in the glass block using either the drill press or hand-held drill. Have another person pour water over the glass block, specifically the area where the drill bit is making the hole, to keep the drill bit from overheating. Remember to drill the hole slowly and to apply light pressure only or the glass block will crack.

Wash out the glass dust with warm water. Allow the inside of the glass block to dry for several days, placing it somewhere dust or other debris will not blow inside. Carefully clean up glass dust from the ground or other surfaces with the shop vacuum.

Insert the lights into the glass block. Use a string of Christmas lights or purchase a lamp kit from the hardware store. Decorate the glass block with glass paints, vinyl decals or a simple bow.


You may break several glass blocks before successfully drilling one. Have patience and learn from your mistakes.


Be careful not to inhale any of the glass dust. Clean up all glass dust and avoid contact with your skin.

Things You'll Need

  • Face mask
  • Safety goggles
  • Gloves
  • Glass block
  • Drill or drill press
  • Diamond 1/2-inch drill bit
  • Water
  • Shop vacuum
  • Christmas lights or a lamp kit
  • Glass paints, vinyl decals, bows, etc.
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