Hump day crafts: Glass blocks

Christmas is finally over. Well, almost. The Cat still isn’t home, so we have a small cache of presents waiting for his return. It was a tough holiday with him gone. Emotionally, but also just finding time to get everything done. Things 1 & 2 were rambunctious, getting more and more excited for Santa’s visit, while I just needed to find some blocks of quiet time to finish, well, blocks. I found pre-drilled crafting blocks at Lowe’s for the holiday, so I picked a number of them up for presents. I did this with plenty of time left, but, well, my schedule has a way of slipping. I finally finished the last glass block 2 days before Christmas. Actually, I was probably still hot-gluing ribbon on on Christmas eve. Lesson learned, right? Ha! I’m sure next year I’ll be in the same rush those last days before Christmas. It’s just the nature of the beast. The beast being me, I suppose.

And now for the crafts. This first glass block I did for my mom to give as a work gift to a woman who loves penguins. It didn’t turn out as well as I imagined. I don’t think I like the Christmas lights and tinsel with such a delicate design. That is a lesson learned.

And side B:

I etched both sides (masking the edges with tape) and used Oracal 651 vinyl. I put some Stickles on the snowflakes on the Let it Snow side for added bling. The bow was made using a Bowdabra. The penguin is from a coloring page I found on the web, and the “Let it Snow” design is from Michelle over at http://michellesdigitalcreations.blogspot.com/2010/11/let-it-snow.html

So, one down and only three to go to complete my Christmas gifts. Here’s where I got bogged down. But, as I mentioned earlier, I pulled through and ended up thrilled with the results. Here are two I made for my nieces:

Front:

And back:

I did these a little different. On the monogram side, I glued vellum inside the block. (Thanks to rebmac over at SmartBuyGal forums for the vellum tips.) I etched the outside on the other side. Most of the graphics are JPGs that I traced using Illustrator or SCAL2. I’ll have to add a mini tutorial later for the monograms. (hint: I used “exclude” in SCAL2.)

There’s just one more to show here, my nephew’s block for his new Star Wars themed room:

(Thanks to Mardenz for the cut file.) This one I sprayed with Krylon frosted glass finish in pearl gray. I’ve heard that it can scratch off easily (unlike etching which is permanent), but this one shouldn’t be moved around a lot, so hopefully it will be okay. If not, we can always mask the vinyl off and respray it.

For my the last three, I used single C7 bulbs, found with other Christmas lights at Lowe’s, Joann’s and Walgreens. The six-foot cords have on/off switches and the C7 bulb is easily replacable. It’s even easy to take out and swap in a different color. (I put a red bulb in the Vader block.) These were big projects for me, but I’m glad I took on the challenge. I was happy with the way they turned out for the most part. And I think the recipients were all pretty happy too.

Happy crafting!

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