Glass Mini Blocks: An Unconventional Christmas Tree

I’ve been away from stained glass for a number of years. But when I saw glass mini blocks at Glasstronomy Studios, I couldn’t wait to make them!

Given the time of year, you could make this a truly themed Christmas project, using snowflakes, ginger bread men and stars for the ‘carved’ features. However I took it a different direction. I’m using a few of my favourite things (but skipping the rain drops on roses and whiskers on kittens!). You know how we love our red VW, so of course I’m immortalizing a beetle in a little red block .

Image Transfer

Transferring the images with carbon paper didn’t work. Luckily I’m always prepared with plan ‘B’ and used curved scissors to cut my shapes, which I then traced around with pencil. I wore a mask to cut the actual fibre paper; you don’t want to breathe in the fine particles!

Cut Squares

I started by cutting double thick clear glass into 2″ squares using the morton system as a guide to make our cuts.

Then I upcycled leftover scraps of glass and cut a rainbow of colours to complete the bottom layer of our stacks.

Stack ‘Em and Wrap ‘Em

Each individual block gets separated by two layers of fibre paper, which is then pinned through the centre to the DuraBoard that’s sitting right underneath the kiln paper.

Once the blocks are positioned, each stack is tightly wrapped with kiln paper first. You’ll notice that it only comes up to just below the top layer. That’s so the top will nicely round over once fired.

As each block stack is placed, more double layers of 1/8″ Durafiber are added in between to form the column.

Once the first column is complete, the end of the Durafiber is cut evenly with the edge.

The edges are then wrapped with more fibre paper to encase the perimeter.

Ready to Fire!

The day ended 6 hours later with the blocks ready to be kiln fired. It’s amazing how time flies when you’re having fun!

After firing, I picked up the blocks at Glasstronomy Studios a week later.

The blocks are soaked in water to release the fibre paper so it can be removed from the recesses.

Even after peeling away, there’s still residual fibre on the back of the block. It can be easily scrubbed away with soapy water and a toothbrush.

With kid-like glee, I couldn’t wait to stack them to see how they look with light coming through them! We stopped eating sugar years ago, but I think they’re the next best thing to candy!

Take a Course to Learn Fused Glass!

If you’re local to Toronto and would like to learn stained or fused glass, check out Glasstronomy Studios for workshops and private lessons!

I love how these turned out, but next time I make these I may leave an additional 1/4″ around the edge of the pattern to see if it cuts down on the distortion from certain angles.

The day I picked these up, I tried my hand at something I’ve always wanted to do: needle felting.

I topped the blocks off with this adorable elfette I call Grizelda.

If you don’t have room for a tree around the holidays, add some air plants for a touch of green. This unconventional makeshift tree will help get you into the holiday spirit .

Grizelda turned out pretty good for my first attempt at felting, if I do say so myself! So you better believe that I’m going to explore needle felting further! Stay tuned for an upcoming tutorial on that!

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6 thoughts on “Glass Mini Blocks: An Unconventional Christmas Tree

    • Thanks Kim; I’m so lucky to have glass studio not too far away where I can take classes every once in a while! It’s been a long time since I worked with glass; this was the perfect project to ease me back in.

  1. mixedkreation – Texas – Hi! I’m Linda. I am a diy'er. I have always loved creating things, whether it's woodworking, jewelry making, repurposing, etc. Mixed Kreations came to life as a place to save and share my life's creative adventures. I am very passionate in all the things that I do, so will find a variety of diy projects, homemade recipes, blogging tips, gardening, and my newest adventure into extreme couponing. So kick back and join the life and journey of a diy'er.
    mixedkreation on said:

    Oh this is so cool! I love all the pretty colors and the different images. So Cute!

  2. acraftymix – Hi, I'm Michelle or Mix to my friends. Can we be friends ;-) I'm an IT geek who loves making things in my spare time, and if I can recycle something while I'm at it, then that makes me super happy
    acraftymix on said:

    What!!!!! How did I miss this. I have always wanted to try fused glass. Love how these turned out Sara. Those colors are beautiful and I actually like the distortion on the edges. I adds a little something extra plus Grizelda is adorable.

    • Thanks Michelle! You should definitely try it one day; it’s one of my favourite creative outlets! Glad you like Grizelda; she’s pretty special because she was my very first needle felt project 🙂

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