How can I reuse or recycle old glass blocks/glass bricks?

We’ve had an email from Whitney, asking about reuse/recycling ideas for glass blocks (or glass bricks, as they’re also known):

We just bought a house and making a lot of renovations. We removed some glass blocks from an old bathroom window and I want to reuse them for something. I love glass blocks and since they didn’t get broken in the renovation process I’d love to do something with them. I’d love to be able to drill holes in them and place lights for outdoor use, but don’t know how to do it. I was also thinking about just placing them around the garden, but am looking for some more innovative ideas.

I love the idea of using them in the garden – for bed/path edging for example, or if you have a lot of them, as a privacy screen/divider. I imagine in time the edge seals might become damaged and bugs or greenery may creep inside but that could look pretty cool too :)

More creatively, I’ve seen them used effectively as the “legs” on simple tables – panels of glass blocks at each end of the table top, though I’m not sure how it was all fixed together – any ideas?

Any other practical or creative suggestions for using them either inside or outside of the house?

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14 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle old glass blocks/glass bricks?”

  1. Dani says:

    If you can drill holes in the middle area (where the two halves join) perhaps you could fill them with different coloured sand for a indoor or outdoor decor item. The seal the hole you drilled with a drop of silicone to prevent weed seeds entering.

  2. Stephen says:

    If you have any cracked glass bricks you could use them as Christmas decorations by putting lights inside. You’ll probably find that the cracks will add more sparkle. To make them look a little more Christmasy you could put holly or tinsel round the bottom.

  3. Natalie says:

    Clear glass is perfect light decoration. If you could stack them fountain with lights drapped on top or inside the drilled holes. Maybe some how have each one made into chaneliers..maybe drill a hole on all sides. Then have a strong metal or rope even hanging like a tear drop. They have glass paint you can shear the glass part all sorts of colors…its very pretty in the sunlight. Then comes night you could even put candles real or fake ones and sit them on top of cubes. Three in one deal…just make sure they can hang and wont fall. I am not sure if my ideas have helped. I have not ever had any of cubes, but seem like you could use them for a various things.

  4. Bev says:

    You could use them to make a small herb bed? raised flower bed perhaps or a wormery!!

  5. Uluska says:

    1.They make great book ends.
    2. Also, if you run over them some wooden planks, you can make several bookshelves on top of each other.
    3. Stack them on top of each other for an instant side table.

  6. cappenzz says:

    This is not an especially decorative idea, but I have always wanted to reuse glass blocks to make the south edge of a cold frame/mini greenhouse. At my latitude, 47 degrees, a wooden edge on the south side of a cold frame casts a shadow that reduces the useable space in the frame in spring and fall. The seedlings don’t get enough light in about the south third of the box. I would line up the blocks to make the south edge or even the whole box if I had enough of them and top it with an old window.

  7. Susan says:

    I got one made up to look like a Christmas package last year from my sister-in-law. The glass cube is in 2 halves put together. She put a string of Christmas lights in it with the cord hanging out to plug in. She put pretty fabric ribbon around it with a matching bow. It looks very cool under the tree lighting up by the real packages.

  8. Alena says:

    Incorporate them into your fence.

  9. Olia says:

    Use such bricks as a weight when fermenting fruits or vegetables in a barrel.

  10. Not really in the spirit of things I know, but these do have a pretty good salvage value – I’ve seen them in reclamation yards and they’re not cheap!

  11. Jacqui says:

    If you wanted to decorate them you could stamp on them with a permanent ink like stazon and use glass paint to colour them – they would make great Christmas decorations with a candle or LED light behind it.

  12. Olena says:

    Spray paint it and use as base for figurine or sculpture, or candle holders.

  13. Ann Wells-Thorpe says:

    Being a successful ‘pavement recycler (really good items just thrown out, even clothes. These are washed/cleaned and then end up in a charity shop) I found a glass brick and find it invaluable as a door stop for the kitchen door leading to the garden in the summer, when the door needs to be left wide open. Heavy enough to withstand any wind. I have also taken home the innards of pedal bins which make good containers for recycled tins, plastics and paper; tall and slim enough to take up little space under a worktop.

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