Making a CNC Glowbox

CNC middle school project

Materials you’ll need

  • Two, three or four faces that you’ll customize in the CNC
  • Extra material to make a bottom and sides as needed
  • Plain printer paper (tissue paper will work but will be fragile)
  • Hot glue, epoxy, or tape to assemble the box

Ideas to customize this project

  • It does not have to be square, think about triangles or other shapes
  • Single letters can be interesting, whole words are often too much
  • Use simple shapes in a pattern or with random sizes
  • How many sides does it have? How many of the sides have designs on them?


Step One: Spend time brainstorming

This is the most important step – do not skip it! Look over all the steps below and then return to this step.


Step Two: Gather Materials

Glow boxes can be made from all kinds of materials. At the very least you will need a front and back (same size), two sides and a bottom. 

Tape or hot glue to assemble the sides. 

Thin paper to cover the cutouts.

Light source


Step Three: Start Assembly

Adjust after your first attempts

As you build, you will probably think of improvements to make or ways to make your project better. You may even decide to start over with a better idea. Most projects need several changes before they are finished!

Useful links for teachers:

I am creating this site to advance student creativity and help students to take ownership of their learning. The resources on this site are intentionally open-ended and a part of my Innovative Arts curriculum.

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