Making a 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! Innovative Arts students use the random idea generator (instructions here) to generate possible ideas. The full course on creativity can be found here.    


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:

This site holds the resources for Innovative Arts class, a class that replaced our technology class in our middle school. Students learn to create as engineers, designers, and more. At the same time, we are learning about our brains/mindsets (‘Puzzle‘), engage technology (‘Shift‘) and the creative process (‘Create‘).

New resources are being added constantly, so I send out a weekly roundup email with all of the new resources. Sign up to stay in the loop.


Related Articles