Wondering how to bring that holiday sparkle into your home this season? Well look no further and accent your home with a fun DIY Holiday Marquee Sign! Marquee signs are the ‘it’ thing around here. There’s no denying that they are so fun, festive and the perfect way to bring that dazzling bliss into your home. And the best part, you can design this light-up marquee sign to fit into your home however you like. Before I begin sharing this step-by-step tutorial, I want to mention that this project can be made very easy — Yes, some of these woodworking tools are intimidating but this DIY can be made using foam core and an X-ACTO knife to substitute for the wood and a jigsaw. So you beginner DIYer’s this is a perfect project to attempt, you will be surprised at what you can create!
- battery operated LED lights (found at your local craft store or hardware store)
- letter/design template
- paint and paint brush
- wood board (base for the letters)
- jigsaw or bandsaw
- drill and drill bit
- 120 grit sandpaper
Step 1: Choose your shape, letters and font. Print at home if it’s a small design/font but if you are tackling something large scale, take it to a local print shop. On the back of the printed side, shade the area with a pencil. Lay the printed side on top of the wood that you will be using for your letters and begin tracing each letter with pressure. If you are working with a shape, I suggest cutting the shape out and tracing onto your piece of wood.
Step 2: Begin cutting your design. OK, so this is the most tedious and time consuming part, but I promise it’s so WORTH it! If you are using foamcore- an X-ACTO and metal ruler are what you need. Because I’m working with wood, we used a bandsaw (saw-table) for most of the cutting, but a jigsaw is just as handy. If you are using a jigsaw, make sure you clamp your wood down so that it doesn’t move while you are cutting. Go slow and steady for best results — this is the most important part! Once the letters are cut, take a piece of 120 grit sandpaper and lightly sand the edges or any rough areas. And guys, I have to laugh at myself and I really wish I had pictures to show (I was a mad at the time), but I actually broke 3 of the letters while sanding them with my hands (whoops!). Then I just glued them back together and thankfully that worked out well. That just goes to show you that even if we make mistakes, we can fix them! I’v also learned that I need to be a little more gentle with my DIY projects. Let me know if you can spot the broken letters!! (haha)
Step 3: It’s paint time! Paint with a brush, use a spray can or glitter and mod podge, even cover your letters/ design in wallpaper — be creative! Once your letters are dry (give them 24 hours), using wood glue, measure and place the letters on top of the wood. (The wood you use as your base for the letters can be any length/width.)
Step 4: The wood back drop. Keep in mind that if you are hanging the Marquee sign, you will need a pocket ledge at the back that is thick enough to hide the battery pack. To do this, measure your wood base (length and width), measure your battery pack and cut 4 stripes of wood to drill into the back side ledge.
Step 5: Mark out where the LED string lights will be placed. I basically eye-balled the distance, placed the plastic globe light covers on top (or use thumb tacks) to mark your light holes before drilling, then mark with a pencil.
Step 6: Time to drill. Before drilling any holes into the letters, start off by grabbing a drill bit approx. the same size as the string light tip, and drill a practise hole into a piece of scrap wood — this is to make sure you have the proper size! Once you have the right size drill bit, drill those marked holes on the letters.
Step 7: Add the lights. I used LED battery operated lights. Since I was hanging the marquee sign onto the wall, I didn’t want any of those dangling plugin cords showing. Theres no real technique to adding the lights through the holes on the back of your sign — just start at the beginning and add until all the holes are covered. You can probably tell from the photo above that I needed to skip a few lights so that there was enough room for each light to fit through, that’s ok!
How awesome does this FA LA LA LA LA marquee sign look!? The bold letters with LED globe lighting accent the textured wood backdrop, bringing a perfect amount of whimsical and cozy into your holiday decor. Sit back and relax with a hot cup of cocoa, this DIY Marquee sign is sure to bring on that holiday cheer!
What kind of marquee would you create!? Make sure to share your photos with us!