Hello friends, I'm back to share the tutorial on how I made this marquee sign with lights. It's completely customizable to fit your lettering. I made this for a friend's 40th birthday party which we ended up not being able to go due to a snowstorm but I will get it to him eventually. I figured it's fun for the party and then even more fun for the whole family to hang in the kids playroom.
I used outdoor globe lights, their round shape lends perfectly to the marquee nature of this sign.
And the lights on is fun but the sign is still great even with the lights off:
Below are step by step instructions to make a marquee sign with lights. Read through the entire tutorial before beginning.
- 1x8 pine board (wording)
- 1x2 pine board (word support)
- 1x12 pine board (base)
- 1x4 pine board (frame)
- string of globe lights
- computer & printer
- ballpoint pen
- measuring tape
- black acrylic paint & paint brush
- copper paint
- power tools (miter saw, sander, nailer, drill & bits)
- Kreg pocket hole jig
- 1 1/4" pocket hole screws
- 1 1/4" wood screws
- 1 1/4" finish nails
- staple gun
- french cleat
Step 1: Print out lettering. I used Circus font at 500 point which fits good on the 1x8 board. Tape all the printed letters together to determine the length of your board. Paint board desired background color.
Step 2: Once printouts are in position begin tracing each letter using a ballpoint pen which leaves an indent in the wood.
Step 3: Paint on and inside the indent using black acrylic paint.
Step 4: Sand lightly to distress.
Step 5: Add highlights using copper paint. Put this piece to the side for now.
Step 6: Working on the base and word support now. Build a frame from 1x2s that is 1 1/2" smaller on all sides than your 1x8 lettering board. The 1 1/2" is enough space for the string lights housing (see Step 9 below for a visual). Center the word support frame on the back of the 1x12 base and trace all around, this creates a guide for attaching later.
Step 7: Predrill countersunk holes into traced rectangle on back of base piece (note the front side is stained).
Step 8: Moving back to the lettering board - attach the word support to the back of the lettering using pocket holes.
Step 9: Determine spacing of lights and begin stapling to back of lettering board.
This set of string lights have little clips on the housing so I tucked the excess cord under each clip.
Step 10: Using a jigsaw cut 2 notches for the plug ends to run into the center of the support. Staple down the female end and any extra lights as you don't need this part. Keep the male plug end loose.
Step 11: Drill a hole into the 1x12 base for plug to pull through (see Step 12 below). Pull plug through then center the lettering board onto the base and clamp together.
Step 12: Using the predrill countersink holes attach the front lettering and support to the base using 1 1/4" screws.
Step 13: Cut 1x4 to make frame. I painted the frame pieces before attaching to the sign then use wood glue and 1 1/4" finish nails to attach frame. Attach a scrap piece of wood at center top then attach french cleat to hang.
I'm linking up to:
For more sign ideas: