Light-up Marquee Letters Tutorial!

Guys, this project is real easy. Ish. I’m going to give you the tutorial on “HOPE”, specifically, but you can change it up and modify the letters according to whatever you want gleaming and glistening from afar. Perhaps “SNACKS” or “SIC EM”? Just suggestions.

Here’s your materials list:

  • 3- 2’x3′ sheets of foamcore
  • 2- 2’x3′ sheets of posterboard
  • Aleen’s craft glue
  • X-acto knife (and extra blades!)
  • Cutting Mat
  • 2 strands of LED Christmas lights
  • Ruler (I prefer the cork-backed ruler)
  • If you have it, a GIANT plastic triangle comes in real handy. Otherwise, a T-square? or just something to verify your right angles
  • Spray paint! In whatever color you want
  • We used fishing line to help hang/ secure these guys so they won’t fly away
  • Print out these HOPE Printable letter templates. (HOPEfully, you can catch my drift– the x’s should match up with each letter, making aligning a little easier. You may still have to fudge it a bit, though.)

So, first. Print out and cut the template letters. Then assemble them– again, you might have to adjust and fudge them around until they look correct and/or are straight. (That’s where the triangle/ T-Square would come in handy.) And, it’s okay if you mess up- you’ll paint over any extra lines. (Just don’t use a sharpie. That might be harder to cover up.)

Trace them on to the foamcore, and then cut! –Not like this has ever happened to me or anything, but make sure you change out your x-acto blades frequently. This will give you a better, cleaner cut. But be careful. You might cut your pinky and have to get stitches. Just FYI. Cut_letters

Now, before you get to the edges of the letters, flip them over and start marking where you want the lights to go. I centered them within each part of the letter, and then put my holes about 1.5-2″ apart. Just go with your gut, but don’t space them so far that your lights won’t reach. (Don’t put the lights in the letters just yet.)

Once all the letters are cut out, I then cut out 2″ strips of posterboard. I think it took about 1.5 sheets of posterboard to finish off HOPE. Once you cut out your strips, grab one and your favorite letter of the bunch. Then I just placed the posterboard around the edges, slowly folding as I went.Folded_Posterboard

I finished folding the entire piece of posterboard, like so:Folded Sides_Before Glue

And then I glued it down with the craft glue. In some places, I had to use [temporary] tape to help the glue set up. Letters_Assembled

After the edges were glued on and the glue was all set, I took them out and spray painted them. I was intending to spray them gold (duh), but for whatever reason, this gold ended up being silver. Silly spray paint. (Use a few –light– coats for these.)

After the spray paint is dry, you’re almost done! Start poking the lights through from the back. It’ll look something like this. (It took one strand for two letters.)Lights_in

Once that’s done, arrange them as you want. You might also want to secure them somehow– we used fishing wire to keep them from flying off the porch. But VIOLA! They’re done!

A shining beacon of Hope from your front porch. Also, Lennon couldn’t handle it again… he had to see what I was doing. Ringo, too, but he’s harder to spot in the picture. Lennon_Window  Porch_Overall Ugga_porchPorch_Daylight

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