How-to: Marquee Letter Sign

Create this fun DIY available exclusively for HGTV Magazine online.

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Most people struggle to find art, especially art that’s on the larger side. Big wall decor is usually one of two things—super expensive or a snooze-fest. But not this giant marquee letter sign.

Marquee letters are quite the rage right now. Most of the DIY versions are made from chipboard 3D letters from the craft store. Those are great, but what if you want something larger and more amazing than your standard 18 inches? Read on for a step-by-step to create this fun DIY!

Materials Needed:

  • 2x4 piece of plywood (3/4” width suggested)
  • four 5.5” x 4” pieces of 1/8”-thick MDF
  • strand of globe string lights
  • wood glue
  • hot glue (optional)
  • 120 grit sandpaper
  • wrapping paper
  • spray adhesive
  • poster board
  • paint
  • smooth-finish paint roller
  • jigsaw
  • staple gun
  • drill
  • 3/4" paddle drill bit
  • 1/2" round drill bit
  • miter saw
  • picture wire
  • eye hooks or screws
  • screwdriver
  • pen or pencil
  • tape measure

Step 1

Choose your letter and your font. You have two options at this point. If you are comfortable freehand drawing the font design, do it. If you want something to trace you can have your local printer print out a full size version of the image.

Enlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-Mandi Gubler, vintagerevivals.com

Step 2

After you transfer the letter image to your plywood, cut it out with a jigsaw. It’s best to go slow and steady when using a jigsaw to get a more precise cut. If your letter has a center hole, use a 1/2” bit to drill a starting point for your saw blade so that you are able to cut out the middle.

Step 3

Put something underneath the letter to elevate it off the ground. Spray paint caps were used in this example, but you could use anything that offers a stable surface. Measure the distance between each light bulb on your sting. Use that number to measure and mark the spots on your letter (beginning in the center) where you’ll drill holes for the light sockets. Drill holes using 3/4" paddle drill bit.

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