How to Make Lighted Marquee Letters

Usher in fall and the start of the entertaining season with the warm glow of these vintage-inspired marquee-style letters.

How to Make Marquee Letters

How to Make Marquee Letters

Usher in Fall with the warm glow of these vintage inspired marquee letters.

Photo by: Flynnside Out Productions

Flynnside Out Productions

Related To:

Materials Needed

  • 24" tall papier mache letters
  • globe string lights
  • spray paint
  • craft knife
  • ruler
  • pencil

Open Up Each Letter

Using a craft knife, cut along the outside edge of the letter to remove the front (Image 1), then remove the stuffing inside (Image 2).

Prepare Letter For Lights

Flip letter over so that its back-side-up and placed on a flat surface. Using a pencil, plot out where each bulb will be inserted. Start by making a mark at the top center of the letter, where the first bulb will go. Then, using a ruler, draw a center line down each part of the letter. Using this line as a guide, equally space the marks about 2-1/2" apart (Image 1). Using a craft knife, cut an X over each mark (Image 2). To widen, push your finger or the end of a marker into the opening (Image 3).

Paint Letters

Using smooth sweeping motions, lightly coat each letter with spray paint and let dry. Repeat coats as necessary for solid color coverage.

Add Globe Bulbs

Once the letter is fully dry to the touch, add the string lights. Pop a bulb through the opening on the front, then screw the bulb into the socket behind (Image 1). Wrap excess cord around each socket as you go to keep unsightly cords hidden from view (Image 2). Add D-rings to the back of each letter, if you wish to hang your finished sign or, just prop them against a wall for a more casual display (Image 3).

More: 10 Hosting Tips

Host a Fun Fall Festival 02:25

Host a crowd-pleasing fall festival with these 10 helpful tips.
Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Make Architectural Letters

Create the look of worn-metal architectural letters to display a little joy on a holiday mantel or entry table.

How to Make Christmas Paper Star Decorations

Turn basic card stock into a stunningly affordable holiday star decoration with this easy DIY project.

How to Make an Ice Lantern

Use winter's frosty temps to your advantage when decorating your home's outdoors for the holidays. These ice lanterns are pretty, festive and just require water, plastic containers and a chill in the air.

How to Make a Cat Condo

Use everyday items to build a fancy cat post with baskets.

How to Make a Rosemary Gin-Ginger Cocktail

On a winter evening you need flavors that are bold enough to match the crisp outdoor temperatures. Try this easy cocktail to warm you up. 

How to Make Mercury Glass Votives

Transform inexpensive glass votives and hurricanes into faux "mercury glass" candle holders using silver and gold leaf. These chic, handmade accessories will bring a little shine to any Christmas arrangement.

On TV

Masters of Flip

6:30am | 5:30c

Container Homes

7:30am | 6:30c

Flea Market Flip

8:30am | 7:30c

Flea Market Flip

9:30am | 8:30c

Flea Market Flip

10:30am | 9:30c

Flea Market Flip

11:30am | 10:30c

Fixer Upper

12pm | 11c

Fixer Upper

1pm | 12c

Fixer Upper

2pm | 1c

Fixer Upper

3pm | 2c

Fixer Upper

4pm | 3c

Fixer Upper

5pm | 4c

Fixer Upper

6pm | 5c

Fixer Upper

7pm | 6c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Fixer Upper

8pm | 7c

Fixer Upper

9pm | 8c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

Fixer Upper

12am | 11c

Fixer Upper

3am | 2c
What's Hot
What's Hot

Flip or Flop

Consult Program Guide

NEW: Live TV

Don’t miss your favorite shows. Live stream HGTV now.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.

Luxury Home Giveaways

HGTV Smart Home

A luxurious, modern home in Scottsdale, Arizona

HGTV Urban Oasis

A cozy Craftsman-style home in Knoxville, Tennessee

HGTV Dream Home

A gorgeous remodel in Gig Harbor, Washington