Making A Marquee Letter

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As part of my #ProjectPinkRoom, I really, really wanted to have a Marquee letter for my little client. But the funds didn’t allow for me to invest in one from Etsy after I factored in shipping, and that we wanted to get a lot of pieces to fill up the room (we were on a budget). Determined to have one, I googled and searched Pinterest for “DIY’s” on how to make my own, and came across some great tutorials.

My post is going to be less of a tutorial a-la-Young-House-Love-Style (they got serious with their how to’s!) But more of a “we did it!!!” and “here are some tips” and “here are some links to people who spent a lot of time documenting how THEY did it”.

In order to make something substantial I’m going to start by saying that you should make your letter out of wood, and for that, you need a jigsaw. Which I didn’t have. The folks at RONA came to my rescue and shot me over a Bosch jigsaw for us to use to complete the project. You can see it in action in this short little video

I’m going to confess. The easiest part was the cutting of the wood and the drilling of the holes. I made it extra difficult because of the three dimensional aspect to this particular one. I wasn’t sure if I was going to hang it in her room, or place it on a table – so having it to be able to stand on it’s own, was of the greatest importance for me. But should you decide that the three dimensional aspect isn’t of importance to you then you’ll likely find this project way easier.

I’m going to show you stages of this project, and anticipate that this won’t be a guide for every single letter of the alphabet. But as anything I do, I hope it’s inspiration for someone else, and perhaps you could improve upon what we did.

1. Design your letter
First off, I needed to design my letter. I chose a font I liked, strecthed it and tweaked it, so it was exactly as I liked. I printed it off on a regular piece of paper and then Aubrey calculated the size, to be blown up.

At the same time we took into consideration the placement of the bulbs – as you can see from Aubrey’s X marks on the Z.

You seriously need this Jigsaw. It was glorious to use. Seriously, it was like cutting through butter. Although we were doing straight lines, Aubrey did some text pieces (not shown) that were curvy and beautiful (I’m doing a heart next) and it was so smooth and beautiful.

Minor interruption in the project. Someone wanted to watch TV. Had to ask his Father.

This is where I will stop and say that up until this point, I wouldn’t do anything differently. But the following steps were terribly time consuming. Again, go see How Joyful’s post on her Marquee Letter because she really goes into great detail on how she did her sides.

As you can see, a lot of measuring, a lot of small cuts and fitting it together like a gingerbread house. Aubrey is a patient man. I didn’t take a photo of how he glued it together because I was sleeping when he did it. But below is a shot of the back of the piece ….

He added metal brackets to hold the side together, in addition to using wood glue. He drilled holes through the back, large enough for the socket of the light bulb to fit through.

My little client came over and helped me prime the Z.

Next steps:

  • Once the whole thing is put togther, and primed, fill the holes with wood filler so that you can fill those gaps. Then, add some DAP. I didn’t want light to shine through those holes.
  • I sprayed it using my paint sprayer (that I LOVE!) I gave it about 6 coats, to ensure that it really had great coverage.
  • Aubrey spaced out the holes and installed the lighting – which was just some globe lights we had from Target.
  • We used an extension cord like this, which means our little client (the seven year old) wasn’t plugging things in. (Kids + electricity make me nervous!) All she does is press the white button and the light goes on and off….
And there you go! I appreciate that the tutorial isn’t as seamless or as details as one would like, but it wasn’t terribly easy and so, not something I’d really recommend. But if you want to take on a project like I did, then you likely have some DIY know-how and the above is inspirational enough to follow. I will, as mentioned, try this project again to make it a little simpler, as I would like a Marquee Letter in my own house. But for now, here is it in the room…

Disclaimer: Bosch 7 Variable Speed Jigsaw was provided to us by RONA. And I HIGHLY recommend it. It’s amazing.

Links of interest:
Marquee Light via How Joyful (likely the closest to what we did) 
HGTV Making a Marquee Light 
Pinterest Searches: Marquee Light DIY,

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  • Reply
    January 29, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    hi.. I’m just wondering where’s the chandelier from? I’ve been looking for a chandelier for my daughter’s room! and that chandelier looks classy and beautiful!

    Thank You!

  • Reply
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    […] Make your own light up marquee style letters for a sweet room! Get the tutorial via lindsaystephenson. […]

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