Christmas Light Up Marquee DIY

Christmas marquee sign Hey, everyone. It’s Laura! There are a lot of things to love about the holiday season (like time with family and friends or delicious food), but one of my favorite things about Christmas is the decor. I love the glittery silver and gold and the soft glow of candles and Christmas lights. So this year I was inspired by Elsie and Emma’s guest room light up headboard to put all of my favorite decor aspects into one holiday project: a light up marquee sign!

Christmas marquee sign abeautifulmess.comSupplies:
-large wood board (50 x 24 inches)
-4 wood planks (2 x 1 inches)
-wood screws
-indoor Christmas lights
-white acrylic paint
-loose gold glitter
-Mod Podge
-chipboard letters
-duct tape

Christmas marquee sign First cut your wood planks into four pieces and use them to frame the outside edge on the back side of your marquee. This will help hide the Christmas light’s wires and make the sign appear more finished when viewed from the side. Cut your planks into two pieces that are 46 inches long and another two pieces that are 24 inches long. Use the drill and wood screws to attach the planks in place, keeping the planks flush with the outside edge of the board.

Christmas marquee sign Next, paint the front and sides of your sign with two coats of white acrylic paint. Use the same white paint to paint the side edges of your chipboard letters and allow the paint to dry. Once the letters are dry, paint the front of each letter with a coat of Mod Podge and sprinkle loose glitter on the wet glue. Gently turn the letter over to shake off any excess glitter and set the letter aside to dry. Don’t forget, you can do another coat of glue and glitter once the letter is dry if you missed an area. (The chipboard font that I chose didn’t have an ampersand option, so I made that letter out of glitter card stock).

Christmas marquee sign Arrange your dry letters on your painted board and use a strong glue (like E6000) to glue the letters in place.

Christmas marquee sign Now it’s time to drill! Since it’s hard to mark the spots where the holes should go with a pen or marker (drawing on top of glitter doesn’t work very well), I got a box of screws and turned them upside down to mark each spot where I wanted a hole. I would suggest that this section be a two person job; one person drills the holes while another holds a shop vac hose near the hole to vacuum away the shavings as you go (my husband Todd was my helper).

Christmas marquee sign Once your holes are drilled, you can start to push your lights through your holes on the back side and tape each one in place with duct tape. Plug your lights in, and watch your new marquee shine!Christmas marquee sign Christmas marquee sign Christmas marquee sign Christmas marquee sign I have to say that this is probably my favorite Christmas decoration I’ve ever made. It sits right next to our tree and at night when we turn on the fireplace, it brings such a glittery glow to our living room—it really feels magical. I’m going to be too unbearably sad to pack it away in January, so maybe I should make another one that’s for the rest of the year… Hope you get to make something extra special to you this season! xo. Laura

Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman, Project Assistant: Todd Gummerman

SAFETY TIPS: We spoke with our local fire department to double check the safety of this type of project. It’s no less safe than a lit Christmas tree, as you’d probably guess. Just be sure to follow these guidelines (if you plan to recreate this project):

-Before purchasing your lights, check for a label of an independent testing laboratory (most commercially sold Christmas lights will have this). Some lights are specially made for indoor or outdoor use. Be sure to use lights made for indoor use.

-Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose/broken lights. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for the number of strands that can be safely connected.

-Your finished project should not have any exposed bundles of cords or wires, only the final cord or extension cord so it can safely reach an outlet.

-Just as you would with your house decorations or your Christmas tree, always turn off lights before leaving your home or going to bed.

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