DIY Emoji Marquee!

OMG YES! Emoji marquee DIY (click through for tutorial) If you are a savvy ABM reader, you may have seen this one coming. We love making light up marquee signs (like here, here, and here), and we also love emoji themed projects (like here and here), so it was only a matter of time before we combined the two for the ultimate project of sheer cuteness and fun!! This is definitely the easiest light up sign we’ve made so far. So if you’ve wanted to make one before but weren’t sure you had the skills, well, this is a great one for you to start with!

OMG YES! Emoji marquee DIY (click through for tutorial) Supplies:
round wood top (they sell different sizes)
-drill with various drill bits
battery-operated globe string lights (use LED lights since they don’t get hot)
-acrylic paint
emoji template (right click to download and then reduce or enlarge image when printing depending on the size circle you choose)
-duct tape or gaff tape
picture hangers and wire for mounting
-dowel rods (optional)

OMG YES! Emoji marquee DIY (click through for tutorial) Paint your wood with a few coats of bright yellow acrylic paint and allow the paint to dry.

OMG YES! Emoji marquee DIY (click through for tutorial) Use the template to print and cut out the hearts and mouth for the emoji. Then trace them onto your yellow circle with a pencil. Paint in the mouth and heart eyes with black and pink paint and let dry.

OMG YES! Emoji marquee DIY (click through for tutorial) Tape your eye template over the painted eye and drill a hole in the middle of each white dot with a 5/8″ drill bit (or whatever size of hole your LED lights would need). I started out with a much smaller bit to first make each hole, then went back through with a medium size bit, and then did the larger 5/8″ bit. You’ll get a much cleaner hole if you do it that way.

OMG YES! Emoji marquee DIY (click through for tutorial) Gently wiggle off the bulb caps on the lights. Then push the light through from the backside of the face and put the bulb back on from the front. Push the base of the light bulb snugly into the hole.

Use duct tape or gaff tape to secure the extra wires and battery pack onto the back of your circle, but make sure to place the battery pack switch near an edge so you can get to it easily to turn it on and off. Attach picture mounting hardware and wire on the back so you can hang your light. Remember, since it’s battery powered, you don’t have to hang it near an outlet—nice!

OMG YES! Emoji marquee DIY (click through for tutorial) I also drilled four evenly spaced holes about 1/2″ deep near the top, bottom, and each side of the marquee on the back, and glued in 1 1/2″ long pieces of dowel rods the same size. That way, the posts stuck out a little further than the battery pack and all the wires on the back and the four posts rest evenly on the wall. Optional move, but I think it hangs much better since it doesn’t have a “lumpy” back with all the cords, etc.

OMG YES! Emoji marquee DIY (click through for tutorial) OMG YES! Emoji marquee DIY (click through for tutorial) How fun is that!! Also, these lights have a blinking mode, so you can imagine how cool that looks when they blink. I think it looks adorable above the coffee cart here at the studio, but I have a feeling that it’s going to get snagged and put up at my house instead in the near future. Of course, you can do whatever face you like, but I felt like the heart eyes were just made to have lights installed in them, and I think I was right! xo. Laura

Credits // Author: Laura Gummerman, Photography: Laura Gummerman and Janae Hardy. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

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:

-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. 

-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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