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Disclosure: Post sponsored by The Home Depot, but all opinions are my own. Please see below for additional disclosure.
First things first, the winner of the $100 Home Depot Giftcard is Kirstin Brasfield. Congratulations, Kirsten!!!
I shared a preview of my DIY Marquee Light earlier this month and now I am back with the full tutorial. How awesome is this idea for the holidays?! Instead of a traditional wreath, adorn your front door with a personalized marquee light!
I created this project as part of my partnership with Home Depot for the Do-It-Herself Workshop. I co-led a local workshop and it was so much fun! My marquee light wreath was a big hit and looked so fun with blinking lights throughout the presentation. Check out this short video on my experience:
Now onto the full tutorial to make your vintage-style DIY marquee light. What I love most about this project is that it doesn’t scream “holiday”. Remove the bow after the holidays and set this fun light on a shelf for year-round decor.
Supplies and Tools:
5/8″ Plywood (2ft. x 2ft.)
6″ Aluminum Flashing (10ft. roll)
Martha Stewart Warm White LED Battery Operated Lights
Martha Stewart Holiday Ribbon
Rustoleum Spray Primer
Martha Stewart Textured Metallic Paint
Dremel MultiMax with Sanding Attachment
Step by Step:
1. Plan your letter and light placement. My lights were 3″ apart on the strand. Knowing I would need to double-back on my letter, I decided to place my lights 1.5″ apart on my letter, which allowed me to put lights in every other hole if necessary. I planned the placement of the 30 lights on paper. Based on 1.5″ spacing, I calculated the overall width and height of the inside of my letter.
2. Draw inside of letter on plywood. I transferred my H to the plywood with a pencil, matching the dimensions I figured for the perfect light spacing. Using a ruler and a cup for the curved parts, I traced the outline of my letter, 1.5″ larger all the way around from the lights.
3. Cut out the letter with a jigsaw.
4. Use Dremel MultiMax with sanding attachment to smooth out the edges of the cut letter. The Dremel works really well in the tight spaces inside the letter.
4. Mark the placement of lights every 1.5″ and drill holes just large enough to fit light socket through.
5. Carefully uncoil the aluminum flashing. Using scissors, cut the flashing in half creating a 3″ strip.
6. Wrap the aluminum flashing around the plywood letter making a crease at each corner. I made a small crease at the edge of the aluminum. Then, I pulled the aluminum away from the letter and folded the aluminum at the crease. Make the necessary folds to go all the way around the letter.
7. Attach the aluminum to the plywood with a staple gun. I used a 1 x 2 on edge as a spacer to lay my letter on and make sure the aluminum stuck out about 1.5″ on the front of the letter and 1″ on the back. Stapling inside the small areas was tricky. I stapled as best I could from the back and used a small tack hammer to pound the staples in the rest of the way.
8. Prime the entire letter with Rustoleoum Spray Primer. I chose gray primer (good under any dark colored paint). Let dry completely.
9. Paint the letter with Martha Stewart Textured Metallic Paint. This paint is thick and will help hide any imperfections in the plywood and the staples in the aluminum. It has a subtle glitter effect, as well. To keep the thick paint out of the light holes, I kept a popsicle stick handy to scrape out any excess paint from the holes. Let dry completely.
10. Remove the lightbulbs from the socket. Insert each socket through the back of the letter and then reinsert the lightbulb. On the bottom of each long side of the letter, I inserted the lights in every other hole, so I could use the empty holes to return back up the same side.
11. Tug gently on the back of the light sockets to pull them snuggly into the holes. If any are loose, wrap the light socket a few times with electrical tape and pull back into the hole. The tape will help fill the gap and hold them in place.
11. Make a bow large bow with the wired ribbon and leave long tails to attach to the light. Staple the tails of the ribbon onto the back of the plywood letter.
12. Put batteries in the lights and light ‘er up!
I displayed my marquee light hanging on a door, using a small clear Command Hook. I also tried it leaning on a picture ledge with some garland running underneath (shown above). This DIY Monogram Wreath is certainly a favorite new addition to our holiday decor this year!
Additional Disclosure: The Home Depot partnered with bloggers such as me for their DIH Workshop program. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about any product mentioned in these posts. The Home Depot believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. The Home Depot’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.