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DIY: Vintage Marquee Sign

With the summer season now upon us,  ABCey is  continuing with our DIY creations in full force!  This Marquee light up sign can be customized to send any message of your choice to attendees at an event. It is a great decor addition for your room, event, or in our case – a wedding! This DIY project is simple to create and not many materials are needed. Read on for steps on how to create a similar sign! 


– 12 inch paper maché block letters

– Globe string lights (ours were purchased online from Target)

– Spray paint                                     


– Exacto knife

– Heavy duty duck tape          

IMG_0886Once your materials are in order, start by using the exacto knife to cut out the top of each letter. Remove the top piece and any cardboard supports inside. You can either save this top piece for future projects or recycle it, but we won’t be needing it for this one.

IMG_0888Next up, flip your letters upside down and cut x’s where you want bulbs to go. Then punch out the hole using the dull side of your exacto knife. Repeat this with all your letters.IMG_0892Next step is spray paint! Head to a rooftop, backyard, or other well-ventilated space to get your spray paint on. We recommend laying a cardboard down to protect your work area. Flip the letters so the hollow side is facing up and apply your spray paint in 3 coats to get a nice solid color. Let it dry for 10 minutes between each layer. 

IMG_0920While the letters are drying, unscrew all the bulbs from the string. Then when they’re dry, flip them upside down again and in reverse order. Start inserting the back of the light string from the side that you do not intend to plug into the wall (aka the “female” end). You may have to connect 2 or 3 strands together to spell out your whole word. Insert the back portion of the light strand into each hole, making sure to start and end each letter at the bottom.

IMG_0921To hide those annoying wires, tape them down into place and secure with masking or duct tape so they won’t show when you flip the letters back over. If you don’t have time to do this step, you can skip it, but it really does help the letters look cleaner and more professional! Then, flip the letters over and screw in the bulbs. Now the moment you’ve been waiting for, plug them in and watch the letters be transformed!

What do you think of the light up marquee sign?! Will you be creating one for you next event? Let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter

64 thoughts on “DIY: Vintage Marquee Sign

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