DIY Lighted Sign

This next project ranks up in my top ten most favorite projects…ever!  Seriously.  It is really making me happy.  I LOVE lights on in the house and feel like they should be something that occurs other than just Christmas time.  I put some fun bulb lights in my office/craft room and turn them on when I need a little happiness boost.

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So why not add some fun lights to another room of the house that I spend a lot of time in with the family…the family room.  These lighted letters are quite the rage right now and I LOVE them…I didn’t want to pay the price for them and figured we could make one pretty easily.   We used up scrap pieces of wood we had from other projects and so the only thing we had to buy were the lights.

We purchased our Room Essentials white string lights from Target.  They have them online and in some stores. I also found them here: Globe Lights.

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Here is how we made our Lighted Letter Sign…

You will need the following:

Room Essential String Lights (or your own choice)

Piece of wood large enough for your letter (ours was 18 inches wide by 24 inches tall)

1/4 inch MDF cut into 3 inch strips for the edges (enough to go around all edges)

drill and a 13/16th drill bit (this bit fits the RE lights above, adjust if using different lights)

wood glue

staples or nails

sand paper

spray paint or stain (we used Valspar’s Golden Maize in a Satin finish)

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 1.  Draw out your letter and be sure to give ample room for your lights according to their size.  Cut out the letter.  Ours was 24 inches tall and 18 inches wide with the width of the letter itself was just over 5.25 inches.

We used a mitre (miter) box saw to cut the H out of the wood.  We stopped right before running into the corner of the 90 degree angles and then used our Rockwell Sonicrafter X2 (stay tuned for more details and a fun surprise…hint hint!) to cut the corners of the 90 degree angles.

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2.  We measured out where we wanted the lights to be and lined them up equal distances and marked the spot where we wanted to drill a hole with a penciled dot.

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3.  Use your drill and a 13/16th drill bit and drill a hole at each pencil mark.  Be sure to go all the way through wood.  The lights base should fit all the way into the hole without a lot of wiggle room.

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4.  Measure and cut your side strips and glue them into place with overlap in front and in back.  This will help hide the cords from the side.  We just eyeballed this until we liked the placement of it.  We used a piece of wood (that placed the strip in the right position) to be our guide so that we spaced it the same all the way around the letter.

5.  Glue and staple each strip into place and let the glue dry completely before gluing another section since you will be turning and rotating it.  Wipe off any excess drips of glue.

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6.  You can caulk any spaces or nail holes, if you would like, but we did not do this this time.  The edges were pretty smooth and I wanted a little rougher, vintage look to it.

7.  Spray paint or stain your letter.  We used Valspar’s Golden Maize in a Satin finish.  We just picked it up from our local Lowes.

8.  Take your lights and break off the small little clips.  They should break really easily with some pliers and a slight twist of your hand.

9.  Then put each light into a hole.  You can do this by unscrewing the light bulbs and putting the base underneath and up through the hole and screwing in the light bulb from above the hole.

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10.  Twist up all the cord and tie back with twist ties or some wire to keep the wires all contained and from getting all tangled or showing from the side of your letter.

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We are displaying the Lighter Letter H on top of our TV Cabinet so we don’t have to worry about hiding the electrical cord.  I am just happy we have a pretty easy straight lined last initial!  I am not sure how I would do a G….

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I LOVE how festive it makes the room feel…like it is a holiday without all the fuss and work of one!  Want to know what other projects make up some of my top ten? Check these out:

DIY Tufted Headboard

Apothecary Cabinet

Paint a Rug

Customized Towel Rack

DIY Bulletin Board

Believe Lighted Sign

Frankincense & Myrrh Christmas Gift

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Believe Sign

Hey guys! We have had a busy week around here.  My son is on the high school swim team and we are right in the middle of the swim season.  So my mom duties have pushed aside this blog thingy ;)…as it should!  But I found  some time to finally share with you this BELIEVE sign.  It, along with this Vintage Crate, are my favorite DIY Christmas decorations that I have made so far.

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I actually bought this board over two years ago with the idea of this project in mind but I never actually found the time to get around to making it.  So it sat in my attic waiting patiently for me ;).  I picked the board up from my local Bennion Crafts and it was already this fabulous red color with the fun edging.

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I cut out the word BELIEVE on my Silhouette CAMEO and then drew little circles where I wanted the Christmas lights to go.  Make sure they are evenly spaced to get the best overall look.  Take a hole punch and punch out the dots where the lights will be.

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*IMPORTANT–Be sure to count the number of lights you have on your string of Christmas lights.  You want to be sure you have enough lights for each hole.  AND…make sure that the lights will fit from one hole to the next.  There were a couple of spots that I had to skip a light so the wire was long enough to reach the next hole.  Does that make sense?  Check and double check.  And for best results it would be nice to make sure you have a few leftover lights and the end…just in case.  You can always hide those lights behind your finished sign.

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I traced the letters onto the wood and then painted the letters white.  I chose not to spray paint my sign since it was snowing the day I made it ;).  Then after the sign has dried, you can put your punched letter “stencil” on the board and use a pencil to mark where the holes should be drilled.

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Take a drill bit that is the same size of your Christmas lights and drill holes where each light will be.

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Then comes the fun part…Place the lights so that the plug is on the end where you need it to be as far as where you will be plugging it in.  Then insert the lights into each hole.  You will want to use some duct tape to securely hold the light in place so that they don’t fall out of the hole.  My kids LOVED helping with this part.  You can see what a great job they did on the back of the sign!  But no worries, no one will be the wiser once the sign is turned around.

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I LOVE how it turned out!  And I love it even more at night!  Don’t you just love this time of year?  I love Christmas lights and I love how cozy they make your home feel.

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