art Cricut glitter lighted lights marquee paint sign wood word

Dream Marquee sign DIY

This is another post brought to you by the Cricut Design Space Star Finals.

This week I revealed the full makeover I did on my girls’ room as my final project in the Cricut Design Space Star contest.  And this is the first of many projects I’ll be sharing with you over the next few days.

Up first- the Dream Marquee Sign

Honestly, this project ended up being nothing like the project I started out  making.  I was attempting to create a free standing marquee sign.  Well, that was a disaster.  There were too many curves and corners and bends and the materials I was using just weren’t strong enough to create the look I wanted.  I had almost given up when my sister suggested changing the project just a bit- and boy was she right.  Sometimes it takes another pair of eyes, and someone who didn’t know where you were trying to get to show you that there is something better. 🙂

Materials I used:

Pizza box for word
bead board cut to fit frame
battery operated lights (I used 2 strands with 20 lights each)
Glitter spray paint
acrylic paint
high gloss latex paint
of course a Cricut Explore

The first step in creating this project is selecting your word and cutting it out on your Cricut Explore.  I used a pizza box to create my base layer.

*Some tips for creating a fused word on your Cricut
– select the font you would like to use
– in the editing box, decrease the space between the letters until they are touching
– you might need to separate the letters to adjust one or two to line up on the bottom (if that’s the look you’re going for)  After my letters were touching, I separated them and shifted the letter “r” up a bit so it lined up with the other letters.
– once you are happy with the alignment and spacing, select all the letters and select the weld button, this will create one single shape.

Once your word is ready, you will want to place the holes for the lights.  I did this before I cut the word out.  I measured the diameter of the lights I wanted to use and created a circle that size in Design Space.  I copied that circle 40 times (that is how many lights I had) and then placed them on the word where I wanted them.  It was nice to be able to play with the spacing and move things around as needed.  Then I cut it out.

Now to prep all our pieces.  Place your word on the bead board where you want it to be and use a pencil to mark all the holes for the lights.  Drill a hole for each light to come through. *tip: my lights are battery operated LED lights and were pretty short, I knew that they were’t long enough to poke through the bead board AND the cardboard word, so I drilled the holes the size of the base of the light, not the size of the light itself, that way it would only have to go through the cardboard and not the bead board too.  See the picture below for a better look at what I’m talking about.  Sand down the bead board and all the holes, you may need to use a blade to clean up the inside of the holes.  Paint the bead board with high gloss white paint. (I needed to do 2 coats)
Spray the word with the glitter spray paint.  This was my first time using it and it was awesome!  I only had a small can though, and it doesn’t cover all that much- so I would probably paint the word gray first before adding the glitter if I had to do it again, but- it covered well enough and I’m really happy with it.
Finally, paint the frame your color of choice.  I used two coats of acrylic paint and then sanded it just a bit to distress it.
Once all the pieces are dry, assemble your sign.  Make sure to line up all the holes on the word and the bead board.  I used spray adhesive on my word to make sure it would stick all over to the sign and that I didn’t miss any edges or corners.

The last step is to add the lights.  You can see better what I mentioned earlier about drilling the holes in the bead board larger than the holes for the lights.  The holes in the word were just tight enough to securely hold the lights in without having to use anything else, but if your holes are a bit too big, you can always use tape to hold the lights in place.  I used duct tape to attach the battery packs to the back of the sign so they weren’t hanging loose.  These lights have a timer options where they go on for 6 hours and go off for 18.  It makes it a perfect option for a night light, I have it go on at 6 and off at midnight and it allowed me to place it high on their hutch without having to worry about turning it off and on.

This sign is actually pretty big.  I think it’s probably an 18″ X 20″ frame.  The lights cast a really soft glow in the room at night, not too bright, but enough that the girls feel safe and secure.

It’s probably one of my favorite pieces in the room.  I’m really glad I didn’t give up on this project and that my sister came along to rescue me just in time.

So, what word are you going to light up in your house? 😉

**Edited to add**  Voting is LIVE!!  Please head over and vote for my room!
mobile friendly link:

Linked up to Show and Tell 152

You Might Also Like

  • Mandy Beyeler
    February 4, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    thanks for linking to Show and Tell at Sugar Bee Crafts – – I featured you today!