Building Large Lighted Marquee Letters

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Picture of Building Large Lighted Marquee Letters

My daughter is getting married and saw a set of lighted marquee letters with the bride’s and groom’s initials, used in photos and as an accent at the reception. She asked if I could make them.

Marquee letters are typically made up of a flat letterform that has lighting to make a sign visible at night, with metal flashing around the perimeter. The flashing serves to direct the light outward, while minimizing light bleeding into adjacent letters.

Always up for a challenge, this is how I did it.

Please take my advice: Before you do any project involving power tools and sharp metal, make sure you know how to use your tools, and that you follow safety precautions. Wear safety glasses, and use gloves when you’re working with sharp metal flashing. You’ll thank me later. You’ll want to have both of your eyes, all of your fingers, and no stitches when you’re at the wedding. After all, you have to look good in the wedding pictures!

And vote for me in the Wedding and Lighting contests!

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Step 1: Materials and Tools


  1. Jigsaw
  2. Framing square
  3. Assorted clamps
  4. Drill/driver
  5. 1/3 sheet sander
  6. Bits including spade and standard drill bits
  7. Dividers
  8. Tin snips
  9. Heavy hammer
  10. Diagonal cutters
  11. 48" 2"x2" steel angle (2 lengths- Can be used for the metal brake, not needed if you have #12)
  12. 48” metal brake (not required, but very helpful; see Instructable)
  13. Metal rules
  14. Digital micrometer (not required, but very helpful)
  15. Painting equipment
  16. Gloves
  17. Safety glasses


  1. 1/2” MDF, 4’x8’
  2. 6” valley flashing, 60’
  3. 3” steel angle, 2 pieces at least 48” long (used in lieu of a brake)
  4. 1/2" round-top screws (one screw every two inches of perimeter)
  5. Paint and painting equipment
  6. Outdoor light strings with removable bulbs (I used 5 sets)
  7. Large nylon zip ties
  8. Masking tape (I used 3/4")
  9. Paint
clintonmc made it!1 month ago

Very nice ible, I used a similar technique to make two large Marquee letters as a commission for a friends Wedding.

Flashing like this doesn't seem to be available in the UK so I used galvanised steel lawn edging, which comes ripples and so needs to the flattened first. It was 6" wide though so by attaching the wood in the centre I was able to hide the wiring, and have and have a good wall all the way around. It is also wide enough that they are free standing without need of extra stands.

They asked for them to be in different fonts and they stand 70cm high.

KEUrban (author)  clintonmc1 month ago

Gorgeous work.

doodlecraft1 month ago

Awesome! :)

KEUrban (author)  doodlecraft1 month ago

Thank you!

tabrown05 made it!1 month ago

Here is one of many that I have done, this one I made for a friend.

tabrown05 made it! tabrown051 month ago

Here is another way you can do it without the sides as a table top display, this was also made for a friend R for their last name.

KEUrban (author)  tabrown051 month ago
Truly beautiful. Nice work.
wtkjd made it!1 month ago

Very nicely done! What dads do for their girls.

I built one for my daughter using a box method (an identical front and back hiding the wiring inside) and then mounting the letter to a piece of shelving as a stand. Used MDF and 1x4 frame. The stand was flush mount in the back so she could hang this on the wall of her apartment. Painted in her wedding colors - sea foam green and lavender.

KEUrban (author)  wtkjd1 month ago
krelyea1 month ago

Thanks for doing this instructable, I was recently asked by my niece to do a single letter "M" for her wedding. Mine however will be a more permanent project, she plans on hanging it in their home afterwards. I will add some pics when I do my build.

KEUrban (author)  krelyea1 month ago

Great! I'll be very interested in seeing your project after your build.

Mielameri1 month ago
Very detailed instructions, and good documentation of your process! And I love the final build :)! Congrats to your daughter
KEUrban (author)  Mielameri1 month ago

Thanks very much!

Great job, nice idea

KEUrban (author)  Fikjast Scott1 month ago

Thanks, Scott. I appreciate it.

These look so good! Really well documented too. :D
KEUrban (author)  jessyratfink1 month ago

Thanks, Jess. Coming from someone who does work as nice as you means a lot to me!


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