Introduction: Christmas Light Boxes
Having made some of these earlier, I decided to add a few more for the Christmas season. These light boxes, or signs are easy to make, very low cost (the only thing I have to buy is the lights). Lights used are mini-incandescent lamps that are low watt, low heat regular Christmas lights. If purchased at the end of the season, strings can be had for as low as $1.00 each! No "wiring" is required, just use the lamp strings as purchased. Be aware, that these lights should not be left on unattended.
Step 1: First Cut Acrylic or Glass for the Front of the Sign
I have a lot of picture frame acrylic and glass that is no longer used for pictures, so I use this instead of buying some new material. To cut acrylic, a special tool is available, but can be cut by scoring with a craft knife or box cutter and snapping on the line. For glass, a glass cutter is needed.
Step 2: Decide on Message for Signs
I chose "Noel, and Blue Christmas" for these two lightboxes. They are printed out on regular bond in the font and point size selected. Next, I glue the words to a piece of cardstock. Then, the letters or words are cut out as though it were a stencil. These words are then glued to the piece of acrylic or glass faceplate.
Step 3: Make Boxes for Signs
To make the boxes, I use the faceplate as a pattern, and out line that on a piece of regular corrugatged cardboard. Then, for the sides of the box, I add about 1 and 1/4 to 2 inches for each side. Cut out as shown, fold sides up and tape into place. I add a one half inch strip of cut cardboard to the inside top edges for support for the faceplate.
Step 4: Make Light Board for Sign
This is simply a piece of cardboard cut to fit inside the box. I drill 3/8in. holes for each lamp, insert the lamps in these holes, then tie the lamp down with plastic covered wire that is used in floral and gardening projects. A hole is cut in the right bottom of the box so that the wire can be routed out the back and not interfere with the face plate.
Step 5: Using Duct Tape, Secure Faceplate to Box
With lights installed, cut strips of duct tape in the color of your choice. I use black or brown since I have that on hand. This makes a "picture frame" for the light box, and secures the faceplate in place. These should last for years as they are only turned on for the holidays. Lights are now ready to go!