Introduction: $5 Marquee Sign

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You know you're starting to see them everywhere! Marquee signs are super pretty but also super expensive. Here's how you can make one for under $5!!

Step 1: Materials

Everything you see in the picture plus:

  • school glue
  • water
  • scrap paper/newspaper
  • paint
  • paint brush(es)

I only spent about $4 on this project, the LED lights were $3 and the bristol board was $1 for 2, everything else I already had on hand.

Step 2: Draft Your Design

Get your base shape ready. This is what your marquee sign will look like. I used a pixel heart that measures 12x13 inches, each pixel measures 1 inch.

You can use anything you want, try a letter, an arrow, or even an outline of your favourite Disney character!

Draw your base shape onto your bristol board and cut your it out with tabs around all the edges.

With the remaining bristol board, cut out strips 3 inches wide and mark the 1.5 inch mark (this is reference to attach to the tabs). You'll need enough to cover the perimeter of your base shape.

Step 3: LED Holes

Depending on the amount of lights you have in your package, punch out the holes accordingly. Mine came with 20 strung lights so I marked 20 spots around my base shape. I made a small hole with a thumb tack before slitting it with an X using my x-acto knife and pushing a paint brush through the hole.

I know it sounds tedious, but doing it like this ensures you don't split your paper when you push your lights in. At this point I tested the fit of the lights to see how it looked. This is where I realized that the lights would have to be secured into place or else they look a bit wonky.

Step 4: Assembly

Before you glue the side pieces to your base shape, you want to score any major corners.

If you are using a shape with curves like the letter D, score at a corner then wrap your base shape along the strip until you reach another corner, make a mark and score at that point.

Align your base shape along the side panel. Remember the line we marked at 1.5 inches? That's where you want to line up your base shape.

Step 5: Paper Mache

Mix your Elmer's glue with water until it is a milky consistency. Throw in your newspaper scraps and let them soak, this makes it easy to work with. Squeeze out the excess water and start pasting it onto your shape. Let it dry over night.

Step 6: Finale

Paint your shape and let it dry. Re-punch the holes you made for your LED lights. Insert the lights and glue them into place. Glue the battery pack with the cover facing up.

Step 7: Turn It On

Flick on your sign and admire your work! I have mine hanging over my bed (kind of gives it that love motel look...but it's still cute! lol)

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