Introduction: Giant Light Up Marquee Letters
I was asked, at short notice, to make some glitter-covered 6 foot high letters ,with lights in them, for a Karaoke event.
They wanted the lettering in the style of the film " Sing" that recently came out.
The nearest font that I could find was Super Clarendon.
I have not made anything like this before but it seemed fairly straightforward.
They asked for it it be made from 10mm MDF but that would mean a lot of weight ; they agreed to go with the suggestion of 10cm Celotex foam insulation.
Each Celotex sheet cost £33.
Step 1: Drawing Out the Letters
I wanted to project the letters onto the foam but my ancient projector distorts quite bit so I had to print out various sizes of the required word and go with the best result.
I projected them onto the Celotex foil-backed foam and used a big marker.
It was a bit off so I had to freehand a lot of it but it gave the basic shape.
Step 2: Cutting Out the Letters
I cut the foam letters out using a serrated plasterboard knife.
The foam has to be supported well as it is quite fragile.
It cuts very easily.
Step 3: Drilling Holes for the Light Sockets
Using a 22mm flat head drill bit, I drilled a hole about every 8" for the bulb holders.
The bulb holders were £1.59 each but could be much cheaper from Ebay if time was not an issue.
Step 4: Cutting a Groove for the Wires
I cut a v-shaped groove running the length of the letters, passing though each hole; these are for the wiring.
Step 5: Adding the Bulb Holders
The bulb holders were just pushed through and held by compression; at the front I added a ring of fire resistant PinkGrip adhesive and smoothed it around with a wet finger.
The wiring is very simple; just parallel.
I had to put two wires into each terminal to achieve this.
The last pairing, of course, led to a plug socket.
I used full sized LED bulbs for the low heat that they give off; they were still quite warm though.
The wiring was the most time intensive part of the build.
Step 6: Tidying Up
I cut 5mm plywood boards, slightly smaller than the letter, leaving two struts for supports.
These were stuck onto the back with PinkGrip adhesive.
Step 7: The Finishing Touch
I covered it in contact adhesive and then sprinkled litter all over it.
This covered the imperfections in the foam.
I was finding glitter for weeks afterwards.
Step 8: The End
These are now rented out for Karaoke events and go along way to complementing drunken people singing ABBA songs.
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Participated in the
Lights Contest 2017