Introduction: Spooky Salvage Shop Silhouette

About: I am a senior at New College of Florida trying to share some of the things I am making!

Hi there! Recently I've been interested in creating light fixtures using repurposed signage found in salvage shops, this is the second one that I've created and this time I've added a spooky twist! The fun thing about these light fixtures is that they can easily be taken apart and the images switched out depending on the season.


  • repurposed acrylic sineage letter (Salvage shops usually have many of these to choose from)
  • cleaning rags and water
  • screwdriver and screws
  • black and silver spray paint
  • cardboard
  • exacto knife
  • poster board
  • led light strip
  • glue stick or other adheisive

Step 1: Finding a Letter

For this step I recommend going to a salvage shop in your area. I picked up my A from Sarasota Architectural Salvage, and choose it because A is the first letter of my name and my favorite color is red (which is also a perfect spooky color for Halloween!). I also recommend checking for a hole in the back leading to the inside of the letter, this is the hole that you will string your lights wiring through. What you pick for your letter itself though is completely up to you!

Step 2: Open the Letter

Now once you find a letter that you like, it's time to take a peek at what the inside looks like. I identified where the screws were that held the back of the letter onto the front, and took those out to separate my letter into two pieces. After that is done you can inspect the inside of the letter, and in my case, tear out any existing pieces that may interfere with the lights and silhouette that will be put into the piece.

Step 3: Cleaning the Letter

Now its time to tackle the dust and dirt. I used a hose and a rag for this step, but a bucket or sink will also work for it. This step is pretty self explanatory, use a rag and water wipe down your letter and get the built up dirt off of it, this will make sure your LED's come through nice and bright once they're installed in your letter!

Step 4: Designing Your Silhouette

For this step its time to connect to your inner artist. In the spirit of Halloween I'm going for grim reaper imagery complete with a moon and small house on the horizon. After I made the initial sketch I made a larger sketch in order to plan out the layers for the silhouette. I settled on creating three layers, one for the grim reaper figure and a tombstone, one for the house, hill, and clouds, and the last for the moon and stars.

Step 5: Creating the Silhouette for Your Letter

For this step I think the best course of action is to first trace your letter on poster board and cut out the number of layers you need, then draw and cut out your designs with an exacto knife. I started with the bottom layer of the moon and stars, drawing them then cutting them out with an exacto knife, then I moved onto the layer with the house and the clouds, and finally I cut out the grim reaper and tombstone.

Step 6: Creating Supports for Your Silhouette

Now that you have the layers of your silhouette cut out, there needs to be a bit of separation between each layer. I chose to use cardboard for my spacing layers since its easy to get your hands on. For this step I cut out pieces of cardboard to glue onto the main figures in my piece. I had a piece for the grim reaper, pieces for the clouds, and pieces for the hill. After I was done creating these spacers, I stacked the pieces of my silhouette together with the spacers to get a feel for how it would look inside of my letter. Once your silhouette is looking the way you want it, then your ready to assemble it in the letter!

Step 7: Assembling the Silhouette in the Letter

For this step you must now use your glue stick or other adhesive to stick all of the pieces you have cut out together. I assembled mine inside of the letter. We're in the home stretch now!

Step 8: Installing the LED Lights

For this project I chose to install 2.5M Govee LED's. I use this brand for other lights in my house and they can all be controlled from the same app on my phone. The installation of these lights is also very straightforward, but I've included a lot of pictures since it can be hard to explain. they come in a roll with adhesive on the back. I chose a place to start near the base of my letter, and began to string them along the inside of the letter. With the length of LED's that I had I was able to go around the inside of the letter 3 times. After I had the lights installed I tested them out, and they work great! Once I verified that they worked okay I used the small hole in the back of the A to string the chord through (And this is optional but if the hole is high up on the letter like mine you can use black tape to string the chord down the back of the letter so that it will not show).

Step 9: Screwing the Letter Back Together

For this step you will once again have to locate the screw holes on your letter, and using a screwdriver screw the top back onto the bottom. Once this step is complete your letter will be finished! all thats left is to plug it in and find a place to display it!

Step 10: Admire Your Work

Congrats! You've finished creating a Spooky Salvage Shop Silhouette!

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