DIY Backlit Wood Sign - (from Jumpfroggy's 'ible)

Introduction: DIY Backlit Wood Sign - (from Jumpfroggy's 'ible)

About: Currently a sophomore at NCSU studying computer science. I enjoy making things, hacking things, building electronic circuits, and cooking!

I saw jumpfroggy's 'ible called "DIY Backlit Wood Sign" and thought it was really cool, but didn't have a use for it. Then my dad started up a new company called Easy Tributes and said he was going to lots of tradeshows and conventions for it. I remembered this, and decided to make it!

Mine is a little different than the original.
- The first noticeable difference is that mine is painted white with a black border, and the letters have a painted stroke around them.
- Also, I used 1x12 wood (Two- 3 foot pieces) for the front and back and used 1x4 for the edges.
- A third difference is in the way I wired it. I used two "light bulb to wall outlet" converters that I found at Walmart for $.98 each. I attached each of those to a short extension cord and hot-glued them in opposite corners of the box. The lightbulbs I used were 100w-simulating CFL bulbs, which actually only use around 25 watts of power. I attached each of those two extension cords to one main short extension cord, and then attached that one to an outdoor/indoor 25 foor heavy duty cord. This is the only cord coming out of the box (I wanted it to be simple and easy to use). I also added a standard light switch about 4 inches from the female end of the heavy-duty cord. This way, you can turn it on or off instead of unplugging and plugging it back in.
- Another minor difference is in the way I cut out the letters. I used a jigsaw, but only for the rough cuts. I went back with the Dremel with a sanding/grinding attachment to make it look nice.
- (Another note on the painting) I also put a coat of Poly-Crylic on top to finish it off and make it look nice.
- The last difference is the diffuser I used behind the letters. I used some thicker card-stock rather than printer paper.

Overall, I think it turned out pretty well. Next time, however, I will do a few thing differently. First of all I would round off the edges with a router. Next I would add two doors on the back - one in front of each lightbulb - so you can easily change the lightbulb when it dies. Third, I would find a better way to mount the light switch... It looks pretty bad.

Thanks for looking!

The light setup in action:
How the letters were traced on the wood:
Overview of the entire piece:

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    3 Discussions

    If you do this again, you might consider ordering some LED strips instead. They can be incredibly cheap on eBay or Amazon, and often come with a remote control, as well. Uses even less power (less heat) and no wiring needed (an issue for some people)


    7 years ago on Introduction

    When I read the sign in the picture my mind jumped to the Hunger Games and "Easy Tributes" made me think of a sign hanging over the easier targets.

    Wonderful Instructable and keep up the great work.



    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Haha! That would be cool, but not fair to the tribute!

    Thanks for the compliment!