Weddings are expensive. I always knew that, but it wasn't until I got engaged last year that I realized how expensive they really were. In order to keep our costs minimal, we set a pretty conservative budget. Only $500 for decorations. Seeing as this included signs, center pieces, guestbook, cake topper, head table decor, and ceremony decor, it was easier said than done.
I saw giant MR and MRS lights on kijiji for rental for $300. They looked amazing, but $300?! That was more than half of my budget. So I set out to make them myself. The total cost for these letters came to $50! And that is including lots of white Christmas lights which we will use every Christmas.
I received so many complements on these letters. They were a huge hit at the wedding, and provided a lovely atmosphere for the dance floor when the lights were dimmed.
For this project you will need:
- Approximately 8 foam boards (from the dollarstore at $1.25 each is $10 total) (could also use cardboard or any other kind of firm board)
- 1 or 2 cans of spray paint
- Hot Glue Gun
- Utility knife
- 3 sets of White Christmas Lights size C6
Step 1: Draw the Letters
Draw each letter in MR & MRS onto a full foam board. I'd recommend either copying my letters or looking up a font you like online. Modify your font to give each letter a firm base and a standard thickness of 3 inches.
Step 2: Cut Out the Letters
Using a utility knife carefully begin to cut out each letter. Work slowly, cutting a little deeper into the foam with each swipe of the knife until it passes through to the other side.
I found that holding the foam securely with one hand on a table, and cutting over the edge was very effective. I didn't have to worry about scratching the table when the knife suddenly burst through the foam board.
Please work carefully at this step! It is far too easy for the knife to slide into places where you did not intend it to go, especially on curves.
Save your scraps, you will use this material in the next step.
Step 3: Make the Edges
I added edges to my letters to trap the light inward and really make the letters pop.
To do this, cut all scraps into strips with 1 inch thickness. You will need a lot of these strips, I needed another two boards worth of foam all cut into strips in addition to the scraps (and I had a lot of scraps).
Working with one letter at a time, cut strips to the length of the straight edges. Glue these onto the letter using hot glue. See the photo for guidance.
For curved edges, cut the stips into small sections, about 1 inch wide. I recommend cutting these as you need them, as the thickness you can use will depend on the curve. Use many little pieces to cover the whole curve.
Step 4: Spray Paint
Lay the letters out on a plastic sheet, either outside or in a garage. Spray paint the letters thoroughly. We used two cans on ours. The tricky part is to not miss any of the nooks and crevices that letters tend to have. Don't worry about the backs of the letters, as no one will see them!
Step 5: Make Holes for the Lights
With a pencil and a ruler draw lines dividing each part of the letters in two. Use this as a guideline for making holes for the Christmas lights.
Using the utility knife, make a little cross every 2 inches along the letters. Make another cross over-top of the first ones so there are 8 cuts in total, making a little star (see pictures for example).
Step 6: Add the Lights
Squeeze the lights into the holes you've made, linking the letters together. This is a pain to undo, so I recommend not doing so until you are sure no changes will need to be made.
Step 7: Enjoy!
Set the letters up across the head table and enjoy! Be proud of the wedding decoration that you made yourself.
The letters were extremely lightweight to carry, and provided a lovely backdrop for our first dance. Just be careful when transporting, as they can be somewhat fragile.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, please leave any questions/comments/photos of your own in the comments below!