Introduction: Neon Sign W/ EL Wire
Make your own neon sign for a fraction of the cost of a real one!
Step 1: Gather Your Materials
For this project, you are going to need EL wire (electroluminescent wire), pliers, wire cutters, super glue (I used Scotch-Weld), 12 gauge wire, a printer, paper, an application you can use to write text (Google Docs, Microsoft Word, ect.), a pencil or sharpie, a glue stick and glue dots (optional).
Step 2: Choose What You Want to Say and Write It Out
To make things easier I decided to use an online program to write my word but you can totally hand draw your word. I choose to do my name but the word you choose is up to you. It is crucial that you choose a cursive font because the letters need to connect since you cannot cut EL wire. I choose the font Homemade Apple (on Google Docs). I then typed up my word and made it the largest font size, in my case this was 400.
Step 3: Print and Cut
Once your letters are printed out, you want to cut out your letters to get rid of excess paper. Then you are going to cut out the ends of the letters that are going to connect. If you have and i in your word feel free to cut you the dot since you won't be using it anyway.
Step 4: Glue Letters Together
Use a glue stick to glue the ends of the letters you cut out to connect the letters.
Step 5: Make Your Letters Perfect
This is your stage to make sure you like how all of your letters are written. I felt that my i was a bit short so I decided to extend it using a sharpie.
Step 6: Tracing Your Word With Wire
This part can be a bit difficult since 12 gauge wire can be hard to bend. But it's perfect because once you bend it in shape you do not have to worry about accidentally bending a weird way.
Step 7: Cut Off Excess
When you have finished tracing your word use the wire cutters to cut off the rest of the wire. Leaving you with your wire word.
Step 8: Glue on the EL Wire
This was the part I think that I struggled with the most. Using the super glue you are going to want to bit by bit glue the EL wire down. Don't worry if you get glue on the wire unless someone gets really close they won't be able to see it.
Step 9: Put Up Your Sign
Since I can't hang things on my walls I put the sign on my mirror and used the glue dots to tack it in place (the red arrows show where I put the dots).
Step 10: Light It Up
This is by far the most satisfying part. Turn off the lights or wait till night time and light up your sign!