Get Yearly ALL ACCESS, now just $3.99/month
  • $3.99/month, billed as $47/year (normal price $348)
  • Discounted price valid forever - Renews at $47/year
  • Access to millions of Graphics, Fonts, Classes & more
  • Personal, Commercial and POD use of files included
  • Upgrade Now
  • Cancel anytime

How to Make a Lit Sign for Your Holiday Décor

How to Make a Lit Sign for Your Holiday Décor main article image
Posted on December 8, 2021 by Jennifer Carroll

One of my favorite things to do anytime, but especially around Christmas time, is create a big décor piece. I like to look at some of the popular websites that feature high-end décor pieces that cost much more than I want to spend. Wayfair, Kirkland’s, and Pottery Barn have items that I like to admire and if I can figure out how to make one – I’m going to.

I saw this sign on the Pottery Barn website for a whopping $499! It didn’t look super complicated so I thought I would give it a try. The original was bigger than the one I’m going to make, but mine will be significantly less than the practically 500 dollars you’d have to spend on the store-bought one.

Materials I Used

I have an extensive collection of junk in my workshop. For this sign, I actually already had a perfect board. It’s a 17” by 24” box sign that I had painted over in preparation for another project, but changed my mind when I saw this marquee sign I could dupe.

To create the word “MERRY” I used an old headboard panel from a crib I picked up from Facebook Marketplace for free.

I did a quick layout of my sign on Cricut Design Space. I like to make a sign look as much like the final product as I can before I start cutting any materials. This comes from the years I spent working at sign shops. I always required customers to sign off on a design and even though my current customers aren’t quite as demanding as those corporate types were, I still send my customers a draft of what their final product will look like. They appreciate the opportunity to contribute ideas when it’s a custom piece.

After my layout was exactly like I thought it should be, I also added the holes where the lights would be placed. Again, no surprises this way. I cut my letters out of vinyl one at a time because I just had 12”x12” squares of vinyl in my stash. If you have the Cricut Maker 3 you can use chipboard to cut out your letters. I don’t have that machine, so I used a jigsaw to cut my letters out. I placed each letter on the board and just used a scroll saw blade in my Ryobi jigsaw to carefully cut out each letter. When I was finished, I used light grit sandpaper to even out the edges. My letters aren’t as perfect as what yours will be if you’re using a Cricut, but they’ll do.

The next step was to use a wood-boring bit to drill out all the holes for the lights that will go in this sign. I used a ¾” bit. If you use power tools to complete your projects, remember to wear your safety gear. A power drill is one of the easiest power tools to master and if you don’t have one, I highly recommend the Ryobi line of battery-operated tools. The batteries are interchangeable between tools, and they don’t become obsolete.

After I have the holes cut out, I place my letters on the board exactly where I want them to be, and I trace around every hole. I then use the same wood-boring bit to drill the same pattern in my signboard.

Now that all the holes are cut. I’m ready to paint. I used Crimson by Waverly for the sign face. It’s a thick chalk paint and I like it because it covers well, and it doesn’t take very long to dry. I used Waverly white chalk paint for the letters. I left my project to dry overnight.

To create the marquee effect on my sign, I use a string of thirty globe lights. I bought mine at Walmart for less than $8. I would have preferred for my lights to have a white cord, but the shelves were bare when I got around to buying these. So green cords it is! I see these types of lights on my thrift hauls all the time and I think I’m going to pick them up from now on.

When my letters and board were all dried, I was ready to adhere the letters to the board. I just lined the letters up with my pre-drilled holes. I used e-6000 and hot glue. This is a good method if you want a project to stick immediately and you also need a long-term hold. Just don’t mix the two or they seem to deactivate each other.

Now here comes the fun part. Just take all those little globes off the light sockets. I put mine in a big plastic bowl so they wouldn’t roll away while I was working. I fed each socket through a hole. I didn’t worry about securing them in because they fit well, and I will probably use these lights in another project after the holidays.

After my sign was put together, I touched up everything with a little paint and it was ready to display.

A Few Tips

If you don’t procrastinate as I did, you can find strings of lights that are battery-operated, and that will be a little easier. This is also a good project to use up your wood scraps. I used a box sign that I had in my stash, but if I hadn’t had one I would have made a pallet. Just construct a simple frame and cover it with slats that are placed right next to one another. The inspiration piece had a shiplap face, and I would have created that, except I had recently used all my shiplap in another project.

My total spent to make this sign was under $10. A practical price if you needed to buy supplies would be about $40.

Whatever you use to create your holiday projects and whatever you create, have fun! I hope you have a very Christmas and until next time – happy crafting!

Please follow me here to see my latest creations!

Facebook – The Barnyard Boutique

The Barnyard Boutique

Receive Digest

Receive a weekly digest that highlights the most popular articles on The Artistry.

To show your appreciation, you can add this article to your favorites or share it.

3X Added to favorites

No comments yet
Get access to all 8,294,492 designs. Get 10 downloads 100% free
Free Graphics

Every week we release new premium Graphics for free, some available for a limited time only.

7871103 Graphics

Get access to 7,871,103 Graphics as part of our Graphics subscription. Check them out now.

Discount Deals

Our discount deals are premium products for just $1. Available for 1 week only, so act fast!


This article was written by

Download 8,294,492 designs

Get 10 downloads 100% free

Activate Free Trial
Daily Gifts

Download Now

Read Next

Three Unlikely Home Décor Items and How to Style Them
Getting Started with the Cricut Maker 3
How to be a Sustainable Designer in 2021
How I Make These Custom Coasters for Really Cheap
Creative Fabrica’s Christmas in July Giveaway
Daily Gifts

Download Now
Discount Deals
Daily Gifts

Download Now