06/16 DIY

DIY Marquee Sign

DIY Marquee Sign- HeyYo!  I’ve been itching to make a marquee sign for a long time now, and this summer season is finally kicking me in the butt to do it since it makes a great summer decor piece.   Now… there are a million and one marquee projects out there, and this one isn’t anything new, but I still had to do it, especially with how simple I knew it was going to be.  I imagined it going above a bar cart, which I still don’t have (boo!), but for now I like it just hanging on the wall, and for potentially using it as party decor.  Hey now!

-cardboard letters (I got mine from JoAnn Fabrics)
-X-Acto knife
-screw driver
string globe lights

Cutting cardboard lettersI started by cutting out one side of each of the cardboard letters with an X-Acto knife.  This was pretty easy to do and was a fairly neat process.

String lights circleIn the string lights packaging, the light bulbs were sitting in a cardboard tray, and I figured the holes in them would make the perfect tool to trace perfectly sized openings onto the cardboard letters.  So, I cut one of them out to use as a tracing guide.

Inserting lights

I traced circles on the inside of the cardboard letters where I wanted the lightbulbs to go. Then, I used an X-Acto knife to cut a cross in the center of each circle, making sure the cuts went all the way to the edges of each circle.  Flipping over the cardboard letters to the front side, I used a screwdriver to poke through and enlarge each hole.  Finally, I inserted the lightbulbs in each hole and screwed on the backings, shoving the wires in place within the cardboard edges.

Hey Marquee Sign

I thought about painting them, but decided I was too lazy liked the way the cardboard looked original and bare.  What do you think?

DIY Hey Marquee SignI did think about just doing one letter, or the widely beloved ampersand, but neither of those excited me more than this one.  I don’t exactly remember how I thought of using this word, but it is one I use often, and I liked the playfulness of it.  Seriously, it would work so well above a bar cart, right?  In that case, I’d also add a “girl” marquee beneath it ;).  That’s something I say a lot, too!  And not just a Ryan Gosling tribute.


43 comments on “DIY Marquee Sign”

  1. Hey girl hey! I think you should totes add a “girl” under it :) Either way this is SUPER cute! I’ve also been wanting to try making these and now I know how easy it is!
    P.S. There might be a bar cart project in the works for me right now. I would totally give it to you if you weren’t 74832 miles away ;)

  2. Oh hey! I’ve seen these marquis projects around too…for some reason I always thought they would be more complicated than this. And ditto on the bar cart, I feel like almost anything instantly looks cooler when placed over a bar cart. Do let me know if you spot one anywhere for a good price, I’ve been on the hunt for it too :)

  3. I have been soooo wanting to make one of these too but alot of the tutorials are a little more than I’m willing to delve into, yours is great! No crazy wiring or metal. #aintnobodygottimeforthat It looks great and I love the original color too.

  4. I love this, but I have one question if you wouldn’t mind clarifying it for me (It’s a simple one). I noticed the box of lights is a 20-bulb string, but there are 17 lights in your super-cute marquee, are the other 3 lights just stuffed in extra spaces inside the boxes? I’m so glad I found your site and this tutorial, I’ve been over-thinking my project! Thanks!

    1. Hi Nikki! All I did was unscrew the extra three bulbs that were at the end of the string lights, so there are three light bulb holders that are empty. You can see one of them hanging below the “Y” in the photo. Let me know if you have any more questions! I’m happy to help!

    1. Hi JodyLynn! Can you clarify which part you are talking about? I didn’t use any glass in this project. The only glass is the lights bulbs, which were a part of a string light set I got from Target.

  5. Another one I can use for my wedding decor! I’ve been searching for a simple tutorial on DIY marquee letters and yours fits the bill perfectly.


    1. Thanks, Meg! I used plastic cable clips to hold the letters in place by the cord that was scrunched up behind the letters.

    1. Hi Iris! I have not seen any changes in the cardboard color. I also haven’t used the sign for more than an hour at a time though, but so far the cardboard has held up the same!

    1. Hi Rhonda! The globe lights I used do not get hot to the touch, therefore would not cause the cardboard to heat to the point of fire. I don’t know enough to say the same for any other type of bulb/lights, however, so just stick to the globe lights that I used. Thanks for your question!

    1. Hi Sarah! Mine had two bulbs too many, so I unscrewed them and took them off. I standard string of lights should have enough bulbs!

  6. how did you hang them i want to make one for my daughter her name is Stella. dont get me wrong i can figure out how to hang it i just want to know how you did it. great idea love it so will my daughter )

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