DIY Marquee Alphabet Light


Last week I was partaking in the usual stalking of my favorite websites. These sessions normally consist of Girl Scout cookies (what is left of them!), wine, and shedding silent tears over nice things I can’t have.

I stumbled across these vintage-chic marquee letters from Urban Outfitters.  Like times a million. But even I will admit their hefty price tag of $189 is INSANE.

With those giant paper mache letters easily found at any craft store and left over Christmas lights, I was able to make my own for under $10.

You will need:
Paper Mache Letter – 23.5″ or 12″
Box Cutter
Spray Paint
String of battery operated Christmas lights
Power Drill (optional)


1. With a box cutter, remove one side of the paper mache letter. The inside will be hollow with the exception of a few stabilizers you will need to take out.


2. Turn the letter over to the “front.” Count the number of lightbulbs you will be using. On the front of the letter, mark where you want the bulbs to be.  Using a power drill or a box cutter, make holes small enough for the bulbs to fit snuggly.

The particular set of lights I used was a 20-light, battery operated set left over from Christmas. The lights don’t get very hot but for paranoia’s sake, I probably won’t leave it on while I’m not home.

You may not be able to pick these up locally this time of year but I imagine they can currently be found floating around the internet somewhere!

diy-marquee-letter-step-33. After you have drilled/cut every hole, spray paint. This gold spray paint gives it a nice faux-metal look.


diy-marquee-letter-step-44. You may find this step to be different depending on what kind of lights you are using.

I like these particular string lights because the outer globe can be removed from the bulb itself. I took each lightbulb apart and placed the globe into the front of the letter. After I had done that with each globe, I turned the letter over and plugged each bulb back into their respective globe.


5. This is a rear view of what your marquee letter should look like! I like that these lights are battery operated and I don’t have to worry about having a nearby outlet. I can tuck the battery pack into one leg of the letter and turn it on at the flip of a switch.

Perfection. And my wallet can breathe easy again! Spending crisis averted.

For now…


I’m loving the red and gold, but next time, I think I will go with a bright magenta or teal spray paint!


About Girl of a 1000 Dreams

Lover of DIY and cats. But aren't we all?
This entry was posted in For DIY-ers and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to DIY Marquee Alphabet Light

  1. krystal says:

    seriously awesome!!

  2. I seriously am in love with this. I have been drooling over the marquee letters at UO for years. YEARS. I am definitely giving this a shot!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s