DIY Marquee Letters

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I’m not a big “fru fru” type Valentines Day decorator. I like to keep things pretty neutral and pink-frilly free. So I came up with the idea to make my own marquee letters to place above my dinning table and add a little “love” to my decor.

projectsdecor 2013 035These letters are super easy to make and the supplies are super cheap! This would make a great project for a wedding, party or everyday decor, and you can alter this tutorial to make any word!


  • 4 foam core boards (Dollar Store)
  • 1 sheet of poster board (if you have a rounded letter like “O” or “D”) (Dollar Store)
  • tape
  • Ruler
  • Scissors and an Exato Knife
  • Spray Paint (about $3.60 at Walmart, any color- i used silver)
  • 1-2 strings of small white Christmas lights
  • 7-10 clear Christmas ornaments per letter (Goodwill, Craft Stores, Online)


  1. Trace out your letters on the foam board using a ruler. You can print out letters and use them as stencils, but i wanted mine bigger than 8×11 computer paper so I free handed them.
  2. Cut out your letters. projectsdecor 2013 010
  3. This part is sort of tricky: See picture to the left –> Measure each length of your letter and cut out strips to form the sides of your letter out of foam board (or out of poster board for round letters). For example, the length of the long side of my “L” was about 18″, I wanted my letters to be 2″ deep so my long strip was 18″x2″. Start with one letter at a time and start with the one with the straightest lines (like “L”) so you can get the hang of this.
  4. Now you are ready to attach your sides. Flip over your letter and use masking tape to attach the sides to your base letter. projectsdecor 2013 011

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5. Once all your letters are put together (they are all 3-D now!) pull out your ruler again and your Christmas bulbs. Using these eye ball how far apart you want your lights to go. Draw dots, and then using your exacto-knife cut out small circles that are just big enough for the christmas lights to poke through (about the size of a pencil eraser). projectsdecor 2013 015 projectsdecor 2013 019

6. Now take all your letters outside and spray paint them your color of choice. I used silver because I wanted them to look sort of like metal. (when spray painting use short quick motions and multiple thin layers to avoid drips.)

7. Once your paint is dry, flip over your letters and insert the lights. Use masking tape to secure them.projectsdecor 2013 0248. Now grab your ornaments again. Take off the wire and the cap- you can toss the cap, you won’t need it any more.projectsdecor 2013 026

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9. Take the wire from your ornaments and stick them through the holes, making sure to put it around the wire to the lights so that it doesn’t just pop out the other side. It will look like this from the front…projectsdecor 2013 02910. Now place your ornament over each light, using the ornament wire to hold it in place!
projectsdecor 2013 031

Now you can hang your pretty letters on the wall or set them on a table. Plug them in and enjoy!

projectsdecor 2013 035 projectsdecor 2013 034

IMG_2525 IMG_2526

If you liked this tutorial please share it with your friends on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook!

This Project was featured on If it’s Not Baroque!

This Project was linked up with The Scoop!

18 thoughts on “DIY Marquee Letters

  1. Hello there! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

  2. It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d certainly donate
    to this brilliant blog! I guess for now i’ll settle for book-marking and
    adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to brand new updates and will share this site with my Facebook group.
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  3. Fantastic! Just wondering what you used to hang the letters onto the wall? I am imagining they are not super sturdy alone?

    1. Thanks! Because the materials I used were so light i was able to use silver pushpins to hang them. Small finishing nails or even picture Command Strips would work as well.

  4. Pingback: Changes…

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