Learn how to make an AWESOME lighted sign with Christmas lights and delight your friends and guests when they come to visit! Now if you are like me and put off by the technical aspects of lighting such as wiring, positive to negative blah,blah,blah, well you are going to LOVE this approach!
Other than what I needed to know to assemble the wiring from the kit I needed for my mason jar lamp, I don’t mess around with something that has the power to well, shock you…However this project will, in a good way!
Long story short, I used to have one of those light-up vintage clocks with a soda ad company name on it, but unfortunately the light burned out and I had no idea how to replace it, since it called for a fluorescent tube (?). Somehow I rigged it up with a set of midget sized Christmas lights and voila….Wow, what a fix that was!
Pin Me, Crafters! ❤️️
Then I decided to create a sign of my own using this same technique. I loved it, and I think you will, too!
It took me about three days tops to make this sign. First things first, the lights. Seasonal timing affects their availability; they tend to be plentiful on shelves during the fall months and nonexistent the rest of the year. They also should be midget-sized, clear, and between 15 and 25 lights on the string will give the best effect.
Sometimes I’ve gotten the battery-operated type, but they’re usually less reliable.
Other items include: A small box of your choosing (a cardboard shoebox would work great!) A sheet of clear plastic or cellophane, x-acto knife, paint and glue.. Optional -some markers would be helpful.
Making the Design For Your Light-Up Sign
First…decide on your design – will it be a single word, or a simple image? Here is my box from the start, I decided on a homemade “exit” sign for fun, just like the kind you see in public venues.
Don’t think you have to use a word, you can come up with something like a star, heart, moon, your first initial, family surname initial, etc. Just make the design simple and sweet so it will be easier to handle when cutting early on.
Want a clever hack to craft a word? Check these signs out below I found on Instructables; the talented person who made these used a program like Word to create the design, chose a font and blew up the size real big .
Image credit: Creativeman
I LOVE these signs…they’re AWESOME…too bad I didn’t find this method until AFTER I made my own sign? I think I am going to make another one, though, in the future with this approach when I get a chance!
Get your ruler and use it to mark where the word/design needs to be centered before starting them. Use an x-acto knife to cut out the letters.
It may look a little crude here, but I was willing to allow for marker error since I planned to paint it. I spray painted the box with black spray paint. Your box may have writing on it most likely, so after cutting your design would be a good time to paint it.
Now take your sheet of cellophane and place it over the design’s outline, like this. Apply a bead of glue around the perimeter of the sheet so it won’t seep out around the design cutout; press in place.
I carefully glued down a green tissue paper sheet (Also letting these two sit for awhile so they would not buckle). If you have access to colored cellophane,you can use that in place of colored tissue paper. I just kinda had to make do at the moment 🙂
Let the whole thing dry for now, preferably overnight. We’ll get to those lights next!
How To Attach the Lights
So on to the midget light strand! I used a piece of thick foam poster board inside the box to have a place for the lights to be arranged on. I encourage you to do the same , just get some of that type of board and cut it to the width/length of your box. We will need this to secure the string so when the box is sitting upright the lights won’t roll around.
Your string of lights need to be “distributed” in a special way so they will not end up falling into a clump at the bottom.
To do this part I used a drill and made small holes at the corners. I wound the light string in a circle and secured three areas with twist ties. Then I pushed the board piece down. I made sure to carefully spread each light out …when done right, no one will know that’s Christmas lights in there!
Cut a notch on the side of the foam board (there is also a notch at the back of the shoebox too for the cord to thread through)
You know what’s coming…close up the box (the piece of board is pretty taut so it will stay in place on its own) and plug it in.
Time to Test Out Your Light-Up Sign!
Pretty awesome right? And you didn’t have to fool around with unfamiliar tools either. Just a regular old strand of midget lights! It was just as much fun as my party light strand here.
Oh, by the way, check out what this gal did…Very impressive! She pretty much created an exit sign just like mine but with a different approach (sounds easier I have to admit) and it became a nightlight for her son’s room…how cool is that?
(It looks like I may need to get out more and go to some yard sales, lol)
Now you know how to make a gorgeous lighted sign with Christmas lights, get busy and light up your living area now!