Marquee Letters

In our apartment we are going for a rustic industrial decor. The rustic part is for The Man, the industrial part is for me.  I watch a ton of shows that the scavenge around random people’s barns and find treasures to resell. My favorite finds are those old signs and marquee letters. I quickly discovered how expensive they are, holy cow! It was clear that I needed to buy make some for our place.

Supplies: I stopped on by my local Hobby Lobby… which happens to be an hour away! They had these fantastic mdf letters I bought up 5 of them and made my way home.

I had to find globe lights before I could start on the project, because the number of lights on the string had to determine the amount of holes for all the letters. I found these lights at Target and snatched them up. I was going to get their normal globe lights for outdoor living and they are $12.99 per box, these were for Christmas and only $8.99. Score! Since I needed 2 boxes I saved $8 right off the bat.


After planning out how the 50 lights would be spread across the 5 letters….

It was off to the garage for some good old power tools! My favorite. 

1 marquee letters predrilling

I grabbed a little hole thingy that was 5/8 of an inch. (After testing it out on the lights I knew it was the right size… boy was I WRONG. Keep reading to find out what went wrong.)

2 sizing holes 3 tools

Make sure that you put a scrap piece of wood under the letters before you start drilling. Here is why!

4 scrap piece of wood

5 drilling holes for the lights 6 marquee letters with holes

And all the letters were done in about 15 minutes.

7 marquee letters presides


The sides were pretty easy to do. Just had to measure out each little side, and carefully saw the pieces. I used an Exacto Saw for this step.

9 gluing on the sides to form the letters 8. cutting balsa wood

After gluing on the sides of the letters I painted the L red.

10 marquee letter

Then it was finally time to attach the lights!

11 back of marquee letter 12 Marquee Letter

And the drum roll as I plugged in the lights. And……

13 Marquee Letters

Rot Ro…. there is a slight problem… Note to self test that the lights will turn on BEFORE you drill all the holes the wrong size! The lights screwed in just fine but they were about a millimeter away from screwing in enough, which mean the mdf was just a tad too thick. I went back and drilled new holes the next size up and they work great now.

Keep an eye out to see the letters in all their glory!



13 responses to “Marquee Letters

  1. Love this! How will you make the sides of the “S” since it’s curved? Our last name is Smith, so I’d love to make an “S” for our mantel.


    • Thank you! I will have a post about the S & P the first week of February. There are two different ways to handle curved letters and I will cover both in that post.

      If you sign up to follow Last Legs you will get an email as soon as the post is up! (Don’t worry you will not get any spam, just emails with a link to new posts :)

      -xo Melanie


  2. Pingback: Curved Marquee Letters | Last Legs Blog·

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