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Marquee light: How to make a wall hanging marquee light for a nursery

How I made this marquee light for the circus theme nursery using only wood scraps and some plaint! From sketch to final hanging, check how we made this $15 light!

marquee light in nursery

We are so happy about Peanut's nursery feedback and I am super excited about all the comments and emails, so Thank you!! And just like I promise on that post, here is one of the few projects I had in my drafts, now is the time for one of my favorites: The circus K marquee.

marquee light during the day

I wanted to make a marquee K because of our last name “Kelley” since Peanut's sex was a surprise and we had decided on two names with different initials. I've seen foam-board tutorials for these cuties, but I wanted something more resistant and lasting, so unlike most of my up-cycled projects this time I wanted wood instead of cardboard or foam-board.

For this project the only thing I bought was the lights ($15.00 with a coupon), everything else was recycled. We had just received our floors and the pallet was laying around our front yard, so I used pieces from the feet of the pallet for the sides and after getting all the nails out I used that board for the K shape.

The process to make a marquee light

The very first thing I did was to draw a small version of how I wanted the K, it would have been a lot faster to just select a font that had the look I wanted but at that point the computer screen still made me dizzy so I just went the old way. After I finish the K, I used the same principle I used to escalate the logo in my office wall and enlarge it to the real size I wanted (about 35″ tall)

planning the marquee light

Once I had the template on paper I cut it so I could tape it to my board, it would have been easier to just use a marker, but the lazy pregnant wanted to skip a step =] I carefully cut the board with a jigsaw – I should have just ask Ken to do it, because I ended up cutting the bucket underneath (I can blame my pregnancy clumsiness for that, because I never had anything like that happen to me before)

making a template and cutting it
edges cutted of the marquee light

After I cut the K shape, I used all the little rectangles they had assemble to make the pallet feet and place them on the sides. Because I needed space on the back for the lights I placed 1.5″pieces of wood under the K so that when I glued the side pieces the K would be exactly on the center.

Joy cutting and assembling the marquee light

And because at 8 months pregnant I was so uncomfortable, I decided to just work on the floor in front of the garage =] and no one could move me from there! That's what happens when getting up is a very extreme task.

Close up fo the marquee light

I asked Ken to help me with the angles to finish (to keep me from breaking anything else) I let the wood glue dry for a full day because I added lots of glue in all of the joints.

sanding the oversize letter marquee

Once the glue was dry I sanded the whole thing and used calking to fill up and smooth the joints.

marquee light with drywall compound

Adding the light bulbs to the light

Before I cut my K shape I made sure I mark all the little dots where the lights were going to go. I just used a nail and hammer for that. To actually make the wholes I used a drill. I measure the socket of my lights to make the holes as close as possible so that I could have the socket fit tightly in the hole.

making the wholes for the lights

And here are my lights in case you were wondering, they give a super nice glow but they are not very strong, perfect for a night light.

light bulbs for the marquee light

I gave it 3 coats of paint (I used the leftover from the closet) and to plug we got an extension cord and add a light switch, of course, I had the hardest time finding a switch for the exact cord we got, so I asked my Mom to bring me a few of them from Chile.

details of the bulbs

The Marquee light reveal

I am super happy about how it ended up looking, and it was way less work than the elephant lamp. This is how the marquee light looks like during the day! I really like the frosted light bulbs!

marquee light during the day

And this is how the light looks like at night!

marquee light at night

So there you go! I hope this can help anyone wanting to go the wood route for a project like this.

I hope you are all having a great day!

ps. If you are one of the hundreds that emailed me in the past few months, know that I am working on my inbox now so I hopefully will get to you shortly (hopefully I'll get down to 0 next week) Penut only cooperates a few days a week =]


Tuesday 7th of October 2014

you are magic! congrats!


Wednesday 23rd of April 2014

Love this!

Sara J.

Friday 21st of March 2014

Oh My Gosh! Joy I love it! I am new to your blog...but I will be following it now! I wish I had your talent with wood! I HAVE TO HAVE a K for my Kindergarten Classroom! I seriously HAVE TO HAVE ONE! I can't cut wood and I need something durable with all the kiddos in my classroom! I wish you lived closer so you could help me! Where did you buy your lights? Those would be perfect for my classroom!

Tania Maria

Thursday 13th of March 2014

Hola, soy de Chile y me encanta todo lo que haces, tienes un talento único.

Yo también hago manualidades, pero me guio de ideas que saco de internet, espero poder hacer el letrero y que me quede tan lindo como a ti.

Cariños a la distancia. Arica-Chile


Monday 10th of February 2014

How did you attach the lights? I just got mine in the mail and they flair out at the top and taper back but the clip on the side peptides farther they the flair. What size hole did you make and how did you fix them in there? Thanks.

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