How Do I; DIY Marquee Light Up Anchor
This DIY marquee light is actually a project I completed quite a while back, when I had a completely different direction for where I wanted the style of the master bedroom to go. The trend for light up marquee lettering was well underway, but to get anything of a decent size, you had to pay ridiculous money. I wanted something substantial and floor standing. I also wanted an anchor. Quite specific!
Bring on the DIY Marquee Light Up Anchor. It’s exactly what you’ve been looking for, right? Seriously though, this cost less than £30 to make, and would be perfect for a kids room, or even as huge free-standing letters behind the top table at a wedding.
What You Will Need;
Thick card (I used 2mm thickness. Make sure that the card you use can bend easily)
Globe String lights (Make sure that the globe shades are removable)
Drill and an 8mm drill bit
Old roll of wallpaper (to make a template)
How To Make Your Light
Step 1; First up, decide what shape you want. I had this idea for an anchor light, but the shape doesn’t really matter in this ‘how to’. What is important is that you get the shape drawn out correctly, and to the size that you want. I would recommend doing this on the back of leftover wallpaper. Tape bits together if it’s not wide enough. This will be your template.
Step 2; Trace out your shape on to the 6mm MDF. Using the jigsaw, you will need to cut out the MDF shape, following your line. If you can follow a line, then you can use a jigsaw.
Step 3; You will now need to mark out where you want your lights to go. The spacing will all depend on how much flex is available between each light. Lay it out to see what works best. Once you have your rough spacing, you’ll need to measure and even out the gaps. Mark where the lights will go.
Step 4; Using your drill, make the holes for your lights. I used an 8mm drill bit which would create a hole that would easily allow a standard fairy light through, however, it really depends on the type you’ve bought. It needs to fit through WITHOUT the globe shade on. The shade will then need to fit back on when it’s pushed through, holding it in place.
Step 5; To build up the sides, you will need to decide how deep you want your light to be. Again, this is personal preference. Add on to that 4cm. I wanted mine to be quite solid looking so made it about 13cm deep in total. Cut your card into strips of your required depth.
Step 6; Using a pencil, mark a line 4cm in on each strip. Your MDF form will be attached along this line, so that there is a depth of card to the front and back of your light.
Step 7; Using the glue gun, apply a thick line of molten glue, along the line you’ve just drawn. Push this on to your MDF form and hold for a few seconds until cooled and fixed. Work your way around the shape. Don’t worry about joints where your card ends…it’ll just look like welded metal by the time you’re finished. Run a line of glue along each joint.
Step 8; Paint. Depending on the look you’re going for, you’ll need to get a base coat of colour on to your marquee light. I opted for pewter spray, as I wanted to build up a rusty effect, through applied layers of colour. Any colour would work for this. I allowed it to run and blob, for added texture.
Step 9; Using dark brown acrylic paint, I washed on a thin layer of colour. Using a rag, I blotted off some areas, paying particular attention to the inside facing. Allow to dry.
Step 10; Using a dry paint brush, I picked up a small amount of orange acrylic paint, and using a random circular motion, dusted the edges and corners of the card, before working onto the flat surfaces. Build up this colour slowly and be subtle. You still want to be able to see the metallic base.
Step 11; Once dry, seal with a polyeurathene sealer in matt finish. Poke the lights through their holes and attach the shades to fix them in place. You shouldn’t glue these as you would want to be able to remove them to replace bulbs. Attach the battery pack to the back of the frame (if your lights are battery operated!)
And thats it! This wee project only took a few hours, and was relatively hassle free. To buy something similar, of this size, would cost a helluva lot more than thirty quid.