How to Make a DIY Christmas Light Up Sign

Brighten up your home for the holidays with a DIY Christmas light up sign. Perfect for greeting guests in your entryway or tucking into a cozy corner of your living room, this Christmas craft is sure to put you in the holiday spirit!


Skill
Intermediate
Time
One Day
Cost
Less Than $500

What You Need for This Project

  1. 1

    Arrange the Shims on the Wood Box

    Tip: Make your own box if you can’t find a pre-made one. Visit the lumber department at your local Lowe’s, pick up wood boards, have one of our specialists cut them into the sizes you need, and nail them together. Just remember to leave the top open.

    Place new shims (make sure they don’t have any holes or paint on them) side-by-side along the top of an open, wooden box.
  2. Steps:

  1. 2

    Write a Holiday Greeting

    Print out a holiday greeting of your choice. Then, use a pair of scissors to cut closely around the words. Next, place this stencil wherever you like on top of the shims.
  2. Steps:

  1. 3

    Mark Drill Holes

    Once you’ve decided where the holiday greeting will be, take a pencil and draw dots around the stencil to mark spots where you will drill holes in the shims so lights can shine through.

    Tip:Make sure the dots you draw are inside the frame of the box, not on it or outside of it.
  2. Steps:

  1. 4

    Drill Holes for the Holiday Greeting

    Use a 5/32-in wood drill bit (or one that is slightly bigger if you’ve picked up wider string lights) to drill holes where the pencil marks are.

    Make sure you drill all holes before you begin painting your shims to avoid any cracks in the surface.
  2. Steps:

  1. 5

    Paint the Shims

    Use a paint brush to paint the shims any colour you like. Remember to wait for each coat to dry before applying the next one.

    Tip: Want an unfinished or vintage look? Stick to a single coat.
  2. Steps:

  1. 6

    Put the Lights in the Box

    Move the shims off to the side and use a 1/4-in drill bit to create a groove in the bottom left corner of the box frame. Then, place the string lights into the box and pull the plug through the groove you just made.
  2. Steps:

  1. 7

    Attach the Shims to the Box Frame

    Place the shims back on top of the frame. Use finishing nails and a hammer to attach the shims to the wooden box frame.
  2. Steps:

  1. 8

    Track Chalk Over the Holiday Greeting

    Flip your stencil around and use a piece of chalk (or a chalk marker) to trace over the letters. Turn it back around and use painter’s tape to attach it to the shims.

    Use your pencil to trace over the letters, imprinting the chalk onto the shims. Then, remove both the tape and the stencil, and use your chalk to darken the letters or fill in any gaps.
  2. Steps:

  1. 9

    Let Your Holiday Sign Shine

    Place your sign near an outlet, plug it into a socket, and enjoy the holiday cheer!
  2. Steps:

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