Steps // How to Make Decorative Marquee Letters
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STEP 1: Trace the Letters

 
Step One // How to Make Decorative Marquee Letters

STEP 1: Trace the Letters

Jimmy DiResta spray paints the outline of paper letters onto plywood

Trace the chosen letters onto a piece of plywood.

This step begins in the video at 0:52.

 
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STEP 2: Cut the Letters

 
Step Two // How to Make Decorative Marquee Letters

STEP 2: Cut the Letters

a bandsaw is cutting out letters from the plywood

Cut out the letters using a band saw or a jigsaw.

This step begins in the video at 1:25.

 
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STEP 3: Plan the Lights Pattern

 
Step Three // How to Make Decorative Marquee Letters

STEP 3: Plan the Lights Pattern

Jimmy DiResta is tracing a circle onto a wooden letter

Count out how many lights are on the string lights. With that number in mind, trace out on the letters where each light will be placed, being sure to space them evenly.

This step begins in the video at 1:55.

 
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STEP 4: Drill Holes for the Lights

 
Step Four // How to Make Decorative Marquee Letters

STEP 4: Drill Holes for the Lights

Jimmy DiResta drills a circular hole the letters

Drill holes for each of the lights and sand the letters thoroughly.

This step begins in the video at 2:11.

 
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STEP 5: Make and Attach Wooden Spacers

 
Step Five // How to Make Decorative Marquee Letters

STEP 5: Make and Attach Wooden Spacers

Jimmy DiResta hot-glues wooden blocks on the back of letters

Cut small spacers out of the remaining plywood. Glue to the back of the letters to allow for space for the wiring.

This step begins in the video at 2:39.

 
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STEP 6: Shape and Attach the Flashing

 
Step Six // How to Make Decorative Marquee Letters

STEP 6: Shape and Attach the Flashing

flashing is shaped around a wooden triangular arrow

Wrap the flashing around the letters and secure with the hot glue and a nail gun. Use a speed square as a brake when bending the flashing.

This step begins in the video at 2:55.

 
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STEP 7: Create Wooden Backing

 
Step Seven // How to Make Decorative Marquee Letters

STEP 7: Create Wooden Backing

Jimmy DiResta and Kevin stand with the letters and wooden panels

Cut two pieces of scrap wood the approximate length of the letters.

This step begins (out of order) in the video at 6:40.

 
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STEP 8: Prime and Paint the Letters

 
Step Eight // How to Make Decorative Marquee Letters

STEP 8: Prime and Paint the Letters

the letters have white primer, and red spray paint is being applied

Prime all the letters with spray paint and allow them to dry. Then, paint the inside of the letters with the desired color.

This step begins in the video at 4:56.

 
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STEP 9: Cover the Holes with Painter’s Tape

 
Step Nine // How to Make Decorative Marquee Letters

STEP 9: Cover the Holes with Painter’s Tape

Jimmy DiResta and Kevin are placing painter's tape over the holes in the letters

Flip all the letters upside down and cover the holes with painter’s tape to prevent paint from spraying to the other side.

This step begins in the video at 5:30.

 
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STEP 10: Finish Painting the Letters and Backing

 
Step Ten // How to Make Decorative Marquee Letters

STEP 10: Finish Painting the Letters and Backing

the outside flashing of the letters are being painted black

Spray paint the outside letters with the desired color. Paint the two pieces of scrap wood for the backing the same color. Allow everything to fully dry.

This step begins in the video at 5:39.

 
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STEP 11: Remove the Lightbulbs

 
Step Eleven // How to Make Decorative Marquee Letters

STEP 11: Remove the Lightbulbs

Jimmy DiResta and Kevin stand with the letters and a box of small lightbulbs

Remove all the lightbulbs from the string lights.

This step begins in the video at 5:50.

 
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STEP 12: Attach the Lightbulb Sockets to the Letters

 
Step Twelve // How to Make Decorative Marquee Letters

STEP 12: Attach the Lightbulb Sockets to the Letters

lightbulb sockets are glued into the holes drilled in the wooden letters

With the plug on one end of the letters, hot glue each lightbulb socket into each hole in a logical manner. Once the sockets are all in place, secure each connection with silicone caulking.

This step begins in the video at 5:54.

 
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STEP 13: Attach the Lightbulbs

 
Step Thirteen // How to Make Decorative Marquee Letters

STEP 13: Attach the Lightbulbs

Jimmy DiResta and Kevin attach the lightbulbs to the sockets in the wooden letters

Screw all the lightbulbs back in place.

This step begins in the video at 6:30.

 
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STEP 14: Attach the Letters to the Backing

 
Step Fourteen // How to Make Decorative Marquee Letters

STEP 14: Attach the Letters to the Backing

the letters are being attached to wooden panels with screws

Secure the two backer pieces to the spacers on the letters with wood screws and a hand screwdriver. To make it easier, you can predrill the holes with a drill.

This step begins in the video at 6:45.

 
 

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