How To

How To | Make Cardboard Letter Lights

Summer nights are fast approaching, so I thought it would be fun to spruce up the standard twinkle lights and create a graphic sign, as inspired by this project on Oh Happy Day.  And the best part… I finally found a use for all of the old cardboard boxes I’ve been hoarding since my move.  Win win!

Materials:

[one_half]
– cardboard box(es) – I used a granola bar box
– scissors
– x-acto knife
– cutting mat
– hole punch
– card stock
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[one_half_last]
– letter templates – you can print out your favorite style of block letters, fit 2 to a page
– modge podg
– paint brush or popsicle stick
– spray paint
– string of lights
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Instructions:

Cardboard letter lights | TyPennington.com

1. Choose your phrase and print out the coordinating letters, 2 to an 8.5 x 11 in piece of printer paper.

2. Lay your printed out letters over your flat piece of cardboard and cut out each letter with a ruler and x-acto knife. Continue this process for all of the letters.

Cardboard letter lights | TyPennington.com

Cardboard letter lights | TyPennington.com

3. Once all of your letters are cut out, use your hole punch to create evenly spaced holes around your letter.  TIP: You want to put as few holes as possible, but enough that the letter can be identified in lights. Continue this process for all of the letters.

Cardboard letter lights | TyPennington.com

4. Once your letters have holes punched in, cut 2-inch thick strips from your cardstock paper.  Wrap these pieces around each letter, using the modge podge to secure the paper to the edges of the cardboard letters. Continue this process for all of the letters. TIP: You may get frustrated with the delicate nips and tucks that are required to surround each letter, but be patient. Make sure you are letting the paper and glue set before you try to manipulate the paper further.

Cardboard letter lights | TyPennington.com

Cardboard letter lights | TyPennington.com

5.Once your letters are created, place them in a box, or spray paint safe area, and paint them in your desired color.

Cardboard letter lights | TyPennington.com

6. Once all of the letters are painted and completely dry, start undoing the light bulbs from the string.  Take the first letter in your phrase and insert the lightbulb in the hole (it may take some nudging) and then secure the socket back in on the other side. TIP: Be sure to insert the bulb into the socket securely.

Cardboard letter lights | TyPennington.com

Cardboard letter lights | TyPennington.com

7. After every letter is complete, check to make sure all of the lights were securely fastened.  You’d hate to have gotten through all of those letters only to realize one bulb is not working. Trust me!

Cardboard letter lights | TyPennington.com

8. Take your newly created light phrase and adorn your table, balcony or canopy!

 

*DIY inspiration from Oh Happy Day

Ty Pennington

Ty Pennington is best known as the Emmy-award winning host of "Extreme Makeover Home Edition" and as the co-host of ABC Daytime's "The Revolution." He has been recognized as a home design expert, carpenter and leader in the field of volunteerism. TyPennington.com is a space to share his inspiration, design tips, daily musings and more. Ty can currently be seen on TLC's Trading Spaces.

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