Make Your Own Marquee Letters

When we got married in 2016 I wanted to make as many of the decorations as possible myself. One of those things was a pair of marquee letters in our initials. To buy in the size I wanted them was just too expensive and logistically too difficult to hire so we decided to have a go at making them. It was a joint effort which had us swearing at each other often throughout the process. A true test to our impending nuptials!

What we used:

MDF sheet from B&Q

Festoon lights – I used these plastic globe outdoor lights from Amazon

Galvanised Lawn Edging also from Amazon

Drill and flat wood drill bit

Staple/Nail gun and nails

Tin snips

Rubber hammer

Gold spray paint

What we did:

We chose the size we wanted (2m by 1m ) and drew out the shapes of our letters. Cut out with a jigsaw.

Marquee letters 1

 

Marquee letters HM 5

We then tested the fit of the bulb in an off-cut of MFD, cutting a hole the same size as the bulb stem with a flat wood drill bit (a drill bit that cuts circles).

Next we measured and drilled all the holes, counting how many for each letter and distributing them as evenly as possible between the two. We didn’t want one letter to shine more brightly than the other.

You need to first measure the centre line of each letter, then measure the distance between each light. Remember that the furthest apart the lights can be is determined by the length of the cable between the bulbs.

Marquee letters 2

Marquee letters 6

Marquee letters 7

We sprayed the MDF gold and the base boards were ready. Next, the edging. This was the most difficult thing to source. Everything I’d found online told me to use roof flashing but this is a different product in the UK – where it is an adhesive tape – to the US where it appears to be some sort of strip of light metal. A lot of research resulted in finding this galvanised lawn edging on Amazon. The drawback being that it was corrugated so we had to beat it flat with a rubber hammer.

Once hammered flat(ter – it was a never-ending nightmare task) we started to shape it around each letter, fixing in place with the nail gun. We used the tin snips to cut pieces to the correct length.

Finally we put all the bulbs in place and taped up the wires onto the back to keep it tidy. We purchased a plastic heart shaped children’s light from Ikea and mounted it on a spare piece of MDF to put between the two letters.

At our actual wedding sadly they weren’t set up together and I don’t have any photos of the letters in situ but here’s a photo of where they live now!

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