Crafting a 100% DIY decor for the Pastel Color Sweet Table Inspiration that Lisa Renault Photographie created was quite a challenge! I think the most serious and complex project was to build DIY marquee letters with foamcore! I tried several methods and refined my own technique, which I share with you today, step by step! You will also be able to create these luminous letters and to write any word you’d like!

Thank you very much to Michaels stores who sponsored this tutorial and supplied all the necessary material!

Photo credits: Lisa Renault Photographie

How to create DIY marquee letters with foamcore: the tutorial
How to create DIY marquee letters with foamcore: the tutorial

Project Length

45 minutes per letter

Difficulty Level

Difficult

Supplies

The supplies were kindly offered by Michaels crafting stores.

  • Foamcore
  • Carboard paper
  • Exacto Knife
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • White acrylic paint
  • Brush
  • Adhesive tape (I used white duct tape)
  • String light
How to create DIY marquee letters with foamcore: supplies

Steps

1. Choose the size of your letter and cut a rectangle out of a foamcore sheet. For this tutorial, I worked with 4 inches x 6 inches letters. To cut your shape in the foamcore, draw your rectangle, make an incision with your Exacto knife and fold the foamcore in two! It will come off easily.

DIY marquee letters: draw and cut a rectangle in foamcore
DIY marquee letters: draw and cut a rectangle in foamcore

2. Following the same technique, draw your letters with a pencil and a ruler on your votre foamcore rectangle. In my case, each section of a letter is 1 inch wide. Make an incision with your knife, slowly bend the cardboard and cut our your letters in the foamcore.

DIY marquee letters: cut your letter in the foamcore
DIY marquee letters: cut your letter in the foamcore

3. Put a mark where you plan to place your lights with a pen, on both sides of the letter. Use a ballpoint pen to come through the foamcore where indicated by the marks. This will allow a much easier insertion of your light bulbs when necessary.

DIY marquee letters: mark lights positions with a pen

4. Cut a long strip of cardboard paper, of the same width as your letters (1 inch for me). Apply hot glue on the edge of your letters and slowly glue the paper strip at the center of the letter’s side, to create a nice 3D edge for your marquee letter.

DIY marquee letters: cut a strip of paper
DIY marquee letters: glue cardboard paper to your letter
DIY marquee letters: glue cardboard paper to your letter

5. For a nicer finition and to hide any glue marks, apply one or two coats of paint of your whole letter. A simple acrylic paint will perfectly do the job. Allow to dry.

DIY marquee letters: apply acrylic white paint

6. That’s the moment of truth! All you have to do now is to insert your string light bulbs in the holes and fix them with adhesive tape (I used white duct tape) to hide the wire.

Note: I have seen a few tutorials that use ping-pong balls for a more realistic « light bulb » effect on their DIY marquee letters. I tested the technique and this could work in two cases:

  • You don’t need your letters to be very luminous (the opacity of the ball filters a big part of the light)
  • Your letters a wider than mine and you have enough space between each point of light for the balls not to touch each other
DIY marquee letters: insert your string light and fix with duct tape
How to create DIY marquee letters with foamcore: the tutorial

Creating DIY marquee letters with foamcore panels may seen hard, but I promise you that this technique is accessible to all and that with a little practice, your letters will look amazing! For an easier work, avoid rounded letters and craft square letters, just like I did for the S of SWEET.

It was a great project I really enjoyed doing, and the result is now brightly decorating my daughters room! Thanks again to Michaels stores for the supplies and to Lisa Renault Photographie who shot all the photos of the project.

Finally a not so complicated tutorial to craft DIY marquee letters! Super clear explanations, a must-try!
Finally a not so complicated tutorial to craft DIY marquee letters! Super clear explanations, a must-try!
Finally a not so complicated tutorial to craft DIY marquee letters! Super clear explanations, a must-try!

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