That's right, you heard it right! You can make yourself a marquee sign for less than $5 just by following my tutorial.  I know there ...

Marquee Sign for less than $5!!!


That's right, you heard it right! You can make yourself a marquee sign for less than $5 just by following my tutorial.  I know there are some marquee signs you can buy for $25-200, but this is how to do it on a budget


Bristol board ($1 for 2, only need 1)
Battery operated LED lights ($3)
X-acto knife
Glue gun
Elmer's glue
Paint brush
Newspaper scraps

I spent a total of $4 on supplies, everything else I had at home.

Drafting your design

Get your base shape ready.  This is what your marquee sign will look like.  I used a pixel heart that measures 12x13 inches, each pixel measures 1 inch.

You can use anything you want, try a letter, an arrow, or even an outline of your favourite Disney character!

Draw your base shape onto your bristol board and cut your it out with tabs around all the edges.  If you are using the pixel heart template, this is how I did it.

With the remaining bristol board, cut out strips 3 inches wide and mark the 1.5 inch mark (this is reference to attach to the tabs).  You'll need enough to cover the perimeter of your base shape.

LED Holes

Depending on the amount of lights you have in your package, punch out the holes accordingly.  Mine came with 20 strung lights so I marked 20 spots around my base shape.  I made a small hole with a thumb tack before slitting it with an X using my x-acto knife and pushing a paint brush through the hole. I know it sounds tedious, but doing it like this ensures you don't split your paper when you push your lights in. At this point I tested the fit of the lights to see how it looked.

This is where I realized that the lights would have to be secured into place or else they look a bit wonky.


Before you glue the side pieces to your base shape, you want to score along the length to fit your shape.
My 3 inch sides were approximately 12 inches in length.  Following the animation I scored at: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11 for the first section.  After that, I scored half an inch at the beginning and ends of the strip to attach to the previous side panel. So my next piece would be scored at: .5, 1,5, 5.5, 6.5, 7.5, 8.5, 9.5, 10.5, 11.5.  Since the last piece as the extra half inch over hang, my next piece wouldn't need it.

If you are using a shape with curves like the letter D, score at a corner then wrap your base shape along the strip until you reach another corner, make a mark and score at that point.

Align your base shape along the side panel. Remember the line we marked at 1.5 inches? That's where you want to line up your base shape.

Paper Mache

Mix your Elmer's glue with water until it is a milky consistency.  Throw in your newspaper scraps and let them soak, this makes it easy to work with.  Squeeze out the excess water and start pasting it onto your shape.  Let it dry over night.


Paint your shape and let it dry.  Re-punch the holes you made for your LED lights.  Insert the lights and glue them into place.  Glue the battery pack with the cover facing up.

Happy Crafting!

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  1. I'll try again. I'm a person who doesn't belong behind a computer. Button pushing, knob turning monster! Hello Kat!! I might be just blind, but is there a printing link available for your tutorials? Thanks, NinaRenee

  2. Hi Nina, I've been trying to install a printer friendly button for the past hour to no luck. I've found that the website offers an amazing service. You just copy the page URL and it creates a printable PDF for you. I hope that helps