DIY Light Up Sign - The Surznick Common Room

Saturday, April 4, 2015

DIY Light Up Sign


Woop woop, three day weekend! Today's project is especially fitting because it's basically what three day weekends are all about - sleepin' in!

We're slowing making some updates to our bedroom and one of the items I really wanted to add was some sort of light up sign for above our bed. You may remember that we can't fit a full headboard behind our bed due to the size of the wall, so we currently have this wire 'Goodnight' sign and some triangle art on the wall. Both were fun while they lasted, but what can I say... I'm ready for a change.

This sign is super cute, easy to make, and completely customizable! Make it say whatever you want! Nick and I (but especially Nick) get pretty excited for weekend mornings when we can turn off the 6 AM alarm and get a few extra hours of sleep, so a 'Let's Sleep In' sign is perfect for us. Want to make your own?

Here's what you need!
- Shadow box (We bought ours from Goodwill for $3.99 - a total steal!)
- Masking tape

Here's what you do!
- Remove the back of your shadow box and clean your glass (inside and outside) to ensure a clean surface to work on.
- After you know what your sign is going to say, cut out your letters and lay them on the outside of your glass to determine the correct spacing. Once everything looks good, peel off the back of the stickers and attach them to your glass.


- Flip over your shadow box and use masking tape to cover the sides (inside and outside) and front of your shadow box (basically anything you don't want the spray paint to cover). As you can see from the photo above, we taped off the box first, but you don't need to.


- Outside or in a well-ventilated area, spray the inside glass of your shadow box with Frosted Glass spray paint. (Or if you're like us and don't want to wait until summer to spray paint, do it inside your home and deal with the fumes for a couple hours.)
- Per the instructions on the spray paint can, after your first coat of paint, add a second coat while the first coat is still wet. After the second coat is dry, you can continue to add additional coats of paint until desired opaqueness is reached. We didn't keep track, but I think we did about 7 coats (we wanted our glass to be pretty opaque.) We did our coats periodically over a few days, ensuring enough dry time between each coat.


- After your glass is completely dry, remove the masking tape and wipe the box out with a dry cloth. We had small flakes of paint come off the tape that made a bit of a mess, so do this over a trash can or outside.
- Attach the LED lights to the inside sides of the shadow box using small pieces of masking tape. We found these LED wire lights at JoAnn Fabric for about $5.99 a set (cheaper if you use coupons!) One set of these 4.5' lights went around the perimeter of our shadow box perfectly. They're super bendable and easy to use.


- Attach the battery pack to the outside of the shadow box so that your light up sign can easily be turned on and off. We just made a small tape donut on the back of the battery pack to attach it. You can see the battery pack a little bit on the right-hand side of the photo below.


- Reattach the back of the shadow box and display your adorable sign!


The possibilities with this project are endless! You can find LED lights in a variety of colors and you can, of course, make your sign say whatever you want. I think one of these would be super cute above our bar cart or on the back porch for parties.

Another thing I really love is that the sign doesn't need to be lit up in order to see what it says. My original thought was to spray the outside of the glass while the stickers are attached and then to peel them off so that the message is revealed when the lights are on. The more I thought about it, the more nervous I got that it wouldn't work as well as I wanted to do. I'm really glad we scrapped that idea and made the sign you see today!

 photo IMG_8553_zpszo5ypwdn.gif

Think you'll give this project a go? What would your sign say? We hope that you're fully enjoying your long weekend and doing lots of sleeping in!

Sarah & Nick

18 comments:

  1. Super cute! I have been seeing this type of thing all over Pinterest but haven't actually tried it on my own yet. That copper wire with the LEDs is so neat! I never knew anything like that existed!

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    1. Thanks, Julie! I didn't know those lights existed either until I started looking for an alternative to Christmas lights, haha. It was super easy to make, you should definitely try it!

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  2. I'm basically obsessed with this and I'm trying to figure out where I can work one into our house. Love it!

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  3. That is so much fun - I love it. What an awesome idea. Thanks for some great easy to follow steps!

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    1. Thank you! If you get a chance to make it, share it with us!

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  4. This is such a great DIY! And love the GIF you added at the end. :)

    I would probably have some sort of corny soothing phrase to keep near my desk, like "breathe" or "don't panic". Small reminders to be happy.

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  5. Sara and Nick,
    Your lighted sign is so cool. A great project that has my creative wheels turning.
    Happy Creating,
    Karen Marie

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  6. Sara and Nick,
    Your lighted sign is so cool. A great project that has my creative wheels turning.
    Happy Creating,
    Karen Marie

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  7. Here's our version - we even managed to get the same lights in the UK! Thanks for sharing :)

    https://twitter.com/SOAKCocktails/status/667360490104991744

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    1. It looks great - thanks so much for sharing!

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  8. Hi! What size was your frame and sticky letters?

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    1. Hi! Our shadow box is 11x14" and we used 2" letter stickers.

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  9. Any clever way to make the letters non-permanent so you could change the message?

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    1. Hi Allison! Thanks for reaching out. Right now my only thought is possibly using removable/repositionable vinyl stickers (like these: http://amzn.to/2a5G8oJ). I imagine they would lose some of their stickiness over time, but if you don't plan on changing the message too frequently it could work!

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