Shine Bright Like A Marquee Light

Yeahhhhh, we've seen the marquee light letters in just about every craft store around town, but have you ever thought about making a marquee piece of art?  I did!  I'm really into pineapples these days, especially since summer is almost here, and I wanted to add a funky touch to one of my bedrooms.  I thought ah-ha!  I'll bring back one of my old school DIYs and add light art.  This is how it turned out, perfect, modern and most importantly -- FUN!

Kristen Joy - Marquee Pineapple

Let's get started!

Kristen Joy - Marquee Light Materials


  • Foam board
  • Frame size of your choice (i used a 20 x 20 Ikea RIBBA frame)
  • Favorite wrapping paper/fabric (if you want to make a mirror with bulbs on it use metallic wrapping paper)
  • Spray adhesive
  • Ruler
  • X-acto knife
  • Outdoor patio bulb lights

Not shown:

  • Permanent marker
  • Zip ties
  • Scissors
  • Picture hanging kit 
  • Hot glue gun

First, you'll need to measure the foam board to match the size of the glass in your frame. Simply pop the glass out and trace the glass on the foam board.  Using the X-acto knife, cut out the foam.  

Kristen Joy - Marquee Materials 3

 If this is a re-purposed frame, you can measure the inside of the back of the frame (see photo), and then measure, trace and cut the foam.

Kristen Joy - Marquee Light 1

Now, it's time to insert the foam board into the frame to make sure it fits.  If not, NOW is the time to fix it!  DIYs don't always go as planned, but luckily most of the time there's an easy fix available.  

Kristen Joy - Marquee Materials 2

If the foam fits, it's time to give it a wrapping paper face lift (no botox required, unless you know where I can get some... but that's for another blog)!  Roll out your wrapping paper, and then lay the board on top of the wrapping paper, making sure to leave a little extra on each side -- just like when you're picking out what pants you'll wear for Thanksgiving, you never know if things are going to fit!

Kristen Joy - Marquee Materials 4

Now it's time to bust out that adhesive spray, I recommend Elmer's Glue brand.  Make sure that your floor is properly protected, or opt to do this outdoors.  Spray one side of the board with the adhesive.  Then carefully lay your piece of wrapping paper on the board, smoothing it out on all sides.  Cut off any extra paper.  

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On the back of the board create your image.  If you're like me it's chicken scratch...keepin' it real. 

Kristen Joy - Marquee Materials 5

Here is the heart marquee I did for a past segment on Great Day Houston. I've also done a letter H for my last name, and it was the perfect addition to the bar in my old apartment.

 Great Day heart marquee
 Letter H marquee

This time I want to put an aloha spin on the bedroom -- hence the pineapple.  

Once you've drawn out your image with a permanent marker, it's time to cut!  Make 3 cuts in the shape of an asterik, a little bigger than the size of a quarter.  

Kristen Joy - Marquee Materials 6

  Then, take your permanent marker or anything else you might have handy to pre-punch through the holes.  After you've done this, make sure to cut away any extra foam that might be in your way.  

Now it's time to assemble to lights!  Start from the bottom with the male end.  Carefully place the lights through the holes.  

Kristen Joy - Marquee Materials 7

As you work your way around to the female end make sure that the lights are evenly spaced.  Once you are finished, take a zip tie, gather any excess lights and secure them.  

Kristen Joy - Marquee Materials 8

Grab your frame and carefully insert the foam board.  Get out that glue gun and apply a thin layer of glue around the inner perimeter.  Think of the caulking in your bathtub, you want the foam to stick to the frame -- like birds of a feather flock together, like peanut butter on the roof of your mouth, it needs to STICK!

Kristen Joy - Marquee Materials 9

Now it's time to showcase your work!  No matter where you put this marquee light art piece, it will always be a show stopper.  

Kristen Joy - Marquee Light Final Product

"Shine bright like a diamond..."