- Ideas & How-Tos
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Let your holiday spirit shine like the lights set into this cheery red wall sign. Its simple assembly makes this an easy project for anyone to build.
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We offer two versions of the drilling pattern to suit the light strand you choose. Download the 70-light or 100-light pattern, cut the pieces to size, and tape them together to form the pattern. Then download the wiring guide to insert the lights into the holes from the back.
From the plywood, cut a piece 24 inches wide by 37 inches long. (If you don’t have a table saw or circular saw, ask a Lowe’s associate to cut the plywood for you.) Sand all of the edges smooth.
Print the 70-light or 100-light pattern, cut out the sections, and assemble them into a drilling template. Drill a 7/32-inch hole into a piece of scrap wood, and test the fit of your Christmas lights in the hole. The plastic socket should fit snugly without using much force. If necessary, try a drill bit the next size smaller or larger until you find a hole that fits the sockets.
Plywood can splinter if you’re using a dull bit and especially if you don’t have the plywood pressed firmly against a scrap board. A sharp new bit helps eliminate extra sanding and patching later.
Center the pattern on the plywood and tape it in place. Lay the plywood on a piece of scrap wood and drill holes at each dot. Cut off any splinters with a utility knife and sand the front smooth.
The sides, top, and bottom of the back frame should not require cutting (see Project Diagram). On a flat surface, glue and tape (or clamp) the sides to the top and bottom and check the corners with a carpenter’s square.
Apply glue to the top edge of the frame and lay the plywood in place with the “shine” letters facing up. Tape or clamp the plywood to the frame.
Cut the front frame sides so they’re 1/2 inch longer than the plywood width. Then cut the front frame top and bottom 1-in shorter than the length of the plywood.
Glue and assemble the frame on the plywood to allow a 1/4-inch overhang on all sides. Tape the pieces at the corners and to the plywood. After the glue dries, apply a coat of primer and two coats of paint. Avoid letting paint drips dry in the holes where you’ll need to insert the lights.
Measure 6 inches down the sides from the top of the back frame and mark the edges. Drill centered 1/16-inch pilot holes in the edges and install the two D-ring hangers.
Download the Light Layout Diagram and insert the Christmas lights as shown.