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Lighted Holiday Sign

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

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.

Lighted sign with the word “shine”

Project Overview

Skill Level

Intermediate

Estimated Time

1 weekend

Estimated Cost

$$$$$

Tools & Materials

Tools

  • Drill with 7/32-in bit
  • Miter box and handsaw or miter saw
  • Utility or crafts knife
  • Painter’s tape
  • Carpenter’s square
  • 120-grit and 180-grit sandpaper
  • Wood glue
  • Clamps (optional)
  • 70- or 100-count LED light strand

Materials

  • 1/4 x 24 x 48 birch plywood, #6197
  • 4 - 1 x 36 square dowels, #28604
  • 2 - 1 x 3 x 36 pine craft boards, #50255
  • 2 - 1 x 3 x 24 pine craft boards, #50249
  • Small D-ring hangers, #264577
  • Bare-wood primer, quart
  • Valspar Signature satin paint, Classic Red (#1009-2)

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

Missing anything? Shop Online

Instructions

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.

Drill the “Shine” Pattern

Step 1

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.

Step 2

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.

Good to Know

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.

Step 3

Drill through the plywood
Drill slowly enough to avoid tearing out the wood on the front and back.

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.

Assemble the Sign

Step 1

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.

Step 2

Add drilled panel to back frame
The square corners of the plywood will help ensure the frame corners are 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.

Step 3

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.

Step 4

Glue on the front frame
Allow a 1/4-inch overhang on all four sides of the front frame.

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.

Step 5

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.

Step 6

Insert lights into the holes
Wiring requires occasionally jumping holes to make connections between letters.

Download the Light Layout Diagram and insert the Christmas lights as shown.