Makin’ Loooooove… {DIY Marquee Letters}

Makin’ loooove…letters! As in L.O.V.E, sheesh! Just look below and see what I mean…

DIY Marquee Letters- evanandkatelyn.com

We saw these marquee letters at a wedding expo and immediately thought they’d be awesome to have at our wedding. But renting them from a wedding decor company would be hella expensive, so my engineer fiance got to work! First we took some super precise measurements by taking a picture of my arm against the letters so we could eyeball the size later. You can tell by my expression that I totally did not feel awkward at all posing in the middle of the display.

DIY Marquee Letters- evanandkatelyn.com

Then we got home and got to work! We figured out from the above picture that we wanted them to be about 2 feet tall, and we went from there. We sorted through my library of 1,300+ fonts (I have a font problem… and I’m not ashamed) and picked one that suited us. Then we made a to-scale image in Photoshop. You can download it here if you’d like to use the font we used as a template.

DIY Marquee Letters- evanandkatelyn.com

The little circles are guides for where the light bulbs would need to go. Then we just printed it and boom- instant template!

DIY Marquee Letters- evanandkatelyn.com

When it came to supplies, we had to decide if we wanted to use wood, metal, foam core (that’s what most the online tutorials use), or something else. We ended up deciding on wood for the letters and metal for the siding. We found pre-sanded 2-foot-tall birch plywood that said “ready-to-stain” at Home Depot for $14 a pop. Sold! We picked up two of those, a roll of 6″ galvanized steel, some Minwax stain in “Dark Walnut” (because we loved how it look on Young House Love!) and a couple packs of outdoor lights from Target.

We were just sort of wingin’ it and picking up what looked like it should work. We’ll do a full supplies list and cost breakdown at the end of things since I’m sure there will be more stuff we need to get along the way.

Next we cut out our letters, taped them together into something traceable, then laid them out on our plywood and traced away!

DIY Marquee Letters- evanandkatelyn.com

DIY Marquee Letters- evanandkatelyn.com

DIY Marquee Letters- evanandkatelyn.com

Once our letters were traced, it was time for the fun part- sawing! But this post has gotten pretty long, and Evan’s definitely the power-tool-wielding one in the relationship, so he’ll probably write about the sawing stuff. So for now we’ll end things here and pick back up later with part-2! On a side note, I should try to remember NOT to wear my super flattering XXL comfy pants when we’re taking pics for the blog… oh well!

PS- Check out part 2: cutting out the letters, part 3: staining the wood, and part 4: attaching the metal siding for the full tutorial of this project! :D

Tags: , , , ,

55 Responses to “Makin’ Loooooove… {DIY Marquee Letters}”

  1. Paige February 10, 2014 at 8:19 pm #

    How did you get the letters to print out in pages so they were big like that?

    • Katelyn Shibley February 11, 2014 at 9:37 am #

      We had a very large file and told the printer to print the actual size, not “size to fit media,” but everyone’s printers will be different. You can also you a “rasterbating” site (sounds dirty I know, but it’s not, promise!) like this one here: http://rasterbator.net/

      • Tabatha March 24, 2016 at 9:37 pm #

        This may be a shot in the dark since this post is from 2014, but when you put the file in rasterbator, how many sheets to you print wide or high? I’m having trouble with the measurements.

        • Katelyn Sheline March 25, 2016 at 12:45 pm #

          Hi Tabatha! I don’t remember the exact number of sheets, but for our 2 feet tall boards we made sure the letters were 2 feet tall. It looks like in the photos above that meant 3 sheets tall.

  2. Jess March 5, 2014 at 12:37 pm #

    Hey Katelyn,
    How far apart did you make your holes for the lights?
    We might try and make this, but use different words!

    • Katelyn Shibley March 5, 2014 at 1:51 pm #

      The holes on ares are about 3.25″ apart from the center of one hole to the center of the next. That worked with the target lights. But it would help to buy the lights first to make sure the distance works for you. Another thing to consider: lets say the light string has 50 lights on each. If you do 100 holes you can use two full packs of lights, but if you do 110 holes you have to buy a third back for just those 10 extra lights. So I’d suggest buying your lights and plan your hole count (and the distance between holes) accordingly. Hope that helps! Good luck! :)

      • Katy Hill September 6, 2014 at 8:08 am #

        Hi katelyn,
        Random question, but did you find these lights gave off a lot of heat?love the tutorial, thank you!

        • Katelyn Shibley September 6, 2014 at 9:32 am #

          They gave off some heat, but nothing that made me worried about it being a fire hazard or anything. I certainly wouldn’t leave them on 24/7, but we had them on pretty much all day for the wedding and we have them on for 2-3 hours each evening when we’re home after work and they seem to be fine! If you like, you can always grab a set of bulbs (we got them from Target) and test them out before doing the whole project. If they seem too hot for you, you can return them and look for a cooler alternative :)

  3. Joe July 31, 2014 at 1:08 am #

    What font did you use? :)

  4. Sharlene September 14, 2014 at 4:49 pm #

    Hi! Awesome job! It turned out ahhhhhmazing :)

    I’m wanting to also make something similar but I’m having a lot of trouble printing out the template so I’m going to have to free hand it. Would you be able to tell me what the width of the letters L V E are, the full diameter of the letter O, and the smaller circles for the bulbs? How far apart at the circles for the bulbs? And I’m assuming the height of them all is 2ft, yes? :)

    Sorry so many questions! But I just can’t seem find a way to print out the template properly with our laptop and printer and I’m determined to make this! Haha. Plus..I already bought all the supplies :)

    • Katelyn Shibley September 14, 2014 at 4:59 pm #

      Hey! Sorry to hear about the technical difficulties. I’ll try my best to help!

      The L is 13-1/8″ wide
      The O diameter is 24-1/4″ (so just a tad wider than it is tall)
      The V is 21-7/8″ wide
      The E is 14-1/4″ wide

      The lights are spaced about 3-1/4″ apart and I can’t tell the exact size of the hole with our lights in it right now but you can eyeball it by holding up the light bulbs to the wood.

      And yes the height of all of them is 2 feet!

      I’m 100% positive that even if you’re measurements aren’t the exact same, it’s still gonna turn out awesome :) Good luck!!!!

      • Liz Perez November 5, 2014 at 1:56 pm #

        Hi, Katelyn –
        I’m also having trouble printing out the template, on the website you recommended.. did you save the Love as an image? I’m trying to do HOPE ( 3×3), Thank you!

        • Evan Sheline November 7, 2014 at 7:36 pm #

          Yes I saved it as a jpg. Good luck! Hopefully you won’t have anymore technical difficulties!

  5. James January 19, 2015 at 1:28 pm #

    Hey guys live the letters, what don’t did you use?

    • Katelyn Sheline January 19, 2015 at 10:30 pm #

      I think you’re saying “love the letters, what font did you use” haha. The font is called Budmo, here’s a link to it: http://www.dafont.com/budmo.font

  6. Kristina C February 17, 2015 at 7:30 pm #

    Hi, love all your DIY projects!! Hoping to do these letters, but your template isnt working, is there anyway you could email it to me??

    • Katelyn Sheline February 17, 2015 at 7:59 pm #

      Sure thing! Send us a message on our facebook with your email address and I can email it to you :)

      • Kelly Davis January 2, 2016 at 12:41 pm #

        Beautiful! I too would love access to the template. Would you mind emailing it to me?

        • Katelyn Sheline January 2, 2016 at 2:22 pm #

          Sure thing! Just contact us via our facebook page and I’ll send it to you (that way you don’t have to post your email here)

  7. Chloee March 26, 2015 at 2:36 pm #

    Hello! i am wanting to print this template but im an idiot and dont know how to make it big like yours! any input? Ive read your comments above, but just trying to open it as a LARGE file instead of just all on one page!

    Thanks!

    • Katelyn Sheline March 28, 2015 at 9:04 am #

      Hey! So there are a couple ways to do it. When we did the project, we used a Windows computer which gives you the option to tile your print. You just mess with the settings in the “Page Setup.” Here are some more detailed instructions:

      http://scottiestech.info/2009/08/08/how-to-easily-print-a-large-image-to-multiple-pages-in-windows/

      The other way is to use rasterbator.net, which is a site that will print large scale images as multiple dots. It asks you to upload an image, set how many sheets you want it to be, and adjust the frequency of the dot grid (how tight or far apart the dots are). When you print your image, you kind of have to connect the dots (literally) to get your solid outline, but it works in a pinch if you don’t have a Windows

      Hope this helps!

      • Erin June 24, 2015 at 4:53 pm #

        If i do this in paint, what do I put in the fit to area….. what by what for the page?

        • Katelyn Sheline June 24, 2015 at 5:11 pm #

          you put in the measurements you want your total marquee sign to be. So for example, if it’s 2 feet high by 6 feet wide, you put 2ft x 6ft

  8. Liza Catalan May 21, 2015 at 4:38 pm #

    Hi Katelyn,
    Thanks for the awesome tutorial! Apologies if someone else has already asked this, what tool in photoshop did you use to place the circles perfectly apart from eachother? It looks like you just used the letter o’s as the shape, but not sure not you spaced them out.

    Thanks!

    • Katelyn Sheline May 21, 2015 at 7:34 pm #

      No worries that actually hasn’t been asked before! The circles were actually part of the font I used so they were already spaced for me. The font is called Budmo, you can download it here: http://www.dafont.com/budmo.font

      But you could create one circle with the shape tool, duplicate it, and move the new one by selecting it with “apple+t” (or “control+t” if you’re on a windows) and use the arrow keys while holding the shift bar to move it in increments. Count the same increments each time so that they are evenly spaced. You could also print the letters without the circles and measure out the circles by hand. Hope this helps!

      • Liza Catalan May 26, 2015 at 12:33 am #

        You’re awesome, thanks!

        • Katelyn Sheline May 26, 2015 at 7:42 pm #

          Glad to be able to help!

  9. Amanda June 30, 2015 at 6:50 pm #

    Hi Katelyn,
    Thank you so much for sharing this with us! We have bought all the stuff to make two letters to have behind our sweetheart table & are so excited to get started. We want to have 2 4ft letters (A & D) & i saw that we could use the Budmo font as a template and print it out to the size that we would like (WHICH IS AMAZING). We have both been struggling on downloading/saving the two letters on the computer to upload to Rasterbator . I don’t know why it wont let us do it or why we are having an issue. Is there something we are missing or could you suggest something to us?
    Thank you in advance!

    • Katelyn Sheline July 3, 2015 at 8:51 am #

      So it’s the saving of the letters that’s giving you trouble? What program are you saving them in?

  10. Michele July 23, 2015 at 11:32 pm #

    Can I just buy yours?? 😃 not crafty😁

    • Katelyn Sheline July 26, 2015 at 9:29 am #

      Sorry, not for sale! :P But you could always try doing just a 1-letter marquee sign and see how that goes if the 4-letter seems too intimidating! You can do it!

  11. Dorian May 2, 2016 at 12:03 am #

    Hey I have a question. I downloaded the font but I noticed that the circles for the bulbs look different from the circles in the template you provided. I downloaded the font from the link you posted. Any way I could get a copy of the photoshop file you created?

    • Katelyn Sheline May 3, 2016 at 6:12 pm #

      Sure! The template is really just the black and white image above, so you can right click that and save it, then print it at whatever size you want your letters to be :)

      • Dorian May 3, 2016 at 6:31 pm #

        Thanks for the response! We’re not doing “Love”; we’re doing “K & D”. Any help with this would be great. :)

  12. Christina May 28, 2016 at 6:47 am #

    Im wanting to make these but unsure how much metal i would need to go around. At the end of the blig you have put 4 rolls but how long were the rolls ? X

    • Katelyn Sheline May 31, 2016 at 10:05 am #

      Hi Christina! I believe they were 10-ft rolls. To figure out the exact amount of metal, just measure around the outside edge of each letter and add it all up. Hope this helps!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Makin’ Loooooove… part 2 - Evan & Katelyn - February 5, 2013

    […] (Continued from part 1) There are a ton of great toys you can use for this next step… I mean… power tools… I used my jig saw. It’s a great wood/everything cutting power tool when you’re living in an apartment and don’t have a garage to store big toys. Soon to be fixed ^_^ (I’m sure there will be a post with a handyman garage setup). […]

  2. EL ARTE DE ESCRIBIR NO SOLO EN PAPEL: LETRAS DIY. | [ The Great Moustache ] - August 5, 2013

    […] EVAN AND KATELYN nos enseñan en un tutorial la mar de ameno cómo hacer estas letras iluminadas aún sin ser un manitas en esto de los DIY. […]

  3. Makin’ Loooooove… part 3 {DIY Marquee Letters} - Evan & Katelyn - August 12, 2013

    […] Check out part 1: making the template, part 2: cutting out the letters, and part 4: attaching the metal siding for the full tutorial of […]

  4. Makin’ Loooooove… COMPLETE! {DIY Marquee Letters} - Evan & Katelyn - August 12, 2013

    […] you need to get caught up on the DIY Marquee Letter saga, check out part 1, part 2, and part 3. Here’s how it started: before we even bought our house, we went to a […]

  5. Decorations | DIY Marquee Letters [+ Story] - October 23, 2013

    […] Find their amazing tutorial here. […]

  6. Workbench, Jigsaw and Drill (tick) – Onto the next project | Sunny Floral Days - August 22, 2014

    […] love these and after seeing Kate and Evan make theirs on their blog and reading through their instructions, I have been convinced I will make […]

  7. Workbench, jigsaw and drill (tick) – the next DIY project | Sunny Floral Days - August 22, 2014

    […] love these and after seeing Kate and Evan make theirs on their blog and reading through their instructions, I have been convinced I will make […]

  8. 10x DIY Supersize Letters: kies je favoriet en knutselen maar! | Wonen - January 3, 2015

    […] Bron: Evan & Katelyn […]

  9. Your Name in LIGHTS!!! | Share the Joy! Kiosk - January 23, 2015

    […] Evan & Katelyn’s DIY is more involved, but really solid and meant to be a keepsake. You can see the instructions here. […]

  10. Chic Valentine's Decoration Ideas | My Chic Adventure - February 4, 2015

    […] source […]

  11. De 5 liefste Valentijns DIYs | IMAKIN DIY DESIGN | BLOG - February 9, 2015

    […] spellen. En verras je Valentijn als hij/zij thuis komt met een picknick bij de lichtjes. Op Eve& Katelyn blog staat hoe je ze maakt. (Let op: dit is wel een werkje, dus begin op […]

  12. 15 Cute Mother’s Day Gift Ideas She’ll Love - April 30, 2015

    […] DIY Marquee Letters from Evan and Katelyn […]

  13. 30+ DIY Letter Ideas & Tutorials - Hative - October 18, 2015

    […] Tutorial Via evanandkatelyn […]

  14. DIY Marquee Letters | - November 27, 2015

    […] you need to get caught up on the DIY Marquee Letter saga, check out part 1, part 2, and part 3. Here’s how it started: before we even bought our house, we went to a […]

  15. Diy Wood Marquee Letters - My Woodworking Guide - January 10, 2016

    […] Makin’ Loooooove… {DIY Marquee Letters} […]

  16. 4 Jigsaw Thing-a-ma-jigs | T'Work - February 1, 2016

    […] Check it out […]

  17. DIY: Letras iluminadas para casamentos – Salve a Noiva! - March 29, 2016

    […] Evan and Katelyn – Letras em madeira e metal, esse é mais complexo: Passo 1 – Passo 2 – Passo 3 – Passo […]

Leave a Reply