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DIY marquee light “Just Married” signage

October 15, 2013
diy marquee signage | photo by Michele M. Waite Photography

We love a wedding with a good marquee sign, whether it’s hung above a sweets table, as a ceremony or photobooth backdrop, or being attached to the back of your getaway car. Good news is, there are so many different techniques to making them. Some (like the one above) can take upwards to a couple weeks and involve more materials and tools. And others can be done in a weekend with cardboard or paper, like this one and this one. For those of you up for the challenge of making one out of steel, we’ve asked Blake, the groom, to share how he made their rad “Just Married” sign…

diy marquee signage | photo by Michele M. Waite Photography

1/8″ steel plate, for the base letter
18 gauge steel to go around the letters
Salt, vinegar, and garlic spray (for rusting)
Oil based white house paint
5 watt bulb string lights (you can find these at Target)
2 deep cycle batteries with inverters (if you plan on attaching it to the back of a car as seen here)
*Access to a water jet company so they can cut the letters for you

Here’s how Blake made the sign:
I made the sign out of 1/8″ steel plate, for the base letter, then bent 18 gauge steel around the letters. I drew a CAD file with my selected font, and included the holes for the lights to go through. Then a water jet company cut the letters out for me.

Using my metal shop I bent a flange accordingly to fit each individual letter. Then I tig welded the flanges to their letters. After making a mount that could withstand the drive to the venue I sent the sign to be sandblasted. Things were getting close at this point so to accelerate the rusting process I sprayed the sign with salt vinegar and garlic. Within 2 days the sign was a deep orange red. I wiped the sign down to removes any irregularities in the rust, and then clear coated the sign. Once the clear dried I rubbed white house paint (oil based) into the inside of the letters with a dry rag until it looked “right”.

The sign ran off of string lights with 5 watt bulbs, purchased at target, and was run off of two deep cycle batteries with inverters, so it could be lit while driving away form the venue. Overall the sign took about two weeks to make on and off, fitting it in when I could.

diy marquee signage | photo by Michele M. Waite Photography

If you have the time to give that way a go, more power to you. But don’t fret. We’ve searched the web to find you a couple more stellar marquee light DIY’s that we think you’ll love. Check them out here, here, and here. Or…. you can buy this “LOVE” marquee sign listed in our Marketplace from one of our brides!

woodstock farm wedding | photo by Michele M. Wait Photography | 100 Layer Cake

For more DIY projects check out our DIY section + Pinterest boards.