DIY Marquee Sign for a Photo Booth

Last weekend was my nephew’s 1st Birthday Party and it was carnival themed!  It was a Blast!!! I made this Marquee Sign and everyone loved taking photos with it! I’m so glad that I decided to create it!

DIY Marquee Photo Booth SignTomorrow I will post all the great Pictures of the Party, but today I wanted to share one of the projects I did for the party! I was very proud of myself!  We had a photo booth and I wanted to make something different and over the top for the party so I made this vintage looking Marquee Sign “Smile”  for the photo booth… It was a HUGE hit!

I found the idea for this on Pinterest
I wanted to spell CIRCUS but my mom had a good point…if we put SMILE then we can use it for more then just this event!
My sister is having a HUGE sweet sixteen party in 2 weeks and its going to be crazy! We plan on using this sign for her party also! I am already working on decor for the party.

You will need:

Large Cardboard Letters (I found mine at Joann’s)
String of lights
Plywood cut to the length you need to fit the letters
hole saw attachment
Drill bit ( i used 7/32)
Spray paint for letters and plywood
1. I cut the back of the letters with a exacto knife
2. Using the drill bit I drilled holes in the letters where I wanted the lights to be. (I put each hole about 2 inches apart)
3. I forgot to take a picture but then I traced the letters on the plywood so I knew where each letter would be placed.
4. Then I used a hole saw attachment on my drill to
add two holes on each letter.
 (one hole was for the lights to go in and the other was to connect the lights to the next letter behind the back of the board.)
Also make sure the holes you drill are big enough to fit the plug through
5. I painted the letters a bight glossy red color by Krylon
and the wood Ocean Blue by Krylon
6. Then I started to string the lights through the letters and board. Be sure to put the plug that goes into the wall socket through the board first so you can plug the lights in without seeing the plug.
7. Start putting the lights through each hole in the letter. (learn from my mistake… plug the lights in while you do this to make sure every light works.. I finished 3 letters then plugged in it to see how it looked and half the lights did not work so I had to start over)
8. I connected the letters through the back of the board (Make sure that when you connect the letters you don’t do it to tight because the lights will pull out of the letters, but that you do it tight enough to have enough lights to go through all the letter) This is what it looked like after all the letters were full of the lights.
9. The hardest part was to get the letter to attach to the board, because you have to have the letter be able to come off in case the light bulbs need to be changed out. I tried to used heavy duty velcro but during the party two of the letters fell down! I was so bummed that it didn’t hold. You could try using a nail to hang each letter on the plywood. That way it’s removable but will stay put when hung on the backdrop.
10. It was hung onto our photo backdrop with zip ties that went through the holes that we drilled for the lights to go through. It worked like a dream!
Much Love sign-2
Shop this project with text


  • Reply
    August 25, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    I can’t believe you made that! It turned out awesome!!!!

  • Reply
    No Model Lady
    August 25, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    This is such a cute idea!!! I was planning a carnival themed birthday party for my son until Hurricane Irene popped up:/

  • Reply
    October 7, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    The first picture, I thought it WAS a vintage sign. You did an awesome job.

    statia – diylearningcurve.com

  • Reply
    September 19, 2012 at 3:45 am

    I like your creativity and making props on your Photo booth and your props have also an inspirational meaning, good job.


  • Reply
    July 4, 2013 at 9:27 am

    Normally for any type of functions lights are adds the great beauty to that party, in photos also these things are glowing more. You have shared very pretty idea, thank you so much.

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