This post was last updated on
When I was at the SNAP conference this year, we were given Heidi Swapp marquee letters to decorate, and I knew it would be the perfect addition to AJ’s steampunk nursery! It took me a little while to figure out how I wanted to decorate the letter, but I finally decided on metallic spray paint, shimmer scrapbook paper, and glittery scrapbook paper, and it turned out great!
I love how it looks on her industrial bookshelves (tutorial coming soon, I promise!), it’s battery-powered so we can put it anywhere without having to worry about dangling cords, and the LED lights stay cool so we don’t have to worry about it overheating if we leave it on all night as a nightlight!
DIY Marquee Letter
- 30 minutes (time spent doing stuff)
- 30 minutes (time spent waiting around)
- 1 hour (total project time)
- a Heidi Swapp marquee letter (you can find the 12″ letters I used at Michaels or smaller 8″ letters at Jo-Ann’s)
- anodized bronze spray paint
- silver shimmer scrapbook paper
- pink glitter scrapbook paper
- glue stick
Start by taking the letter out of the package and pulling out all of the lights and wiring. There should be a paper letter template with holes in it inside the marquee letter; pull that out and set it aside.
The first thing I did was give the letter a coat of spray paint so that it could dry while I worked on the rest of it. Make sure to spray both sides of the marquee letter, and to get spray paint on all the edges and inside any holes, like in the center of the A. (By the way, if you do a lot of spray painting, grab one of these Comfort Grip guys; it makes spray painting so much easier!)
While the spray paint was drying, I took the letter template and glued it onto the back of my silver metallic scrapbook paper. For an A it doesn’t matter which is the front or back of the letter template, but if you’re doing a letter like B or C that has a certain direction it has to face, make sure you put glue on the front side of the letter template and then attach that to the back side of your scrapbook paper. That way the letter will be facing the right direction when you’re finished.
Cut out your letter from your scrapbook paper, following the edges of the letter template. You can use an X-acto knife to cut out the center holes for letters like A, B, D, etc.
Then use an X-acto knife to cut out small holes for the marquee lights, following the holes in the letter template attached to the back of your scrapbook paper.
Once your scrapbook paper is all cut out to match the letter template, put some glue on the back of the scrapbook paper and glue it into your marquee letter.
The Heidi Swapp marquee letter I used is 2” wide on the edges, so I cut some pink glitter scrapbook paper to cover the outside edges, then glued it on. Don’t forget to cover the edges inside the center hole if you have a letter like A or P!
All that’s left to do is string the marquee lights! The Heidi Swapp marquee letters come with directions telling you how to string the lights and what order to go in to make sure all of the holes have lights in them.
And you’re done!
Stay tuned; I have a bunch more DIY steampunk nursery projects to share with you!
DIY Steampunk Nursery
- Part 1: Painting the walls
- Part 2: DIY wainscoting with textured wallpaper
- DIY marquee letter for the steampunk nursery
Shop this project:
Want to share this tutorial with your friends? Just click any of the share buttons on the left to share with Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.!
I believe that anyone can do crafts and DIY projects, regardless of skill or experience. I love sharing simple craft ideas, step by step DIY project tutorials, cleaning hacks, and other tips and tricks all with one goal in mind: giving you the tools you need to “do it yourself”, complete fun projects, and make awesome things!