Dude DIY: Arrow Marquee Light

DIY Arrow Marquee Light

After doing a ton of thrifting and flea marketing when we first moved to LA, Mr. Lovely found himself totally jonesing for one of those vintage marquee lights. They’re pretty popular right now, and you can get a handmade reproduction for a few hundred bucks, but that’s just a little too tough on the pocketbook for yours truly. So Mr. Lovely confronted the sitch head-on and got all man-crafty.

Full disclosure: I was not involved in this project whatsoever. I basically said, “Have fun!” and took a photo every once in a while. But I’ve got the instructions straight from the horse’s mouth, so read on if you want to make your very own! You’ll need:

  • strand of globe lights (Target has bunches)
  • plywood
  • 6-inch wide aluminum flashing
  • jigsaw
  • drill, screwdriver bit, and 3/4″ bit
  • tin snips
  • screws
  • wire stripper
  • electrical tape
  • screw cap
  • protective gloves

Put on your gloves! Lay your plywood out and draw your arrow design. Mr. Lovely measured twice and cut once with the jigsaw!

DIY Arrow Marquee Light

Across the back of your arrow, screw in a piece of plywood as a cross-brace. Plan where you’d like the bulbs to be on the arrow (we cut out paper the size of our bulbs to be able to experiment and move it around). Mark lightly with a pencil and drill a hole on each mark with a 3/4″ drill bit.

DIY Arrow Marquee

DIY Arrow Light

Unscrew bulbs from the strand of lights and push the sockets through the holes from the backside.

DIY Arrow Marquee Light

Measure the exterior of your arrow and cut a piece of flashing long enough to fit around the outside. Carefully mold it to the corners. Screw it in place, starting at one end and working your way around. Place screws about 2-3″ apart.

DIY Vintage Marquee Light

Screw lightbulbs in. Cut off the excess lightbulbs and use wire stripper, tape, and caps to attach to an extension cord if necessary.

DIY Arrow Metal Light

There you go! Seriously manly stuff, right? And that husband of mine didn’t even break a sweat (that’s a lie). But it’s relatively simple! And now we’ve got a vintage vibe for seriously a fraction of the cost. Whaddaya think? Would you attempt this one? xoxo

DIY Arrow Marquee Light

DIY Arrow Marquee Light

  1. This is so awesome. Thanks for breaking it down so clearly for us all to follow, too!

    • chelsea on said:

      Definitely! Glad to know it’s clear. 🙂

  2. Elaine Costa on said:

    Ha! Good job!

  3. Jeran on said:

    Holy Cow! I just saw your glitter vases on Buzzfeed. I can’t believe this fantastic arrow light. I totally didn’t see it before I did my “M” light. That’s a little weird huh? Great minds think alike I guess.

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  5. Laura on said:

    Gosh that light is amazing! I may just have to be brave and try to make it! xo

  6. how2home on said:

    This is awesome ! Just hopped over from Curbly’s site! Can;t wait to read and learn more about you and your blog 🙂

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  9. Oh my goodness! This is absolutely STUNNING, and I love the breakdown of how y’all made it happen! I might just have to enlist my husband in a project like this…

    Thanks for sharing!

  10. Sarina on said:

    The Marquee light is pretty awesome, but I really love that Wilco poster!

    • john on said:

      I too LOVE that Wilco poster!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  18. Deborah on said:

    Hello , where did you get your plywood from? And what is the specific name of this special plywood? Beautiful !!