Often late at night while Matt sleeps I search CraigsList for my latest find.
One night I stumbled upon an ad that had at least 50 old marquee letters.
The seller had them all laid out in his yard spelling out different words and the price could not be beat.
So I do what I always do and forwarded the listing to Matt with a little note, “What do you think?”
Much to my surprise I woke up the next morning to the response “Awesome, call them!”
I called the gentleman and Matt and I went out intending to buy 5 maybe 6 marquee letters and ended up coming home with a car full.
Matt’s family has an annual Christmas tradition called “Make a Gift” It is so fun every year you get a different person’s name to make a gift for.
It can be anything you want from homemade cleaning products to a violin (yup I said violin) anything goes, only rule you have to make it yourself! This year my make a gift victim was Matt’s sister Sarah. As soon as I saw the metal marquee B on the lawn I knew I had to get it for her and give it a makeover.
The letter had old dirty caulking, even after a cleaning it was still grungy. Matt helped me out by using the a heat gun and a speckle knife to clean all of the old gunk out.
I wanted the B to light up like the old fashioned marquee signs, meaning I would need to drill holes in the aluminum.
Before I started drilling I marked out my holes, trying to use some of the existing holes.
I used a drill press to cut the holes.
I steadied the B while my father operated the drill.
Once all of the holes were cut out I used a Dremel to smooth down the sides.
I wanted to do a dry fit of the lights to make sure the placement was right.
I took the lights apart, reassembled them in the B and realized I had too many holes.
No worries though that is what BONDO is for!
After the bondo was set up (about 20 min) it was ready for sanding and painting.
One problem, the temperature decided to drop over 30 degrees in one afternoon. It was freezing cold and we were having 50 – 60mph wind gusts!
And I needed to spray paint my B white so I could finish in time for Christmas Eve …
So I did want any
insane normal person does and I created a spray paint booth in my kitchen.
While this did solve my problem I do NOT recommend anyone do this.
Even though we had ample ventilation it was still had huge risk of the over spray going EVERYWHERE!
Seriously don’t try this unless you absolutely have to …
Once I had the marquee B painted (and paint cured) I used a silicone type product to hold the light socket in place.
After 16 hours of dry time the letter was ready to be put together and plugged in!
Time for Lights OFF!
The marquee B turned out great, you can hardly see the places I filled in with Bondo, and the glow is SOFT.
The light are a set of 10 Christmas lights I picked up this summer at Target, best part is if they burn out they are easily replaced!
Sarah opened her Make a Gift on Christmas Eve and told me she loved it (yay!)
Now I just have to make one for myself and I will be set!