Make a DIY Lighted Sign Box in Less Than 30 Minutes

It is quite easy to make a cardboard lighted sign box. You may believe that this is an expensive and a time-consuming process, but it simply doesn’t have to be with a little creativity! You will need less than 30 minutes and some patience. When we talk about money, you will need less than $10! Still, the best part is the level of fun, this activity has to offer and the freedom, you as a creator has.  Please note that a DIY Lighted Sign Box made per below is meant to be a temporary decoration and/or made to be turned on when you are around – it is NOT UL listed like all of the lightbox signs that we sell here at www.diysignsupply.com and it is definitely not made for “exterior” applications.  With that being said here is how you can do it!

The DIY lighted sign box process requires the following steps:

  1.      Needed materials

All materials you will need are simple and easy to find. In general, you will need cardboard (or posterboard), a plastic sheet – can be plexiglass, polycarbonate, acrylic, or whatever you find around your house, colored paper, glue and etc. In addition, you must use lights, but even Christmas lights can be useful. Of course, for the best effect, you should use LEDs.

  1.      Choose the motto or the word

Once you have done it, print the word you want on a cardboard. Use the scalpel to cut it out and to make a cardboard see-through. Paint the cardboard with a spray. It takes less than 30 minutes to get dry, therefore it is a quick process. Then, we will need the plastic we mentioned. Acrylic plastic is the best choice and highly recommended. Place it on one side and a paper, also in color on the opposite side. Glue them together.

  1.      Create a housing box

DIY lighted sign box requires a simple housing. It can be made from cardboard as well. Simply make a square or a shape you prefer from this material. Add reinforce elements in the edges. The depth can vary, but usually, it should be at least 6” to allow the light to spread out evenly.  It can be more shallow if it is a small sign.

  1.      Add lights

Adding the lights isn’t as complicated as you may believe. In a matter of fact, it is a very simple process. Just take a straight piece of cardboard and drew holes in it. Use smaller pieces of cardboard to lift it from the lower side. Cut the small hole at the back for the light’s cable. Place the lights in these holes you just drilled. Put the power cable through the hole you just made, and that’s it. Plug it in, and you will see the lights on.

  1.      Add the sign we made earlier

On the front cover cardboard (the one that goes above the lights) cut a place to insert the sign itself we made it at the beginning. You can use tape of craft paper to secure it into place. This is the last step. After that, you can plug it in and see how the sign actually looks.

Important facts to remember

Keep in mind that the color of plastic and the color of the paper you use will determine the color of the sign itself. There are plenty of colors to use in order to paint the front cardboard, but we recommended spray, simply because it is the fastest to dry. Also, Christmas lights are the most affordable and the simplest choice, you can choose, but LEDs are still the best choice. 

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