DIY Wood Marquee Sign

I hung some art in our dining room / my office when we moved in, and every time I looked at it, I felt like it needed a little something more. I decided to make a wooden marquee sign because really, who doesn't love marquee signs? I wanted to make it out of wood, to change it up a bit from the norm. Then came the question of what the sign should say. I decided on "Whistle" because it's one of my favorite sounds, when people whistle it reminds me of my Poppop and always makes me smile. Plus it's a saying for an office, reminding me to "whistle while I work"! See all the photos and the full "how to" below.


Above is a better pic of me working away in our dining room/ office before I met with a new client last weekend. Now, onto the "how-to"! All I have yet to do is buy a pretty cloth covered extension cord so it looks nice and I can plug it in! Just a heads up, this is the kind of project where some wood working skills are probably necessary! I usually try to keep it easy so that anyone can do it, but that just wasn't going to happen this time around!


  1. Wood, I used oak, but I would actually suggest pine, because finishing all the edges on the oak was a pain in the patoot because it's such a hard wood.
  2. Round string lights, I got mine from Target, it's a string of 25 lights, so I had to make sure that 25 lights would make sense on the word I chose, so keep that in mind!
  3. Hanging hardware


  1. Jig saw
  2. Router
  3. Drill
  4. File
  5. Sandpaper
  6. Staple Gun


  1. Print out your word to scale and lay it out on the wood, trace with pencil.
  2. Rough cut with a jig saw or band saw. I rough cut it first, then went back in to get closer
  3. Use a rough file to clean up the edges
  4. Using a router, round top edges
  5. Go back in with a finer file and sand paper to finish out all the edges, the router usually can't get in the tight corners. 
  6. Drill holes for the lights. On the lights that I bought, there was a little clip on each one, I broke that off so that they would be round and fit into the holes I drilled perfectly.
  7. Take out bulbs, insert all the light sockets into the holes.
  8. Attach hanging hardware, measure up from the bottom so that it hangs level, I put mine on the H and L
  9. Staple down all the wires so that they are hidden when you hang the sign
  10. Screw in all the light bulbs
  11. Hang it up and enjoy!