DIY Rustic Marquee Harvest Sign

11-19-2017 11-04-37 AM

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This past fall I’ve really been pumping out the projects, thanks to my new covered porch!  I’ve literally been out there working away from morning till night this whole week, WHEW!!!

My eye-catching rustic marquee sign is just one of the things I’ve finished this week and I’m so excited how it turned out.  I’ve always wanted a tall ‘HARVEST’ sign to add to my fall décor and decided to add a little twist to this one with the warm sparkly lights.






  1. Hand drill with bits
  2. Chop saw
  3. Tape measure
  4. Scissors


  1. No-shine matte acrylic paint (I used a pumpkin orange for my letters and a rusty red for the leaf)
  2. Paint sponge applicator
  3. Hot Glue Gun (to secure lights and battery pack)
  4. Large Letter Stencils (I also used a leaf stencil to replace my ‘A’)
  5. Four 1 x 3s at 3ft 10 1/2in long
  6. Two 1 x 1s at 8 1/2in long
  7. Two 1 x3s at 3ft 10 1/2in long
  8. A few mending brackets (to straighten any warped boards)
  9. String of fairy lights with the mini bulbs in warm white color (a string of 30)  I bought mine HERE
  10. A 3 inch strip of Sticky-backed Velcro (to secure battery pack on back of board)

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Battery powered lights vs. Plug-in lights:   Since I prefer having both options of either using batteries to run my lights, or having a cord that plugs into a socket (which will save my batteries), I ordered myself a SWITCH IT plug in (shown in below pic).  This way I can use my batteries for times when my sign is on display where there’s no electric plug-in socket.  If there IS an electric socket nearby, I simply take my batteries out, put in the ‘fake’ batteries (that are attached to my SWITCH IT plug), then plug it into the socket!  (It’s so easy, I just love this thing!)  You can order one HERE.


Let’s get started!

Lay out the 1x4s


Make a frame by screwing on the 1 x 1s with the wood screws (remember those pilot holes!)


My boards were a little warped so I screwed on a couple of mending plates (Having the wood straight makes it easier to stencil on the letters later on)


Flip the board over and paint on my  DIY wood stain


Let it dry


Lay the stencils out how you want them


Dip painting sponge into paint and dab off excess before applying


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I use a ‘dabbing’ motion when I paint on stencils…

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Spray on a clear matte coat of enamel


Flip the board to the back and mark evenly where you want your lights, by drilling through with a teensy tiny drill bit (The tiny bit will avoid splintering the front of your board)


(This is the finished product of how the lights and wires look from the back.  Make sure you drill the holes close enough together so that the lights will reach each hole…you’ll want a little extra slack of wire in-between lights)


Flip the board over and you should see your tiny holes where your lights will be


Find a drill bit that’s the same diameter as the mini light bulbs


Drill each hole down through the front of the board



Now insert the lights through the back of the board.  I started at the bottom so that I’d end at the bottom


On the back, dab a little hot glue over each hole to secure lights



I hot glued some Velcro onto the back of the battery pack and also the board to hang the pack




Now just turn those lights on and you’re ready to dazzle everyone!


Happy Fall!!!

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