Building the ENTER Sign

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Hey guys! Many of you asked for a STEP by STEP of the ENTER SIGN seen in the videos and at Preview events so here you go:

Materials:

12″ Chipboard letters (JoAnn’s or Hobby Lobby)

Round chipboard boxes (JoAnn’s or Hobby Lobby)

1 panel of high density foam insulation board, 2″ thick

Red latex house paint

Silver metallic spray paint

Jigsaw, fine tooth blade

Hacksaw blade

2 strings of Christmas or patio lights

Painter’s tape

Loctite Power Grab All Purpose Construction Adhesive, clear

 

EZ Steps:

1. Carefully cut off the front of the letter using an Exacto knife. Use this as template to layout the light bulbs. NOTE: You can buy any letter, A through Z, to spell or make a sign for “Registration” or “Welcome” or whatever you’d like!

2. Spray paint the inside and the edges of the letters with a silver metallic spray paint.

3. Cut the high density foam board to 2’ X 8’.

4. Center the letters and round boxes on the board allowing about 2 inches between each letter. Lightly score a few lines around them to mark their place on the board.

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5. Create a triangle at the bottom by striking a 45 degree angle from the bottom left and right corners of the board. This triangle will make the point of the arrow.

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6. Measure 2” from either side of the top letter. Strike a line to the bottom left corner of the board and another to the bottom right corner. This will form the left and right side of your sign. (You’re basically drawing the sign around the letters.) Freehand the curve at the top.

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7. Remove the letters and round boxes. Using a jigsaw, cut out the sign. If needed, use a hacksaw blade to finish the cut. Sand or file the sides to smooth out any rough edges.

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8. Using construction adhesive, position and glue the triangle/arrow in place. Construction adhesive can also be used to fill in the space – like spackling – between the triangle and the arch.

9. Paint the whole thing with red latex house paint. Use the same paint for the outside of the letters.

10. Measure 1″ around the outside edge and tape it off with painters tape.

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11. Spray paint the outside edge silver. Be careful to protect the middle ground of the sign using a scrap piece of cardboard or drop cloth.

12. Mark and cut out the holes in the letters and round boxes for the light sockets using an Exacto knife.

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13. Remove the painters tape. Use the construction adhesive to glue the letters and round boxes back into place. After the glue dries, use an apple corer, or a 3/4” drill bit, to cut the holes through the board for the light sockets.

14. Take the bulbs out of the light strand. Starting at the top of the sign and the end of the light strand, use your thumb to push the light sockets through the back side of the sign. Bring the socket flush to the inside of the letters. NOTE: Guide the socket through the hole with your index finger—just be sure it’s unplugged first!) Screw the light bulbs into place.

15. Tape off any unused light sockets and tape the loose cords to the back of the sign. Also, tape the easel to the back leaving one leg free.

Plug it in and have a great VBS!

Comments

  1. Christy Bell says

    We build one and it looks great, but we found that the spray paint ate away at the foam board when we used the spray paint. Is there a special kind of spray paint to use for projects using foam board?

    • Gordon Brown says

      Hey Christy – glad your sign turned out great but sorry about the spray paint. You can only use spray paint AFTER you paint with latex house paint. Once the latex paint dries, you can use the spray paint without it eating the foam. I’ve heard that spray paint WITHOUT acetone will not eat the foam. I believe “they” are making foam friendly spray paint but I haven’t used since I always wait until after a coat of latex. Post a picture! We’d love to see your work!

  2. Amanda says

    Working on one right now! But having the hardest time finding lights, so I am going to try to use small styrofoam balls that I painted yellow and use “pretend” lights! Then also wont have to worry about chord issues or plugging in!

    • Gordon Brown says

      Sounds great! Good option if you don’t want actual light bulbs. btw- I found some lights at Lowes in the Garden section with all the other patio lights. Target may also have some in their Garden area.

    • Gordon Brown says

      Sounds great Amanda! we’d love to see a photo when you’re finished. Good option too if you don’t want actual light bulbs. btw- I found some lights at Lowes in the Garden section with all the other patio lights. Target may also have some in their Garden area.

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