There’s something about handmade decorations that really make the holidays special. Any project, no matter how big or small, will impress your guests! Family and friends will appreciate your efforts to make this holiday season even more special than the last. And they really don’t have to know that your projects are easy as pie!
For our DIY Decor series, we have a Christmas craft idea great for decorating during the holidays– a rope light sign spelling out the word joyful. You can adjust the project to your specifications, of course, and try it out with any word! Merry, Jolly, Joy, even Ho Ho Ho could work with this technique.
Here are the step-by-step instructions.
Joyful Rope Light Sign
Skill level: Novice
Time: An afternoon (a few hours of drying time for glue)
Cost: About $50
- Rope light
- Thin MDF Board or other thin plywood board (Cut to the width of your fireplace.)
- Paint (I used Martha Stewart Living Metallic Paint)
- Gorilla Glue
- Set of eye hooks
- Set of screw hooks
- Drill (Make sure you have a drill bit that matches the thickness of your rope light)
- Extension cord
Paint your wood plank. I wanted the color of my wood to be fairly close to the fireplace color because I wanted the rope light to stand out. The Martha Stewart Living Metallic Paint was surprisingly a great match for my painted brick fireplace.
Get your rope light out of the package and let it loosen up. You can bend it around and try to get it as flexible as possible. You’re going to be maneuvering it a lot!
Test your spelling skills! Spell your holiday message on a test surface, working with the rope light and taping down as necessary. We used scotch tape for the test run. You need to get a feel for the length of each letter and the length of the full word.
Tip: Spell in cursive (obviously) and let the bend of the rope light work with you, not against you! The “o” in my “Joy” below is fairly close to how the rope light wanted to lie naturally. Let the shape of the rope light help you!
Move to your wooden surface and repeat Step 3, spelling your holiday message, two or three letters at a time.
Use a heavy duty tape this time to ensure the rope light doesn’t move around. Glue the rope lights down with Gorilla Glue on sensitive area prone to movement and also on straight easy areas.
Lay heavy items on top of the rope light while the glue dries. I used random household objects like a staple gun and cast iron skillets.
Drying time will take a few hours.
Drill a hole through the board where the end of the rope light can feed through to hide the plug behind the board.
Hang the board on your fireplace mantel with a small eye hook and screw hook.
Read more about how I styled the Christmas mantel in our Holiday Style Challenge series.