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DIY Happy Holidays Wood Sign with Lights


DIY happy holidays wood sign

With the holiday season getting closer its time to think about Christmas decorations for your home. If you’re like me, I want something simple and unique to decorate my home for the holidays. And what better way to do that then creating a DIY happy holidays wood sign that has lights or not! This holiday sign would be fantastic for any room in your home or even for the front porch.

wooden Christmas sign with lights

For this holiday season I have something very special for you, Deck the Home Blog Hop!

The Deck the Home Blog Hop is a 5-week series of amazing Christmas DIY and home project from 26 DIY bloggers.

Each week there is a new theme and this week’s theme is a Christmas Wood Project. I will be sharing my project below but after the tutorial, there is a link-up of all the Deck the Home wood project for the week, so be sure to check those out!

ALSO if you missed last week the theme was Door Decor and you can see how I created a DIY Christmas Hoop Wreath plus all the other blogger’s projects, here.


Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience, click here to read my full disclosure policy



Find the list of tools we use.

STEP 1: make wooden letters

To save on money, I decided to make my own wooden letters. Plus it did not take a lot of extra time. And because videos make it easier to see the process, here is my video on the steps I took to create handmade wooden letters.

For the paper cut-out of each letter, I used Impact font at 575 size.

First was tracing all the letters onto the MDF sheet.

trace letters onto wood


After I took the drill with a 3/8″ drill bit (large enough to fit the blade of the Jig Saw) and drilled a hole through the middle of any letter that needs an inside piece cut out (example: A, P, O, & D).

make wood letters for project

Next, I cut out each middle section from those letters using the Jig Saw.

jig saw to make wooden letters

Then I cut out each letter.

how to make wooden letters

It’s time to drill 5/16″ holes into the letters for the lights. To give you an idea of where to drill the holes place small screws with the heads down onto the letters. Remember you only have 100 lights and I would recommend drilling no more than 92 holes or you will need another strand of lights. Once you are happy with the placement, mark the spot with a pencil.

SIDE NOTE: I tried to drill my holes after the whole sign was assembled and it was a disaster, so please drill the holes before painting.

light placement for wood sign

Once everything is marked, drill a hole on each mark.

TIP: It will help to clamp the letters in place, maybe on a scrap board. 

Once each letter was cut, I then took #220 grit sandpaper and sanded each letter.

create wooden letters

SIDE NOTE: I did wipe each letter with a cloth to remove the dust. 

And that’s how I created my wooden letters.

STEP 2: painting

SIDE NOTE: This was a step I had to repeat because I thought the glitter spray paint would be red enough for the letters. But I was wrong! Learn from me and make sure you paint the letters with a color first. 

Start by painting the letter with the red spray paint. Make sure you apply light coats and use the spray grip tool so you do not paint your fingers too. I decided to apply two coats of red paint.

red spray paint for holiday sign

Once the red paint dried, apply the red glitter paint the same way (I only painted the tops this time). Again I applied two coats of glitter paint.

While you’re painting the letters, paint the 1″x2″ boards with white paint (remember the boards are already primed). But first, cut the boards at 16″, 16″, 36″ & 36″ (you will be cutting the 6ft board in half). Sand the ends if needed then start painting. I always like to apply two coats of paint.

paint trim for sign

STEP 3: build the frame

Take the 8″ board and cut it in half, at 36″ (will be closer to 35-15/16″ because of the blade). After the boards are cut, Kreg Jig one side of one board in four places. These pockets will be used to attach the boards together, see image below for example.

Now sand the boards using #220 grit sandpaper.

Next attach the two boards together. You can use clamps or if you do not have the correct size, like me, use a wall. Make sure the boards are aligned and attach them together using the 1-1/4″ screws. Here is what my method looked like.

build frame for wooden sign

SIDE NOTE: In the picture, I have eight pocket holes, this is because I had my Kreg Jig set incorrectly and had to redrill the holes. 

After you need to add Kreg Jig pockets all around the frame. Make sure these are added on the same side as the last pockets. Place three on the 16″ sides and four on the 36″ sides. These pockets will be facing out and are how the white trim will be added.

Then take the Tung Oil and apply the finish to the front of the boards. I apply this the same way you would apply stain (with a rag) and I like adding 2 coats.

Once the Tung Oil has dried, its time to attach the 1″x2″ trim boards. Place a sheet on a flat surface (to help prevent scratching) and put the 36″ trim piece down. Then take some scrap 1/4″ MDF pieces (or your letters) and place those on the surface.

Next place the wooden frame (two 8″ boards that are attached) on top of the scrap pieces with the pockets facing up.

Align the frame and the trim piece, by using a wall or clamps, then attach with 1-1/4″ screws. Attach the other 36″ trim piece the same way.

attach boards together for sign

After attach the sides trim pieces, this is done the same way.

And that is how you create the frame for your sign.

STEP 4: attach letters on the frame

Now that the frame is created, the letters can be glued in place. Arrange the letter on the frame, I placed each word on one board. SIDE NOTE: I glued the letters on during the last step but I would recommend waiting so that you do not scratch the paint of the letters.

attach wooden letters to sign

Once you are happy with the arrangement of the letters. Take a pencil and mark the frame where each drill holes will be. After you have marked each location, take a 3/8″ drill bit and drill a hole on each mark.

drilling holes in wood sign for lights
Sand the wood of the frame if needed and wipe the board clean.

Then arrange the letters on the frame again, making sure the drill holes all align.

Once you are happy with the arrangement, use liquid nails to glue each letter in place.

glue wooden letters to sign


After all the letters have been glued, let the frame sit for a couple of hours (I would recommend 24 hours to let the glue dry completely).

If you are not adding lights, the sign only needs a hanging device and it’s ready to hang or sit on that fireplace mantel.

handmade Christmas sign

STEP 5: adding the lights

Once the letters are attached to the frame, it’s time to string the lights. I would recommend placing all the lights first to check the best layout. Here is what my layout looked like.

add Christmas lights wooden sign

Some areas needed an extra light in the space to make the distance to the next hole.

installing Christmas signs to wood sign

Once you are happy with the layout of the lights. Use 1/4″ wood staples (they are plastic with a nail) to secure the wire of the lights to the wood.

wood sign with lights

Place as many staples as needed.

Your sign is now complete!!

wooden Christmas sign

SIDE NOTE: I plan on hanging my sign outside, I will place a wood back to cover the wires. I will share a picture once it’s completed. 

DIY wooden Christmas signs

DIY happy holidays wood sign DIY wood Christmas sign


Don’t forget to check out the other 25 bloggers door decor projects!

See more Deck the Home Projects

DIY happy holidays wood sign
how to make wooden letters


  1. This is so cute and I LOVE the lights!!!! I need to make one! Pinning!

    1. Thanks, Samantha, I am happy with the way it turned out!

  2. oh my goodness, I LOVE this!!! It’s so bright and cheery!

    1. Thank you, Carmen!

  3. Oh wow this looks amazing. The lights make it look Beautiful.

    1. Thank you, Anam, I was hoping the lights would bring it all together.

  4. This looks great! It will be perfect displayed outside!

    1. Thanks, Amy. Now I am trying to decide the best way to hang it without drill a hole into my porch…

  5. Wow! This wood sign is amazing! thank you for the step by step tutorial. You thought of everything.
    Happy Holidays!

    1. Thank you, Meegan. Happy Holidays to you too!

  6. Thank you for sharing such a great idea for a sign! And thank you for including the mistakes you made too, that’s the real side to DIY most won’t talk about, but I truly appreciate the heads up! Love the way it turned out.

    1. Thanks, Brooke! I agree most people pretend everything worked out great but it sometimes does not go as planned and we do need to share those times!

  7. Oh my gosh, this is so cute! I’m super impressed that you cut all the letters yourself. And the lights just take it to the next level. Love it!

    1. Thanks, Amy! I was wondering how cutting the letters would be but it was easier then I thought. I will probably do it again for another project!

  8. This is the best!! I am going to try to make one!

    1. Thanks, Jessica!

  9. I love this sign, it’s so bright and fun. Great tutorial for adding the lights, thanks.

    1. Thanks, Sarah!

  10. Great project! Really great tip for how to find the perfect placement for the lights. It looks great and I love the red letters against the wood backing

    1. Thank you, Toni!

    1. Thanks, Lidia!

  11. Super cute! I love it with the lights!

    1. Thanks, Kristen!

  12. Dag- I’m not going to lie- this is freakin’ awesome! I love this sort of marquee look! Your work paid off on this one for sure.

    1. Thank you so much, Christine!

  13. I love the lights. Christmas lights make me so happy!

    1. Thanks, Kenya!

  14. I love how this turned out! The Christmas lights are a great touch.. it turned out so nice!

    1. Thank you, Betsy!

  15. This turned out amazing, Megan!! Send me one, please :) :)

    1. Thanks, Eileen. I would love too but I think shipping could be exciting, lol.

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