I'm so excited that I can finally begin sharing the DIY holiday projects I worked on with Canadian Tire! Even though I haven't celebrated Christmas in many years, getting free rein to create some creative DIY holiday ideas was an opportunity I couldn't turn down. Over the years, some folks who also don't celebrate Christmas have thanked me, not only for sharing my thoughts, but also for not filling their inboxes with Christmas-themed blog posts. So I thought long and hard about this opportunity but ultimately I said yes because the Canadian Tire team didn't necessarily want full-on "Christmas" from contributors; they wanted fresh ideas and encouraged creative, personal (even a little off-beat) projects. I think that my Christmas-celebrating readers will enjoy (finally) seeing a few holiday-themed posts from me, but for those who don't celebrate Christmas, you'll be relieved that a lot of my projects are really just wintry and party-friendly (and, most importantly, still 100% me). I've always loved the glittery parts of the holidays (evidenced by the fact that I've made and sold Christmas ornaments for many years so this was an incredibly fun and nostalgic experience for me!
Jillian Harris Design), Sarah Gunn (Yummy Mummy Club), Kerri Roche (A Pop of Pretty), and Jo-Anna Rooney (A Pretty Life in the Suburbs).
Let's get to my first project: an LED plywood sign that spells out "celebrate":
I'd spotted light up signs floating around the web, and really wanted to try one for myself. I love how it turned out and I especially like that it's versatile and could be used for any festivity. I could have used the words "Be Cool" (my second choice) and just kept it up for winter parties (or in my office as a helpful reminder). See how un-Christmassy my Christmas projects are? I promise I'm the same old me (just with a ton of glitter stuck in the seams of my hardwood floors).
LED Sign Supplies:
- One package of LED flexible mesh tube lights (if you don't have a Canadian Tire store, these ones I find online could work)
- 3/4" Plywood
- Finishing nails
- 3/8" spade drill bit and 1/2" spade drill bit
- Staples and staple gun
- Printer, paper, scissors
- Grey stain (optional)
- Sandpaper (optional)
How to Make an LED Sign:
I used a piece of plywood left over from another project that was already the perfect size - you can cut this sign to any size. I lightly sanded the surface smooth and applied a coat of grey stain. I used the grey leftover from the credenza hack, and I like that it hides the finishing nails and staples a bit. Alternatively, you could wait until the nails that will hold the tubing are in place and then prime/spray paint everything to make the nails nearly invisible.
While the stain dried, I printed "Celebrate" in a large, loopy font (one letter per page), cut it out, and arranged the text on the plywood. A cursive font makes this project much easier. When I was happy with the placement (and checked that the word was level and didn't slope down to one side like my writing does), I taped it in place.
Keeping the paper in place, I hammered in some nails along the edges of the letters and started roughly placing the LED tube lighting. It's so soft and so bendable that this was an easy task. When there were enough nails to hold everything, I ripped up the paper - and a bunch of little pieces were left. Oops. I then removed the nails, removed the paper and quickly found the holes for the nails again. I thought my method was a much more genius idea than tracing (no evidence left behind!) but I clearly didn't think it through all the way. It took a few extra minutes this way, but still worked.
To thread the tubing to the back, and also to make the "t," we drilled small holes using the spade bits:
It was actually Hubby's idea to make a border, because we had so much left over tubing. We shaped a wiggly, ric-rac inspired border (loose, relaxed shapes are much easier to create) that we held in place with staples. The lights are battery operated and all of the extra tubing and the small battery pack were affixed to the back (but slightly to the side so it's easy to reach it to turn on/off the lights).
It's really hard to photograph the sign lit up, but it looks so good at night! Even during the day, it's easy to make out the lettering because I chose teal tubing which has a high enough contrast against the light grey. You can mix up and personalize this project so easily and if you get bored of it, it's easy to remove and re-purpose the lights, and turn the plywood into something else. I think I get bonus points for a holiday DIY that can quickly disassemble and morph into something else...
Thanks for letting me share! This post was sponsored by Canadian Tire.