DIY: Your Name in Lights

Posted by Beth Jenkins on

In this overly-beautified world of social media, I find myself being intimidated by other people's pretty pictures, creative ideas, big teams (let's be real, we never see them, but we know they have them), influencer girl gangs, and big budgets. Sometimes this can deter me from posting my original content for weeks (or months) just because I fear I'll pale in comparison — I hate to admit that, but it's true. 

I'm guessing there's probably a good portion of you that feel the same way, too. So every time I feel intimidated, I'm going to channel that nervous energy into creating, into celebrating the work-in-progress, into inspiring, into just having fun and not worrying about being so perfect all the time. More than likely, this is going to come at you all as a simple DIY project or a fun recipe I've discovered. Who knows, I'll keep you posted as the inspiration strikes. 

Today's intimidation-turned-into-inspiration just so happens to be a cute little sign I recently created for the feature wall in my Live Dreams studio and all for UNDER $25. Yes, it took a bit of my time and creative energy, but I absolutely love it and, maybe it's the hardworking Hoosier side of me, but I love it even more because I created it with my own two hands (and without draining my bank account). After reading through the step by step below, please also check out my YouTube video at the end of my post to see a time lapse of the work-in-progress.

Whether it's your name you'd like to see in lights, your favorite team's, an uninspiring word like "laundry" above your washer and dryer in an effort to add a little fun to the mundane tasks in your life, go have some fun. And I can't wait to hear how you take these ideas and turn them into something even better for yourself. 

Before you get started, here's a list of materials I used:

These were simple to order online from (affiliate links)
Twinkle Star 200 LED 66 FT Copper String Lights Fairy String Lights (these aren't the exact same as what I found at HomeGoods, but similar)
Aluminum Craft Wire (I used Rose Pink, but so many fun colors available!)

These are way cheaper if you just pick them up at your local hardware store vs. ordering online
- 5/8" to 1" long nails (I used gold)

Then go grab these from your tool box
- Hammer
- Level
- Long Nose Pliers

- Design stencil / guide (I printed my design on 11x17 sheets of paper then hung with standard gift tape)

My design strengths rely heavily on my computer skills to bring the vision inside my head to life — if I need to rely on my ability to actually hand draw something, I'm screwed. So I decided to layout my design on computer and print it out on 11x17 sheets of paper, which I then used a level to ensure my guide was hanging neatly across the center of my feature wall.

Once my guide was in place, I hammered nails, approximately .5" apart from one another, directly through the "dreams" portion of the paper guide and into the wall. Since I knew I wanted to use the aluminum craft wire to create the "LIVE" portion of my design, I simply placed nails in the anchor points of those letters, essentially allowing me to connect one corner to the next. If my word had involved more curves, I would've needed to add in a couple more points along the way in order to allow the wire to be guided around the nails to create shape. 

These copper wire fairy lights really did work out perfectly for this DIY project, because they were so easy to bend and wrap around the nail heads to secure.* Before wrapping the aluminum craft wire around my letter guides, I did try to remove any kinks or curves from the wire as much as possible. I then used the long nose pliers in order to create crisper angles and ultimately cut the wire with the base of those same pliers. I ended up taking two passes around each letter with the aluminum wire in order to create a more substantive look for the "LIVE" portion of my design. 

*I waited to tear my paper guide away until after I had already wrapped the fairy lights around the nails, which if I had to do it over again, I would've torn my guide away before wrapping any nails with anything. Not a deal breaker, just could've made my life easier.

Intimidation turned into inspiration and a budget-friendly DIY. I would LOVE if you let me know if this post inspires you — if you create one, please tag me on Instagram @shoplivedreams. Until next time, keep up the good hustle, Dreams Team.  

xo, Beth Jenkins
owner & designer
Live Dreams