Copyright Silhouette School 2016. Powered by Blogger.

DIY Lighted Sign with Silhouette Tutorial

DIY, do it yourself, lighted sign, Silhouette, Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial
So for more than a year now I've been wanting to make a DIY lighted sign. You know like a marquee.
I knew there had to be a way to make a lighted sign with my Silhouette, I just wasn't really sure how....until NOW! Woohoo..I am so stinkin' excited to share this with you because it's soooooo stinkin' easy..plus it's a total Silhouette hack and I love hacks!

I will warn you up front you need Silhouette Studio Designer Edition for this because you need the rhinestone tool..yes, you heard that right.  But I'm sure you'll be totally convinced that DE is worth the $30 or whatever after you see how how awesome and easy this is.


First of all you want to type out your word.  My suggestion is to pick a basic font and a word that's not too long...at least until you get comfortable making lighted signs.   I typed out JOY in all caps and picked Arial...definitely don't want serifs and script is not as easy for beginners. We take baby steps here on Silhouette School.  So just trust me and go with Arial. 

DIY, do it yourself, lighted sign, Silhouette, Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial


Now...select your word and click on the Rhinestone button.  Again, you must have Silhoeutte Studio Designer Edition or you won't have this option.   For the effect you want to pick "edge". I went with the largest size rhinestone - 20ss (Yes, I know...still way too small for lights!)

DIY, do it yourself, lighted sign, Silhouette, Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial, rhinestone, edge

Now you'll notice I have two lines of rhinestones on each letter. I only want one so ungroup and release  the compound path of rhinestones (right click for both options) so you can delete one line to give you a single line of rhinestones.

DIY, do it yourself, lighted sign, Silhouette, Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial, rhinestones

If necessary, which it was for me, click on 'release rhinestones' in the right window panel so you can get access to each individual circle. Delete an entire line to give you a single line in each letter.

DIY, do it yourself, lighted sign, Silhouette, Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial, release rhinestones

Once you get the single line for all the letters you need to enlarge.  However, you can't just drag the corner of the design and enlarge the rhinestones. As a function of the rhinestone tool it keeps the circles the same size, but enlarge the letters by adding rhinestones and you'll get a mess like this...

DIY, do it yourself, lighted sign, Silhouette, Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial, rhinestone

SOOOO you need to do a little workaround and actually trick Studio into not know you are working with rhinestones, but instead just basic circles.   We're going to do this by tracing.

So fill in the rhinestones with a solid color (this just gives you a better trace) then go to the trace tool > uncheck the high pass filter > trace.  And you'll have something like this.

DIY, do it yourself, lighted sign, Silhouette, Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial, trace, high pass filter

Pull the trace away from the filled in rhinestones and delete the filled in rhinestones.  Remember, the unfilled/traced design is NOT rhinestones, but instead just a regular ol' design.  The filled in circles are still rhinestones....and you don't need them anymore. 

DIY, do it yourself, lighted sign, Silhouette, Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial, rhinestones

NOW you can enlarge the traced design and the circles will enlarge, but stay the same in number.  Are you ohhhhing and ahhhhing yet?  I know, I know...

DIY, do it yourself, lighted sign, Silhouette, Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial, rhinestone

At some point, you're going to want to ungroup the circles so you can see how large each circle is - if you are working with christmas lights you want them between .4 - .45 inches.

DIY, do it yourself, lighted sign, Silhouette, Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial

When you find the right size, now you can get ready to cut.  You can cut on contact paper, stencil material or vinyl. I had some brown vinyl lying around and honestly I don't see myself using it because well..it's kinda ugly (don't tell anyone I said that) so... I cut on that.

The vinyl is going to act as a stencil so you know where to drill your holes.  So weed out the circles and then put the vinyl down onto your piece of wood.

DIY, do it yourself, lighted sign, Silhouette, Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial

Now go grab your drill....I use the Black + Decker Autosense.  I used the 3/8" bit which was just slightly smaller than the holes in my vinyl.

DIY, do it yourself, lighted sign, Silhouette, Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial

This worked perfectly because I drilled right into the middle and it didn't mess up my vinyl template at all and the holes weren't too close together that I was worried that the wood would split.

DIY, do it yourself, lighted sign, Silhouette, Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial

Once all the holes are drilled, remove the stencil and sand down the wood. If you haven't already painted or stained your piece of wood you can do that now. (Mine was pre-stained and just waiting for an awesome project to hit me.)

DIY, do it yourself, lighted sign, Silhouette, Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial

DIY, do it yourself, lighted sign, Silhouette, Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial

Now just thread the lights through the back of the wood and into the holes and you've made yourself a DIY lighted sign using your Silhouette.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I receive a small commission. That's what helps fund Silhouette School so I can keep buying new Silhouette-related products to show you how to get the most out of your machine! 

Thanks for coming to class today at Silhouette School.  If you like what you see, I'd love for you to pin it!


 photo 2b820f06-c93b-4b24-929c-96287390140f_zpsf3cd3a23.jpguse twiter photo Twitter_48x48_zps4e06061c.pnguse twiter photo Twitter_48x48_zps4e06061c.pngUse Feed photo Feed_48x48_zps63f27a4f.png photo 2b820f06-c93b-4b24-929c-96287390140f_zpsf3cd3a23.jpgUse Feed photo Feed_48x48_zps63f27a4f.pngUse Feed photo Feed_48x48_zps63f27a4f.png

3 comments

  1. I.LOVE.THIS.!!!! Great tutorial to make a special sign for my parents' 50th anniversary.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I just hacked your 'hack'! I didn't have the upgraded version of Silhouette so I just made small circles inside the word 'JOY' and then removed the text and got... exactly what you made!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Gorgeous! I'm curious what kind of lights you used to fill the holes though.Was it just a string of those little white Christmas lights? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for leaving a comment! We get several hundred comments a day. While we appreciate every single one of them it's nearly impossible to respond back to all of them, all the time. So... if you could help me by treating these comments like a forum where readers help readers.

In addition, don't forget to look for specific answers by using the Search Box on the blog. If you're still not having any luck, feel free to email me with your question.