This is an idea I had to encourage excellent class work – as excellent examples of children’s work could make it onto the ‘Wall of Fame’ display board. The fact that this has flashing lights adds the specialness – therefore standard paper cut-out display lettering just wouldn’t do for this.

Things I used:

  • 3mm thick MDF
  • LED string lights with globe covers
  • Red and black gloss spray paint
  • White undercoat and White Satin
  • Frisket masking film

Other things needed:

  • Wood glue
  • 10mm drill bit – or whatever size fits the globe led bulb covers
  • Circular saw
  • Printer/computer (for the stencils)
  • Parcel tape

Step 1


I mapped out the lettering on the computer and used this to decide the dimensions of the final product. Where the lettering and lights sit I’ll call the faceplate; I cut out the faceplate from 3mm thick MDF and 2 further strips with a width of 5cm – these will be the sides. I then cut these up to the exact lengths.

With PVA wood glue I glued the sides together using makeshift braces to keep everything in place while it dried. Then I took the faceplate and eased it between the sides, to around 2cm from the front edge then used a glue gun from behind to fix it in place. The reason it’s not fitted flush is so that the bulb covers will be protected by a lip from the sides on the front while all the wires are hidden by the sides at the back.

Step 2


I painted all visible parts white, using undercoat first then a white satin. I then placed my stencil from earlier on the faceplate. On the stencil I had mapped out the circumferences of the bulb covers as they would appear on the final product, so I could be sure they were all equally distanced. I also made sure that I included a centre point for each bulb cover. This I used to guide the first smaller drill bit through marking for the second correctly-sized one after: so I drilled with a smaller drill bit through the stencil and through the faceplate then removed the stencil and finished by drilling the correctly-sized holes.

Step 3


To mask for painting I cut out stencils from Frisket masking film and fixed into place on the faceplate. I then masked all other areas with parcel paper and tape, took outside then began spraying. Overall around 4 coats were used, a light dusting to begin with then steadily layering up. Once dried I peeled away the Frisket film

Step 4


After leaving a day or two to fully dry I proceeded to mask for the red coat. I then took outside and sprayed as in the previous step. I then peeled away all masking tape and paper.

Step 5


Again after leaving for a further day or two to fully dry, I pushed through the LED covers from the front – it’s a tight fit so no gluing necessary. I then fed through the LED string lights from the back into the covers. Switch on the test. Done!


An animated GIF

November 12th, 2016

Posted In: Classroom