Christmas Christmas Crafts for adults tutorial upcycling

Make a festive upcycled sign with lights

festive upcycled sign

We love to decorate the house for Christmas and every year we try to add a new decoration to our stash. I love our handmade tradition, my mum always made room for the handmade Christmas decorations we brought home for school and I fully embrace this with my own children too.

Harveys asked me to write a post about my favourite Christmas crafts as part of their Harveys Yule Rules. This year we’ve made festive wreaths and tree decorations and a couple of weekends ago we made something larger for the house. Harveys featured the finished craft on their blog and today I am sharing the full tutorial on how to make a festive upcycled sign with lights.


You will need
an old scaffolding plank, plank from a wooden pallet or similar
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Emperor’s Silk and brush
String of LED fairy lights
Drill with 6mm drill bit
Spray Mount

Make a festive upcycled sign with lights

I used a piece of scaffolding plank we already had but you could use anything to make this festive sign. You could distress a new plank of wood if necessary to give it the vintage look.

Decide what words you want to use. I used the phrase Merry & Bright which I printed out then roughly measured how large I wanted it and re-sized accordingly. I wanted the words to be quite large whilst leaving enough space for the lights around the outside. I printed them, then cut out the letters using a Swann Morton scalpel to make a paper template.

Make a festive upcycled sign with lights

I spray mounted the sheets of paper on the reverse then stuck them in place on my wood.

Annie Sloan chalk paint

I painted the words in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint using my favourite colour, Emperor’s Silk, and left it to dry.

upcycled festive sign

The paint dried quickly so I was soon able to start adding the lights. I used pins to roughly mark out where I wanted each light to appear.

upcycled festive sign

Then I drilled all the way through the wood using a cordless DeWalt drill with a 6mm drill bit.

drilling a scaffolding plank

I bought a simple string of 20 white LED fairy lights and pushed the light through from the back of the wood. I used Duck Tape to hold the lights in place.

how to make a festive sign with lights

I love the finished result. I think it was easy to make a festive upcycled sign with lights as I had most of the supplies and it came together really quickly, taking about 2 hours. It’s currently in our dining room and the children love switching on the light in the evening.

upcycled festive sign with lights

Disclosure – post in collaboration with Harveys


  • Reply
    December 19, 2015 at 11:11 am

    What a great idea, simple but very effective.

  • Reply
    December 20, 2015 at 8:16 am

    Just loved this…so clever!

  • Reply
    January 17, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    Love this idea – that scaffolding plank has such a lovely texture to it. I’ve featured your post over on my Create Make Share round up – thanks so much for taking part this month.

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