This merry and bright LED light up star is a fun project to add to your Christmas decorations or to give away as a gift!
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While some projects aren’t worth the time and/or money to make instead of buying, this cute light up star does not fall into that category. I love that I can display this star with or without the lights on and it looks great both ways!
Here’s what you’ll need to make your own:
- Square wood sign (6×6 or larger) – here is the exact one I used
- Battery powered LED light kit (I couldn’t find the exact ones I used, but this one is similar and so is this one.)
- Acrylic paint (in color of choice) – here is the exact color/brand I used
- Vinyl (in color of choice)
- Silhouette Cameo (or other cutting machine)
- Cutting mat
- Weeding tool (optional)
- Foam brush
- Power drill
- Drill bit
- Squeegee tool
- Transfer paper
First, you’ll need to measure your sign. I found the one I used at Walmart and while the front is 6×6, when I turned it over, there is a thicker framed area that I wouldn’t be able to drill through. So I measured the inside dimensions to find out how big I could make my star.
Next, open up your Silhouette Design Studio (or other design program you use for cutting). I recommend creating a replica of your board so you can see exactly how your star is going to look and fit on your board. Then grab a star from your library, the online store or do a quick image search and trace around the star you want to use. Resize the star to fit just inside the smaller square area, making sure to leave a little bit of room for the holes you’ll be drilling for the lights.
Next, add the words ‘merry & bright’. I used the font Magnolia Sky for the word ‘merry’ and the ampersand. I used the font Bebas for the word ‘bright’. (They are both free fonts.) To help me further visualize how the finished project would look, I colored in the star and words using the colors of paint and vinyl I’d chosen. You can see how my mock up looks below.
Once you have everything looking the way you like, move the large square off your design page so you are just left with the interior square, star and words. Separate the words and ampersand from the square and star by selecting them all and moving them off the design page. Make sure to keep them all together because the spacing is all accurate.
- To cut the star out, load some vinyl onto your cutting mat. Change the settings to vinyl and adjust the blade if needed. Then send it to the Silhouette to be cut. When it’s done, remove it from the cutting mat and set aside.
- To cut the words, load the vinyl onto your cutting mat. Move the star you just cut out off the page and move the words merry’ and ‘bright’ onto the design page. Then send it to the Silhouette to be cut. When it’s done remove it from the cutting mat and set aside.
- To cut the ampersand, repeat the steps above.
When all your vinyl pieces are cut, remove the outside of the star and place it on your wood block. You can do this either by eyeballing it or use some transfer paper. Once it’s where you want, use your squeegee tool to press it onto the wood. Pay special attention to the interior edges of the star so you can get a clean line.
Now, get your paint, foam brush and plate. I did two layers of paint, letting the first layer dry completely. For the second layer, I let it dry most of the way before peeling off the stencil. Because the wood I used had some texture, my line wasn’t totally clean, but I like the slightly rustic edge it has.
Set your wood aside and let the paint finish drying. Grab your vinyl words and ampersand and weed those out. Once they are weeded, get a piece of transfer paper the size of your words and use the squeegee to press out the bubbles and transfer the vinyl. You should be able to remove the backing on the vinyl, but occasionally I find that I have to use my fingernail to slide it under the vinyl and carefully lift it so it will stick to the transfer paper.
With your words transferred over, place them over the top of the ampersand and use the squeegee to move it to the transfer paper, peeling off the back once done.
*NOTE* If you are using metallic or glitter vinyl, it sometimes has trouble sticking to the transfer paper because of the texture. You may have to use your fingernail for this like I mentioned above.
By this time, your paint should be dry and you can drill your holes in each of the corners of the star. I recommend putting something underneath your wood board, such as cardboard, to protect the surface underneath. As for the size of bit you’ll want to use, it is likely going to depend on your light kit. To find the right size, drill through some cardboard or a thin piece of wood and then try to put a light through it. The light should fit snugly and not slide out.
Once you have the right bit size, drill through each of the corners of your star. (I drilled right on top of the corners.) Brush off the dust and now you’re ready to apply your vinyl.
Grab your layered vinyl and center it on your star. Use the squeegee to transfer it onto the wood. Starting at any corner, slowly peel away the transfer paper, using your fingernail to help any pieces that might be sticking to the transfer paper.
Now you are ready to insert the lights into each hole. Start at the top of the star and work your way around, pushing the lights into the holes until you reach the end. Insert the batteries into your light kit and turn it on!
*Optional* To finish it off, you can either leave the battery pack loose, or you can secure it using some velcro. I probably wouldn’t glue it on because if/when you have to replace the lights, this could create a problem. I chose to leave my battery pack loose and just tucked behind the sign.
And there you have it! I absolutely love how this light up star sign turned out. It is a simple and great piece of Christmas decor that could easily be changed up with different colors to match your own decorations.
You can watch a full video tutorial HERE!
If you like this Christmas craft, be sure to check out these other ones I have here on my blog: