I have been desperate for a neon sign in my house since I spotted them all over Instagram. As you might have already seen from my blog or my insta page I love adding colour to my house and neon is the ultimate colour statement! I started off by wanting something to add to my upcycled cocktail cabinet, but after some investigation my heart was shattered because they’re preeeety pricey!
So if you’re anything like me and as soon as you find something you like you HAVE to have it, but cant afford it, you search high and low (on pinterest mainly) for a DIY version on a budget, and I bloomin well found one! Thanks to ispydiy for this one who is pretty much DIY and all things house goals, and she has a fabulous blog and instragram page. I had a go myself and i’ve written how I got on and what you need to do if you want to make your own neon sign.
For this tutorial i’ve made a simple heart with a string but you could make any shape or word you like but just remember that it all has to join up! I also made my ‘Cheers’ sign that you can see above my cocktail cabinet in exactly the same way.
What you will need:
- Wire- I used steel wire 1.3mm x40m long from B&Q, I tried lots of wire thicknesses and this was the best for getting the sign to hold its shape so I wouldnt recommend going any thinner than 1.3mm
- EL Wire (neon tubing)- there are so many websites selling this but I got it from ebay as they offer free delivery and its cheap! you can buy in many different colours and lengths to suit whatever you want to make.
- Batteries- you’ll need 2 AA batteries for you neon battery pack!
- Glue- I used Bostic all purpose glue because it doesnt glue your fingers together and it dries quickly
Start with deciding what word/shape you want your neon sign to be. I wanted something really simple for my gallery wall and I was inspired by the banksy picture of the girl holding the baloon but this one is a heart. I went with green neon for this one but you can pretty much pick whatever colour you like!
You might want to start by drawing your shape or writing your word out on a large piece of paper- it’s easier to trace the wire along the letters then, or if you want to just wing it then you can too 🙂
Once you’re happy with your shape/word drawing, you then need to shape your wire using the drawing as a guide. You will be stricking your EL Wire to your shaped wire so make sure you’re happy with how it looks.
Next, you’re going to glue your EL Wire to your wire shape. Firstly remove the battery pack from your EL Wire as its easier to work with when its not attached, but remember that its going to have to hang off the end of your pice so make sure the battery end goes at the bottom rather than the top end! To remove it just squeeze the little tabs either side on the connector and it should just pop out (like a phone wire!).
Start by doing it a bit at a time adding the glue to the wire and sticking the EL Wire on top, holding it still until it starts to dry. Using this type of glue you’re fine to hold both wires together using your hands but if you decide to use a stronger glue then use some kind of cips to hold it in place whilst it dries so you dont end up glueing yourself to your wall art!
Once you have glued the whole way round leave it to dry before trying to hang it straight away. I would recommend leaving it overnight and then you can see if there are any areas that havent quite glued properly and you can re-stick.
So finally your piece has dried and its ready to hang up on your wall or wherever you want to put it! Just remember the battery pack though- this can be easily removed but when its attached the weight will drag your piece down if its not supported somewhere on the floor or a surface. Add your batteries and have a play with the button- it has three settings, on all the time, and then two different flashing settings (yes two!!)
As soon as I made my first Cheers sign I couldnt wait to buy more neon in more colours to experiment with different shapes and words!
So I hope you have as much fun as I did making this!