How to Make an Inexpensive Neon Look Sign Under $25

September 21, 2020

“How to Make a Neon Look Sign” is sponsored by Command™ Products. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Since moving into my first college apartment, I’ve dreamed about having one of those totally photo-worthy neon signs you see all over social media…until I saw the price point. At $200+ for a small sign, it wasn’t exactly a practical purchase for my tiny studio apartment. Instead, I decided to get creative with a much less expensive alternative that will give you the same neon look! Bonus, this sign is so lightweight and easy that it can be hung with a few Command (™) Brand Products Large Picture Hanging Strips for damage free hanging in your college dorm room or apartment.

how to diy inexpensive neon sign el wire craft


  • EL Wire {$9.99}
  • Acrylic board large enough for your selected word or phrase {12″ x 24″ at 1/8″ thickness for $12.00}
  • a drill
  • dry erase marker
  • super glue
  • masking or painter’s tape
  • {$1.10 for lemons for your friend if you’re me, and your drill takes 40 mins to do one hole so you drill two holes and he does the rest with his much more powerful drill in exchange for lemons}
supplies diy neon sign how to budget inexpensive


Time needed: 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Time to DIY your own neon sign: 1-2 hours depending on the length of your word or phrase.

  1. Trace your word or phrase

    Using your dry erase marker, draw out your word or phrase. I preferred to use my own handwriting for this, but if you aren’t comfortable with that, type out your phrase in a font you like, print it, and trace off the print. EL wire doesn’t like tight loops or right angles, so I recommend using a script or round bubble font. To make sure my writing was even, I used an extra piece of acrylic to trace a straight line slightly under the center of my board with a dry erase marker to act as a baseline.

    THIS IS IMPORTANT: after tracing your phrase, mark x’s where the drill holes will go. If you’re using a script font, you’re going to want to drill where the EL wire would overlap itself as if your pencil was tracing over it again. Examples of these letters include a, d, i, g, n, etc.neon sign diy trace handwriting script font dry erase marker pink

  2. Drill Holes

    Drill holes where you previously marked x’s. Make sure your drill slowly, or you’ll risk cracking the acrylic {as seen below}.acrylic crack neon sign diy

  3. Thread EL Wire through

    Thread your EL Wire through your drilled holes, tracing your letters and erasing as you go. As you go, add a drop of super glue periodically, press to set, and tape down with masking tape to hold. When finished, cut the excess EL Wire and secure at the back with a small piece of tape. If any wire from the back shows through to the front, cover it in masking tape.el wire sign diy how to inexpensive neon sign

  4. Secure to the wall with Command™ Strips

    Secure to the wall with Command™ Large Picture Hanging Strips
    Using four large pairs of Command™ Large Picture Hanging Strips for the acrylic, and one pair for the switch, secure your sign to the wall! Simply click the strips together, remove the backing off one side, and stick them onto the board. Then, press the board firmly on the wall. Remove the sign, keeping the other half of the strip on the wall, and press each individual strip into the wall for 30 seconds each. Wait one hour for the strips to set, then press your sign onto the wall again. Congratulations, you’re done, and your living space just got a little bit brighter!command large picture strips in use

how to use command strips hang diy inexpensive neon sign el wire
diy inexpensive neon sign el wire how to tutorial

Thank you to Command™ Brand for sponsoring this post! Click here to shop Command™ Products to add your personal style to your living space.

If you decide to try this inexpensive DIY, take a photo and post it on Instagram tagging @eva_phan and #DarlingDIY. I want to see your take on it!



Pin the image below to save this post as inspiration later!

how to diy inexpensive neon sign el wire craft
1 comments so far.

One response to “How to Make an Inexpensive Neon Look Sign Under $25”

  1. Aria says:

    Where did you get your supplies (acrylic and neon light)?

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Eva Phan of Eva Darling paris france tarik ediz gown newyorkdress eiffel tower trocadero best paris photo location

Hi, I'm Eva! I'm best described as an aspiring Blair Waldorf with a case of the travel bug that can't be cured. I'm a lover of witty words, pink peonies, and slight sarcasm. I aim to empower women to travel the world solo, sharing on-trend, feminine style inspiration along the way. Originally from the Minneapple {Minneapolis, Minnesota}, and now living in the Big Apple, you can probably find me most often on a plane, running down Park Avenue stressed out in 4" heels, or planning my next escape. Click on the photo to learn more.

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