diy idea: maya’s twinkle board

delight_closeup_blur
inspired by karyn’s twinkle blackboard, d*s reader maya lee created this beautiful wooden panel. aya decided to use a large panel of wood, instead of a chalkboard, and drilled in holes and inserted lights to spell the word “delight”, inspired by an essay from milton glaser. great work, maya!

CLICK HERE for maya’s full project instructions after the jump!

[have a diy project you’d like to share on d*s? just shoot me an email right here with your pictures and instructions]

img_7790

What You’ll Need:

-wooden board
-christmas lights
-drill
-computer/printer

Here were my steps:

1. Gathered my materials, including the large wood panel which was originally part of a clothing store visual display. Recognizing the quality and potential, my brother luckily intercepted it for me, otherwise it would have just gone into the dumpster. I borrowed a drill from a friend and ordered the Christmas lights online (take advantage of the discounts during this off season!)

delight_step_1_white

2. Choosing the word: “Delight” came about after reading Milton Glaser’s “Since Then” essay in which he discusses Roman literary critic Horace’s definition of Art –“The role of art is to inform and delight”. He goes on to say, “Form and light are hidden in that definition. It’s an idea I enthusiastically embrace. Of course, informing is different than persuading. When one is informed, one is strengthened. Persuasion does not guarantee the same result. Delight is the non-quantifiable part of the definition that speaks to the role of beauty.”

delight_step_2_white

3. Choosing the typeface: One of my favorite typefaces, Archer. It’s just lovely in my opinion.

delight_step_3_white

4. I scaled “delight” on the computer and printed it out at actual size, which required tiling. Secured the print out to the board and penciled in where each hole would be drilled. Very tedious, but worth it. Before drilling, make sure to measure whatever type of bulb you choose and use the respective drill nail to ensure proper fit. Proceeded to drill.

5. Starting from one end of my string of Christmas lights (not the end with the plug obviously), I Inserted each bulb through a hole in the back of the board. I found that, in my case, the bulbs fit through the holes and were very snug, so I didn’t have to use additional materials to secure the lights but in some cases, you might need to.

delight_underbelly

6. Plug it in. Ta-da!

delight_step_4

christine

I LOVE this! It reminds me of a sophisticated version of the lite-brite we used to play with as kids.

theLennoxx

that is just fantastic! my first thought was it would make a super head board.. but then aganin you would have to switch it of when you were ro sleep, and never get to see it

grace

lennoxx

you could use the sort of christmas lights that clap on and off to make that easier- that way you can still stay in bed and turn them off without having to get up :)

g

chrissa

I.can’t.wait.to.do.this.

I looove this site. I am so glad you’re on Twitter.

Bonnie

Wow, this is super cool- Archer is one of my favorite typefaces, too! I think I might have to try this.

Chrisie

This makes me so happy!

1) i love the idea behind the word. Yay Glaser. Yay Horace.
2) If archer was a person, i would want to be friends with it.
3) i can’t imagine you holding a drill

T.L.

Haha! I have two of those bird pillows on my couch. So cute.

Love the wood panel idea instead of the chalkboard.

kiki

i want to see more of this space! his little glimpse looks very promising…

Uncle Beefy

SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! Get out o’ town with this said-now-say cuteness! Sparkle plenty! Love. :)

Alissa

This is FABULOUS! Not sure if it’s a DIY project I could safely take on – I’d probably end up with only 9 fingers.

Sarah

I have a random question.
How thick is the board… and what stain is that?

I love how rich it is!

Sarah

question number two:

I LOVE the archer typeface, but its not on my word… and I cant find anywhere to download it.

Little help?
Thanksss!

Laura

Do the little bulbs poke through the front of the piece? It doesn’t look like they do in the pics, but I don’t know how you secured them otherwise.

Steph

okay so, i may have missed this in my skimming but, Christmas lights get hot…are these LED? i havnt bought Xmas lights, since ever. is LED all they sell now-a-days?

By the by…looks wicked. I love Milton Glaser. gunna definitely try it when i can get my hands on a drill.

Samantha

I love this! I’ve also seen this done with canvas, but the wood is way cooler. I’ve been looking for the perfect nightlight idea for my kids room, and I think I’ve found it!

Samantha

Laura, if you use thick enough wood, they shouldn’t poke through the front. (and you would drill to measure the little socket, which is a tad bigger than the bulb, and that would hold it securely.) But, I think that’s a preference thing, to poke out, or not to poke out! The more they poke out, the more light they’ll make, and reflect off of the surface of the wood. Nice and bright!

Maya

Hello!
_The board itself was less than .5 inch thick but since it’s a panel, the edges come out about 3 inches giving it a thick, solid appearance.
_The board was already pre-stained when I received it so I’m sorry I don’t know what the exact stain is.
_You can purchase Archer here!: http://www.typography.com/fonts/font_overview.php?productLineID=100033
_Yes, most of the bulbs poked through the front. The board was .5 inch thick so the bulbs fit really snug even if a few didn’t poke out as much.
_I purchased regular commercial Christmas lights but they do sell LED ones that come in different colors and shapes but i just wanted the traditional, simple bulbs and i found it really easy to work with.

Thanks so much for all the nice feedback :) !

Zoe

This is just lovely. I’ve bookmarked it and will add it to my enormous file of must-do-this-now tutorials. As someone else said, this would make a great nightlight for a kid’s room. My son (3.5) and daughter (1.5) would think it was amazing to have their names twinkling above their beds.

Faith

I think this is a brilliant idea for a nursery nightlight!! But, in my ultimate laziness, I would use rope lighting or strip lights behind the panel instead of taking the time to set the string lights in each hole. :)

Lourdes

I just stumbled upon your site. What a great idea!!!
I’m just stumped by the 4th step (4. I scaled “delight” on the computer and printed it out at actual size, which required tiling.)
Can you share how you did ths?
Please email me at lourdesfay@gmail.com
Thanks,
Lourdes

Anne

Do you think this might work with slate instead of wood, too? How would you drill holes in slate without it breaking?

Ale

wow!! I can’t wait to give this a try for the nursery!! question… did all the 100 light fit on the wood? how did you make that happen?

dreena

thanks ever so much for this sharing….I’m a great fan of indirect lighting this
is fun and quite graphic ……no pun intended ,,,,,this is something I,d like to
read also sir Milton G. is an inspiration to us all. You have managed to recycle
more than material……..thank you again…this is a keeper to do

LEAVE A COMMENT