DIYdiy projects

DIY Project: Motel Sign Night Light

by Mar Espanol


With August coming to an end, it’s time to squeeze in those last-minute summer road trips! When I was younger, my family would go on summer road trips up and down the California coast. I remember day turning to night; my face pressed up against the window staring at the fleeting landscapes wondering when we’d get to our destination. Night was my favorite time. It was quiet and I would stare out at the city lights and the neon signs. Max had been talking about vintage Motel Postcards and reminded me of the glory of those old neon signs. I love me some vintage signage –the fonts, the shapes, the lights, Oh my!– but on the road they were my guiding lights. In this simple DIY Nite Light, you can bring the Road trip nostalgia home! Full instructions after the jump. – Mar



  • images (Great collection of Vintage Motel Postcards here)
  • printer
  • paper 
  • cardstock  
  • dollar store nightlight  
  • wire  
  • scissors  
  • wire cutter  
  • glue



1. Resize images keeping in mind the size of your night light (My ideal image size was around 3” x 3”) and Print, regular paper will do.

Glue to Cardstock   Cut it Out

2. Glue images to cardstock, (avoid gluing the bottom of your image) and cut out.

Cut 2 lines     Make the slit

3. Score two lines on the bottom of the cardstock (not the motel image) to create a slit for the wire

4. Add some accent cut outs that will shine brighter, we cut out “MOTEL” and used pins to poke holes where the marquee lights were

Wrap around twice   Twist and Bend  Slide wire in

5. Wrap wire around the base of your night light, twice for stability and twist the two ends together a few times

6. Bend the end of the wire up, and trim

7. Attach the sign to your night light, slide the two ends of the wire through the slit you made in the back (soo easily interchangeable)

Plug in and enjoy your very own Motel Sign to light your way in the night.



Suggested For You


Leave a Reply

Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, that comment on people's physical appearance, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.