How to DIY a Large-Scale Neon Art Piece for $40

A great piece of art can truly lift your spirits during the dull greys of winter, but it can also be pricey… well fear not because Christian Dare is here to show us how to make our own large scale art on a budget!

The first thing we need to do is create a frame for our large piece of art. Now if you already have an old canvas that can be re-wrapped, that’s great. If not, I am going to show you how to make a simple wooden frame from stock lumber. Have 1×2 or 2×2 pine lumber pre-cut to size at your lumber store. You can use a simple mitre box and hand saw. Once your wood is cut, we are going to make a simple frame by screwing it together… Wood screws work best. And I would recommend 1” screws….and if you aren’t comfortable with your woodworking abilities, you can even use some L brackets to attach your pieces together. Once you have your square frame built – we are going to add on a cross brace through the middle of the frame, This additional wood will help with keeping the frame square and sturdy.

Now you’ll want to pick the textile that you want to use as your backdrop and stretch your fabric across. You can save money by using an old sheet, shower curtain, tablecloth or any old textile. Just like upholstering a seat cover, you are going to first staple the top and bottom in the middle. Make sure you pull the fabric tight so that you don’t get any bubbles. Then work your way all the way across. Next are the sides.Finally, trim off any extra fabric on the back. Next, we’re going to add in a ready-made faux-neon light. The LED neon-style light keeps this art piece more affordable. I used this banana, but the lights are available in a variety of styles and to prepare to add this piece we need to cut a small hole in our textile where we want to hide the cord.The easiest way to do this is to first add a piece of clear packing tape to the back of your fabric, and using a very sharp craft knife, make a simple slit in the fabric. It is best to make the slit right behind where your light will go – this will hide the hole even better.

Now if you remember, we added a crossbar to our frame when we built it correct? That is where you will hang the neon light from. Using a small screw – screw through the fabric – this will be the screw we hang the neon light from. Then hang up your piece on the wall using a nail. Lastly, plug in your light and turn it on! You can even add a timer so that it goes off and on at set times every day.