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DIY Message Board with Lighting

  • February 17, 2017


The lighting behind this easy DIY message board makes a perfect ambient nightlight in any workspace or kitchen. The simple wood frame is constructed with a few pocket holes screws and nails. The glass is sprayed with "frosted" paint, and held in place behind the wooden frame with simple cleats. Read on to see how the parts come together!

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  1. Project Steps

    1. Step: 1

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      Step 1 – Cut the Frame Pieces Lay the 1 x 3 board flat on the miter saw. Using the cut list, Miter the Frame pieces—at opposing 45-degree angles—to the overall height and width of the glass.

    2. Step: 2

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      Step 2 – Prep the Frame Pieces Using a drill/driver and a pocket hole jig, drill two pocket holes at the ends of each short Frame piece.

    3. Step: 3

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      Step 3 – Layout the Frame Place the Frame pieces face down on the work surface. Align the mitered ends to create the rectangular frame.

    4. Step: 4

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      Step 4 – Assemble the Frame Apply wood glue to the mitered joints. Clamp the pieces in place, and then assemble the frame using a drill/driver and 1¼-inch pocket hole screws.

    5. Step: 5

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      Step 5 – Cut the Border Pieces Place the 1 x 3 board on edge on the miter saw. Bevel the Border pieces—at opposing 45-degree angles—to 1½-inches longer than the length and height of the Frame.

    6. Step: 6

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      Step 6 – Lift the Frame Place the assembled Frame face down on the work surface. Position 1/8-inch-thick paint stir sticks under the Frame to lift it off the work surface.

    7. Step: 7

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      Step 7 – Attach the Border to the Frame Place the Border pieces along the edge of the Frame. Apply wood glue to the edges of the Frame and the mitered ends of the Border pieces. Using a nail gun, shoot 1¼-inch finish nails through the Border pieces and into the edge of the Frame. Additionally, nail through the mitered joints of the Border to secure the pieces in place.

    8. Step: 8

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      Step 8 – Cut the Ledge Position the ½ x ¾-inch molding flat on the miter saw. Using the cut list above, cut and miter the pieces of the Ledge to size.

    9. Step: 9

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      Step 9 – Attach the Ends of the Ledge Place the assembled Frame and Border face up on the work surface. Make a mark on the Border that's two inches above the bottom edge of the assembly. Position the ledge's end pieces against the border, below the mark, and with their mitered ends facing upward. Apply wood glue to the inside edge of the molding, and then nail it into place using a nail gun a 1¼-inch finish nails.

    10. Step: 10

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      Step 10 – Attach the Ledge Place the ½ x ¾ inch Ledge onto the face of the assembly. Apply wood glue to the front edge of the Border behind the Ledge. Using a nail gun and 1¼-inch nails, attach the Ledge to the Border. Note: Because the Frame is inset 1/8-inch, I only tacked one additional nail through the center of the Ledge. You could also notch the back of the Ledge so that it sets flush against the Border and Frame. Finish by repeating Step 9 to attach the remaining Ledge piece.

    11. Step: 11

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      Step 11 – Insert the Glass Position the assembly face down on the work surface. Place the glass face down onto the Frame, inside the Border.

    12. Step: 12

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      Step 12 – Position the Cleats Cut the remaining ½ x ¾ inch molding into four 12-inch strips. Place the strips along the edge on the glass, inside the Border.

    13. Step: 13

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      Step 13 – Secure the Cleats Using a nail gun and 1¼-inch finish nails, tack the Cleats to the Border to hold the glass in place.

    14. Step: 14

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      Step 14 – Add a Hanger Mark the center of the assembly along its top edge. Center a sawtooth hanger on the back edge of the Border. Secure the sawtooth hanger using a hammer and the nails provided.

    15. Step: 15

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      Step 15 – Install the Lights Using a hand stapler and 3/8-inch staples, secure the lights along the inside of the Border, behind the glass. Be sure not to puncture the electrical wires with the staples. Leave enough cord outside the frame to reach an outlet. Consider using LED lights that don't emit heat for safety.

Comments (4)

  • Fantastic design. Thanks for sharing these plans.

    By grover959

  • thank you for the plans...

    By Saisara

  • Love this!!! Thank you!

    By Kmd22

  • Love this build.....awesome idea with the extra lighting. You are so creative.

    By ginger_rose_126257

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