**EDITED to add: Several of you have asked for a tutorial for the circus sign. I really wish I had taken pictures. Thanks so much for the nice comments! Unfortunately, my husband stuck it in with some items for his mother's estate sale and someone took it home for $7. It broke my heart. I'll do my best to explain but most of the work on the sign was handled by my husband, dad, and stepdad. It's good to have family in town for parties!! As far as I remember they lined the letters (papier mache purchased at JoAnn's) up on the piece of wood where we wanted them to go and traced around them. They removed the letters and drilled holes through the piece of wood inside the lines, spacing the holes evenly. They laid the letters back down inside the lines and drilled from the bottom of the board up through the holes they had already made and into the letters. Of course, the hole into the board and into the backside of the letter can be as big as you need it to be to get the lights in. When they drilled through into the top of the letter, they carefully punched a small hole in the top part of the letter just to mark it. They then used a smaller drill bit and made the hole look nicer from the top side of the letter being careful to make it just big enough for the tip of the light to poke through. You want it fairly small/tight as this is what holds it in place. You don't insert any Christmas lights at this point as you still need to paint everything. After this, they painted the board and the letters, and we used hot glue to attach the letters to the wood, stuck the strands of lights in through the larger holes and individual lights in the smaller holes, and used duct tape to attach the Christmas lights to the back of the board for support.
Was that totally confusing? I hope it helped. Let me know if you have any further questions and I'll do my best to answer them! I can bring my husband in to consult. Haha!