DIY Neon Sign // Batman Returns + Catwoman

There's been a lot of EL wire tutorials making the rounds lately and we've wanted to do one for awhile. We weren't sure what sign to make (we only make stuff we like and are going to keep) until I saw a Tumblr post of Selina Kyle's apartment in Batman Returns.

I honestly don't remember much from that movie, but I absolutely remember Michelle Pfeiffer's dead body being chewed on by some cats and her subsequent freak out/transformation. That role (and those two scenes specifically) are iconic and I want to live in her apartment.

We've got both video and written instructions for this DIY so you can get the letters just right.

  • pink EL wire // here's the one we used
    • you need at least 2
    • we used 3, but it depends on how big your sign will be
  • a wooden board // we used MDF but I suggest actual wood
  • fishing line
  • white paint // we wound up using a can of white house paint instead of spray paint
*EDIT* here's a template that you can resize to your liking. The template also marks where to use fishing line.
1. Draw out a stencil (or size up and print out ours) and tape it to your board. 2. Drill holes for the letters. 3. Using a smaller drill bit, drill holes for the fishing line to thread through. 4. Thread the EL wire through the letters. *SEE BELOW* 5. Make sure everything is taped down in the back. 6. Add hanging equipment or use command strips to stick it on a wall.

How to thread the letters:

The T and the O need to be a separate wire from HELL and HERE so that you can turn it on and off separately.

  1. I threaded HELL first with one wire
  2. then threaded HERE with a second wire
  3. and used a third wire for T and O

Leave some slack for letters that are going to be held down with the fishing line (L, O, R)

I numbered the marked holes for each letter so I knew what order to thread each line of each letter. The letters work better if the horizontal lines lie on top of the vertical ones. For example, H: the horizontal line is threaded last so that it holds down the two vertical lines.

If you're making a smaller sign you can use the same wire for HELL and HERE. I suggest using some yarn or string to measure it out and test threading it through.

You could also solder the wire for HELL and HERE together if you want. Here's a tutorial for soldering EL wire.

Here's another good EL wire sign tutorial. They used black electrical tape to lift the wire off the board to mimic neon signs.



  1. Totally awesome! That scene stuck with me for ages after watching the movie, and I knew exactly what the sign was when I saw it in my blog reader! So cool. I think I need to find some EL wire now!

  2. Amazing! This is my favourite incarnation of Catwoman and I love Selina's apartment. I need to get some El wire pronto so I can pretend to be Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman 😊 is your design the same size as the one in the movie btw? Thanks xx

  3. Hi! This is so cool! What size board did you use?

  4. Where the fishing line goes?

  5. ohhhhhh, sorry, that information is on template


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