So what do you think of removing two lights elsewhere, and putting a dot between the N and the II?
or maybe another dot after as well?
The two "TACOS" sign designs don't have the problem that the TACO PARTY sign has, so I'm not worried there. But the "N. O. LA 2018" party needs to have the gap around the periods narrowed. Here's a rendering of that sign, for a 4'x2' pegboard. There are 100 lights indicated with white, and 98 marked with yellow.
The Loscon Party sign was made with 1/8" pegboard. This stuff is not only 50% thicker but I also think the holes are bigger. I'll find out when I start putting lights through the holes. I may not need to enlarge the holes with my ice pick. This also may mean it'll be easier to reuse the pegboard and re-string the signs.
Start the "Y" with the green dots shown here, going from the top towards the bottom of the Y. Then follow the red dots up to the top, and then down to the blue dots to finish the Y and start the R.
On the R, follow the green dots to the end of the leg, then follow the red to finish the bottom half of the letter.
The basic idea is that if you need to traverse a segment twice (as you'll need to do at the top of this R) skip every other dot on the way out and then fill them back in on the return. (You might be able to handle this R a little differently and end up at the bottom left, and jump across to the other R's leg. Working out whether this is feasible is left as an exercise for the reader.)
The diagonals give us the most trouble, because skipping a dot means a 2.8" jump from one light to the next to go over two dots and down two dots. In comparison, a knight's move -- over two and down one, or the other way around -- is only about 2.25", and of course skipping a dot vertically or horizontally is just a 2" gap.
Because sometimes you'll have trouble making it work, I've deliberately laid out these patterns so they don't use quite every single light on a 100-light string. So if you have to leave one of the lights unused to bridge the gap between spots, it can be done!
You'll also notice that if you finish the white lights at the top of the C, it's a considerable jump to start the yellow (right leg of the H). But that's okay, because you'll be connecting two strands together and the tails have a little extra slack. If it was a concern, you'd just go every other dot on the H crossbar to get to the top left of the H, do the C, come back and do the bottom of the H.
EDIT: I just bought some 100-light strands and it says they're 247 inches long. So that's just 2.47" on average. No wonder I had trouble stretching them to cover those 2.8" gaps!
This design has double-wide letters for the HAPPY, to make up for the red being harder to see. I'm going to paint my pegboard black this weekend, and work on the sign. I'll also go out and buy the jumbo Pixy Stix while I'm thinking of it.
Here's a sign that's 60" wide. By a remarkable coincidence I have two pieces of pegboard that are 30" wide. This rendering shows 100 white pixels and 97 yellow.
I'll probably buy two or three* 100-light strands of red lights, if they're available cheap this season.
( I've made a diagram that can be printed out to place the lights. )
I took the "LOSCON PARTY" sign to Conjecture, and it worked out very well.
* However, it's more fragile than a glass cactus, and a dozen or more bulbs snapped off and had to be replaced before the party began. I already had a spare string I was using as a parts source, so I decimated that to get the sign back online. In future, I'll either transport it completely wrapped in bubble wrap, ideally in its own vehicle, or I'll wait until I arrive and then spend an hour or two placing the lights. And bring spares.