Shortly after moving into my current house in 2003, I looked years ahead in the calendar and saw event after event that we’d be hosting at our home. These events ranged from garage sales to graduation parties to neighborhood events to perhaps even The Father of the Bride’s worst nightmare — our daughter’s wedding. Each of those events were going to require signs directing people to our house. So instead of buying flimsy little metal wire signs that blow down with the slightest gust or relying on poster-board that disintegrates with the lightest drizzle, like any good Toolmonger I decided to construct them myself. They’ve turned out to be incredibly useful over the years, so as I was pulling them out of the garage this week for yet another event I thought I’d share them.
My signs aren’t the prettiest thing in the world. They are rather simple in design and material. Made from 2×3’s and 1/4 inch plywood screwed together with dry wood screws, they’re painted with white gloss paint for ease of artistic design. The signs can either be directly drawn on or you can staple poster-board to them. The sign frames are 2′ wide by 3′ tall with the plywood cut into 2′ by 2′ sections.
Despite their rather bulky appearance, once the lower stabilizing 2x3s are removed, the six signs I built stack up flat and neatly on a shelf in my third car garage. After each use we decide if we’ll repaint them or keep the artwork around until the next time we use them. As you can see, black sharpies require several coats of paint to completely eliminate. However, as you can also see, the signs have been the source of several household art projects for the kids — like chalk on the driveway, except they can see their handiwork months or even years later.
The sign design also allows for easy storage of the stabilizing 2×3’s as well as the screws in Ziploc baggies. When I made the signs I didn’t have a power miter saw or a table saw. The local big box cut the 2′ by 2′ plywood, and I used a power circ saw to cut the 2×3’s. Basically anyone could put together this design.
Labeling each of the stabilizing 2×3’s helps keep my sanity when I’m trying to line up the screw holes, too. The signs may be less than fancy, but they work. They also have been the focus of hours of summer fun and tools to teach our kids how to paint — whenever we decide to host a party or event, the signs become a family-focused item.
Have you used any creative signs for events? Do you have any sign suggestions for other Toolmongers? Let us know your Toolmonger sign wisdom!