How I make a sign…

This is something that I’m still refining myself (with the help of some very crafty friends), but I can tell you how we’re doing it so far.

Of course you should feel free to design and mount your statements however you prefer.


1. Write up and print the statement

I’ve been using Arial font (Helvetica if I’m feeling festive) on a 5 x 7 inch template.  Print the piece on cardstock (regular paper is doable, though a little harder to adhere).  A simple X-Acto knife and a ruler are all you really need to cut the paper out. (It’s best to print a box or crop marks around your rectangle for ease of cutting.)

Here are some templates to make it even easier:

.docx (Word)    .ai (Adobe Illustrator)


2. What to mount on…

You’re gonna need something to mount your printed text onto. Recently I’ve been using Gatorfoam that has been cut to size. You can get this at a lot of art stores or order it online.
It’s not the easiest thing to cut (I ended up using a table saw), but it really gives the impression of a legit artist statement sign. Some art stores have wood pieces already cut to different sizes, which also works, though depending on how waterproof it is, it might not last as long or look as bright (unless you paint the wood white).


3. Glue your text to the mount

After you’ve got your statement and the material you want to mount it on, you’re gonna need some sort of spray adhesive.  I’ve been using 3M Multipurpose Spray Adhesive, though I’m sure there are many other decent ones to choose from.

Spray the board and the back of your statement evenly, then quickly attach the statement to the board. Press down firmly on it with something like a paper shopping bag to ensure that there aren’t bubbles , etc.  Wait a couple minutes for it to dry.

Now all you need to do is waterproof that sucker and you’ll be ready to put it up.


4. Weatherproof it

I’ve been using Krylon Triple-Thick Crystal Clear Glaze because it dries fairly quickly, doesn’t yellow the paper and only needs to be sprayed a couple times.  How long it will last outside is up for debate, but it’s what I’m using for now, and all the pieces I’ve put up so far have survived some pretty intense heat, rain and sun.

Spray your glaze at evenly as possible. (Don’t be shy, give it a good coating!) Be sure to get the sides and top and bottom of the mounting as well, we don’t want moisture slipping behind the paper.  Follow the instructions on the can, but be sure to give it a couple coats if you want it to last.

You can put up the piece very soon after it dries (which really is pretty fast), but I recommend not putting it up if it’s going to rain in the near future.  I think it needs about 24 hours to really completely dry.


5. Glue it or put it up as you see fit

How you put it up is really your call, and it really depends on the site and piece your declaring.  There are a variety of glues of different strengths that would work. Be sure that it’s waterproof and that it will dry relatively quickly.*


6. Take some photos and send em’ in!

Contact me here, and we can work out the sending of your hi-res images, and all that good stuff.


This is just how we’ve been doing it so far. If you’d like to develop your own methods of creation, feel free to share them. We’re always learning and refining.  Now get to it!

*Don’t “vandalize” anything, and if you do glue up a sign without permission, remember that I told you not to, and it’s your responsibility, and all that stuff.