Homemade signs can be used to rally support for a political candidate, gain attention for a cause or bring more customers to a small store. A homemade sign can also make a message seem warmer and more personal. Among many different kinds of signs to display, choose the appropriate style: a homemade look or, by putting in some more creativity and effort, a more professional-looking sign.
Paints and Poster Board
In some cases, a homemade sign suggests large letters painted on a white poster board. These kinds of signs can be effective for sporting events, political rallies or as advertisements for a local yard sale. If you are leading a large group at a crowded place such as an amusement park or a community event, then handmade signs can be used to help direct people from your group to your meeting area. Make sure you use dark colors such as black, red or dark blue on the white poster board to make the letters stand out. Pencil the letter designs on the poster board first to make sure the lettering will look right, and then fill in the pencil outlines with paint. Poster board is a better option than poster-sized paper because poster board can be put on a stake and anchored into the ground to be read by anyone.
If you are creating temporary signs to indicate such things as the direction of a restroom, where an office is located or address numbers on the outside of the building, then you want something that looks sharper than hand-crafted letters on poster board. Use stencils to create professional-looking lettering on nearly any surface. Stencil kits are available at department or hobby stores in many different styles that can help you create a professional looking sign. Be sure to apply the stencils flat on the surface of the sign, as any buckling or curving of the stencil will cause the lettering to look fuzzy. Spray paint is the easiest paint to use with stencils, but protect the part of the surface you do not want to paint with a cloth.
Wood offers many different opportunities as a sign material. You do not need to be a professional woodworker to create appealing homemade signs with wood. Outline your sign design and burn it into the wood using a soldering iron. Be sure to make quick and even strokes with the iron to get a smooth look. You can also use stencils on wood to create a sign. Outline the letters in pencil, and then burn the pencil lines for a unique look. Use a router bit on a power drill to create frame designs around the edges of your wooden sign.
George N. Root III began writing professionally in 1985. His publishing credits include a weekly column in the "Lockport Union Sun and Journal" along with the "Spectrum," the "Niagara Falls Gazette," "Tonawanda News," "Watertown Daily News" and the "Buffalo News." Root has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the State University of New York, Buffalo.