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How to Build a Sidewalk Sign

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Getting your company’s message out to your target audience is not always easy — especially if last minute sales and opportunities for the public are likely. Newspapers and other publications work well in advance, as do radio and television media ports, requiring deadlines for copy and payment sometimes a week or more in advance. One common solution that effectively grabs the attention of walkers or motorists is the tried-and-true method of a sandwich board, a sign that is placed on the sidewalk or street in front of your business. By utilizing a sandwich board, you can train customers to look for your communications and ultimately drive traffic to your outlet.

Sand all edges of all plywood pieces. Lay plywood pieces face down. Apply a thin strip of wood glue on the outside edges of each piece. Position the thin slats of wood trim on the glue, leaving a 1 -1/2 “ overhang at the bottom. Weight down until dry. Position two screws, at top and bottom of slats, to further secure trim.

Lay plywood sheets face down with top ends touching. Affix hinges, one at each end of top of wood sheets, connecting the two pieces.

Stand sign and place leather strips or chains half way down on the thin slats, using glue or screws; secure the straps from one plywood piece to the other. Let dry completely.

Design your message using a clear readable font. Use colors that can be easily seen from a distance. Keep your copy simple and to the point, so it can be read quickly. If using images, be sure to use a clean, simple design. Do not overload your sign with too many numbers — phone, hours of operation, sale item prices, etc.

Place your sign in front of your business in a well-trafficked area, or on a median or curb in front of your business. Be sure to check with your local government for any licenses or permits that may be needed.

Things You'll Need:

  • (2) Sheets of plywood, 2’ x 3’
  • (4) Strips of plywood trim, 1 1-2 “ x 37 1-2 “
  • (2) Hinges
  • (8) Screws, (4) additional screws, if using for chains
  • Screwdriver
  • Wood glue
  • (2) 2 “ leather strips or chain, 6” length
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Sandpaper


Be sure to stand your sign to attach leather strips or chains. This will allow you to determine how far apart the pieces will rest. The closer together and the more upright, the easier your sign will be to read.

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