How to Make Outdoor Signs

Custom outdoor signs are a great way to direct people to a garage sale, birthday party, or to make a statement about a political party. It is fast and easy to create a personalized outdoor sign, and using a print on demand company, such as CafePress (see Resources), to produce your sign can be affordable for anyone. At CafePress, there are no setup fees, no uploading fees, and the price per item is very inexpensive. Here is a step by step guide to help you create your own custom outdoor signs.

Put a free version of Adobe Photoshop on your PC computer. You can find a free version of Photoshop, on the Soft32 web site (see Resources). Click on the blue link that says "Download Photoshop." The free Photoshop program will begin to download right away and will be ready for you to use within minutes.

Create a new image file within Photoshop. Click on "File" at the top of the Photoshop screen, and then click on the word "New." When a window pops up, fill in the dimensions for an outdoor sign, which is 21 inches for the width, and 14 inches for the height. Type in 300 DPI for the resolution, which means there will be 300 dots per inch on your image, and then click "OK."

Select a background color by double clicking on the color selector in the tool box, located in the vertical tool bar on the right side of the screen. The color selector looks like two squares of color. When you double click, a window will appear that contains a color scale. Click anywhere on the color scale to choose a custom color. Next, click on the "Paint Bucket" icon inside the tool box. Click anywhere on your image to fill in the background with your chosen color.

Type your message on the image. Select the "Text" icon in your tool box, which looks like a capital "T." Click on your image, holding the left mouse button down, and drag a dotted box across your image where you would like the text to be. Clicking inside the dotted box will allow you to begin typing your message. Change the text size, font type, and text color at the top of the Photoshop screen.

Save your outdoor sign image to a file on your computer. Click on "File" at the top of the Photoshop screen, and then select the words "Save As." When a window pops up, name your file and save it in "JPEG" or "JPG" format.

Place your image onto a sign. On the CafePress website, sign up for a free account by clicking the link that says "Start Selling." Inside that link you can register for a free account, allowing you to post as many as 50 individual designs. Once you are registered, click on your account page. Then, click on the link called "Manage Sections and Products." Use the CafePress uploader to post your image, and then select the item(s) you would like to put it on, such as an outdoor sign.

Things You'll Need

  • Free Version of Adobe Photoshop
  • PC Computer
  • Internet Access
  • Free CafePress Account