Make your own Protest Signs

Big good-looking ones, 24x30, cost maybe $15-$30...or less, depending on what hardware, scrap wood and tools you have.  Here's some signs I made up to protest at our local newly-elected Republican Congressman's home and office. All of them use the largest full color poster print made at the local big box store: 20"x30" ($10 at Sam's Club, $20 at Walmart).  Note that these poster prints are made on inkjet printers with water-based ink and can bleed/run in exposed to rain!

  1. You start by making the design on your computer, setting the page layout to the size of the poster, here 20"x30", then saving not only the design in the the draw package software file format but also as a .JPG file
  2. You bring in the file on a USB stick or upload it to the store's website and order the print. At my Sam's Club, the print is ready an hour later.
  3. You buy or scrounge a piece of 1/4" (5mm) luan/mahogany plywood that same size as the poster.  Lowes has nice primed 4'x4' sheets ($10, yields two 20"x30"backing boards) or 4'x8' ($14, 6 backing boards).  You have them cut the sheet to the needed size.
  4. You buy or scounged a 4' or 5' piece of 1x2 board for the sign post.  Lowes has a 4' one for $2 or, if you have a table saw, you can cut an 8' 2x4 into 6 of them. I sanded off the edges of the signpost stick to make it easy on the hands
  5. You buy a can of spray contact adhesive.  A good, commonly available quality on is 3M's 77 which you can get from Lowe's, Home Depot or Michael's
  6. Check that the print and the backboard match.  Handle the print as little as possible as they are easy to damage. Maybe reverse roll the print to get some of the curl out of it.
  7. Spray the backing board liberally with the contact adhesive (just the board, you don't need to spray the print). Move right along with this, you want the adhesive to remain gooey, not dry up enough that it's viciously tacky.  Eyeball the lineup of the poster print carefully to the left side of the poster whhile holding the right high on the left. Touch it down aligned on the left and then lower the right while sweeping your hand across the print from left to right.  Be warned: once the print makes contact , it's hard to get it off again without damaging it, so make sure the alignment is perfect and the poster size and backing board match before you commit by touching the left side down.
  8. Attach the mounted print on the backing board to sign post with screw and fender washer. You can do this one of two ways:
    1. Permanently with an ordinary wood screw
    2. With a #10 machine screw and a T-nut with the same thread, either 10-32 or 10-24, as I have done, so that I can disassemble the sign post from the sign for ease of storage and transport.
    3. Details (see the picture on the right below):
      1. A fender washer is a big diameter washer with a small spreads the load and clamps the board so the screw doesn't just tear through the backing board.
      2. A T-nut (Tinnerman nut) is a way to put strong metal threads in wood and are commonly available. The pricture on the right below shows a T-nut in place
  9. I sprayed the the completed sign with a fixative (like clear gloss Krylon) to give the print some resistance to damp.  If it rains, you'll want to wrap the sign so it doesn't bleed and run.   
So, you'll need:


Sample sign

You can click on the this sign to see it full-rez and for download and printing.