1. Draining Oil Through the Engine Dipstick Tube
  2. Motor Mounts
  3. Minecraft Birthday Decorations
  4. Low- and No-water Front Lawns
  5. Fix a Squeaking, Squealing GE Profile Dryer
  6. Set up a Lemonade Stand for your kids
  7. How to Load the Dishwasher.
  8. How to Get Rid of a Cooler of Rotten Meat
  9. Sew a New Shade Structure Canopy
  10. How to Return $100 Cash to its Owner
  11. Disneyland Shades
  12. How to Fix a Fog Machine
  13. Umbrella Base
  14. Patio Umbrella
  15. Restore Car Headlights
  16. Make Slushie Magic
  17. Facebook Gifts
  18. Tell Time on a Watch
  19. Change your Oil and Filter
  20. Win Costume Contests
  21. How a Toilet Works
  22. How to Fix the Pullcord on a Weed Eater
  23. How to Untwist a Seatbelt
  24. How to Get a Ticket to a Sold-Out Show
  25. How to Make a Sign
  26. How to Memorize the Geography of Africa
  27. How to Memorize the Geography of Canada
  28. How to Remove Shoes from Power Lines
  29. How Not to Build a Patio Cover
  30. How to Remove Slats From Blinds
  31. How to Remove a Toilet Ring
  32. Things I Figured Out, Part 3
  33. Fence Ideas
  34. Instructions on How to Fix a Fence
  35. How Fences Break
  36. How to Fix a Gate
  37. How to Keep your Video Card Cool
  38. How to Patch a Hole in the Wall
  39. How to Paint a Room
  40. how to make a mold out of silicone caulk
  41. how to have a halloween costume contest
  42. How to Siphon Liquids
  43. How to Unlock the Bathroom Door
  44. How to Repair the Lens Mechanism
  45. How to Reset a Circuit Breaker
  46. Using the Hell out of your Digital Camera
  47. How to Decorate with Christmas Lights
  48. How to paper mache
  49. What is the Learning Curve?
  50. How to change a flat tire
  51. how to make coffee
  52. How to change your brake pads
  53. How to fix a Lawnmower pull cord
  54. How to Cut and Paste
  55. How to make fire with two sticks
  56. Refilling an Ink Cartridge
  57. How to Fight a Speeding Ticket

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How To Guides


Easy, Illustrated Instructions on How to Make a Sign

This article was suggested by John Hargrave.

Making a sign is something that most people know how to do, but do so rarely that they don't consider or improve their methods.
Some signs are difficult or impossible to read, some are ugly. Please consider the steps below to create a large, attractive sign for garage sales, lemonade stands, car washes, civil unrest and for locating tickets to sold out shows.

Step one: Get a board. You have to have something big and flat to make a sign. I recommend white foamcore, which is strong, lightweight and cheap. Foamcore is a quarter-inch (6 mm) thick layer of styrofoam covered with a skin of paper. I get 2x3 foot sheets at Michael's craft supplies or Walmart for about $1. Larger sheets are sometimes available.

If you don't have any money, use cardboard that you find in dumpsters behind the mall. Cardboard is brown, so it isn't as good. That sounds racist. Cardboard is fine, you just have to switch the colors of the letters.


2. Plan the layout. As shown above, use a seperate piece of paper to compose your sign. Figure out which words should be large, which small, making the most of the available space, generally cramming in as many letters as possible without looking unbalanced.


3. Cut letters out of colored paper. This is the crux of this lesson. Pens will work, thick pens will work, paints will work, but cutting letters out of colored paper is the best method. Sure, it seems like this will take longer, but what will actually take longer is painstakingly filling in bubble letters with a felt-tip marker..

The letters don't have to be perfect. Handmade signs can be much more eye-catching than printed ones, in part because of the irregularities and quirks of the lettering.

To cut out beautiful letters, start with colored paper. Determine the intended height of the letters and carefully cut the colored paper to strips of that height. I usually use letters which are either 5 1/2" tall (half of a sheet of paper) or 4 1/4" inches tall (half the width of a piece of paper), so that I can get a lot of letters out of a single sheet of paper.

After the height is cut, slice off a chunk which is an appropriate width for your first letter. Ms and Ws are the widest letters, followed by O, G, C and Q. A bunch of the letters are about the same width, with I and J being the narrowest.

If you would like a visual guide on the shape of heavy lettering, scroll around this giant alphabet.gif or this giant alphabet pdf. These guides use the "Impact" Font, which is great for handmade signs.

With the height and width cut, snip out the rest of the letter. Like Michaelangelo sculpting David, you'll be removing anything that "isn't the letter".

Place the finished letters onto the sheet as you finish cutting them, so you can adjust your spacing and cutting if you have misjudged the size of the letters on the board. If this is your first sign, you will probably make some errors and half to make some letters twice. It's no big deal.

Spelling errors are embarrassing, but sometimes more eye-catching than spelling perfection.

Once all the letters are cut and the layout looks acceptable, begin gluing the letters to the sheet. Use small dots of white glue or a glue stick. Remember that most letters have a front and a back, so put the glue on the correct side.

Below you can see how a cut-letter sign might look when it is finished.

And that's it. A good sign is clear, easy to read and highly legible even from long distance. This technique of sign making, including layout and hand-cut letters, requires patience, developing a new skill, but I hope I have convinced you that this style of sign is an improvement over typical hand-scrawled felt-tip pen signs.


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