I figured out how to make nice plaques / memorial tablets for cheap using easily available materials. To fool someone, to honor someone or for use as a medium of protest (I put it on a barbecue grill and wrote that it was "Dedicated to 60'000'000 animals slaughtered in Switzerland per year")
- soda can
- abrasive paper (sand paper)
- permanent marker
- strong concrete tape or some double sided tape to mount it
- scissors, some cloth to clean
Optional: inkjet, transfer medium (like backside of a plastic overhead projector sheet)
Step 1: Cutting Apart Soda Cans
carefully cut it open at the top and the botton and one cut down the lenght.
Step 2: Cleaning the Can
you should get this. clean it a bit using the towel
Step 3: Flattening and Cutting Smaller Parts
You have to flatten it already a bit so you can easily cut it into smaller pieces just as big as you need them. I flattened it by rubbing it over the hard edge of my table
Step 4: Sanding
sand it with abrasive paper. it removes the coating helping the permanent marker to cling onto it
Step 5: Writing
Now you can either write directly onto it by using your freehand writing skills and jump to step10 OR you can click next and follow my trick to transfer print a draft onto the plaque which you can afterwards trace with the pen to get a more crisp font. I recommend pens like edding which are weatherproof.
Surely you could also use stencils or something like that but I was to lazy to cut a stencil thus I used the following inkjet transfer technique
Step 6: Correct Plastic Sheets / Transfer Paper
there are also transfer techniques if you have a laser printer but due to lack of experience I can only cover inkjet here. Get a plastic sheet like the one on the picture. One side is printable. We need the other side which repells the ink. One sheet can be used over and over
Step 7: Write Mirrored Text for Transfer
write your text in wordpad, editor, paint or similar then copy + paste it into paint and mirror it. Print it onto the sheet
Step 8: Rubbing the Ink Onto the Surface
some cans accept paint better than others, maybe you have to sand it more. It does not have to be that beautiful now. It should just be a sketch to give you a bit of a guidline to trace
Step 9: Tracing
trace the lines
Step 10: Mounting the Plaque
mount it using a double sided tape or a one sided tape which you glued to the back of the plaque. I recommend concrete tape which is pretty strong. More expensive but those are big rolls that go a long way.
Step 11: Ad a Tranport "seal" to Protect the Tape's Glue Surface
If you have to transport the prepared plaque to another place, you can cover the glue-side of the tape with some coated paper like baking paper or the backside of used stickers.