Picture of Contemporary Street Number Plaque
I've had it out for the house number plaque on my house for a couple of years, now. It was cheesy, plain, and completely fulfilled my daily allotment of "blah". If someone's looking for my house, that's the first thing they'll look for, so that's worth making it unique, right?

So, I found a style of house numbers that I liked at Home Depot for pretty cheap, but I have brick exterior and didn't want to just stick them to the wall. I looked for a plaque or something similar to mount them on, but everything commercially available looked cheap and tacky, and remember, we're going for unique. Then I remembered that chunk of Lexan sitting at home in my garage...


Check out step five for a description & pictures of my second attempt at the project which is, in my opinion, a huge improvement over the original.

Step 1: Stuff You'll Need

Picture of Stuff You'll Need
So, in order to pull this off, here's what we'll need...

Drill (or drill press)
Assorted Drill Bits
Orbital Sander w/ 150 & 220 grit sand paper*
Saw (just to cut the lexan to size. I used a jigsaw, but a table saw would work much better.)

*You may be able to sand this by hand, but the orbital sander would give you a much more uniform finish.

A piece of Lexan
#10 Lead Shields x 4
#10 2 1/2" Screws x 4
House Numbers

And off we go...

sarnold69 months ago
This went so well for me!
Thank you so much for your help.
I, like you, used the frosting spray (valspar- but who cares!) and went over very well. Minus a few of my own errors. Minus painting this was the first addition to our new home. With this addition it really feels like ours now!
14, 9:49 AM.jpg14, 9:49 AM.jpg14, 9:49 AM.jpg
cornflake_81 (author)  sarnold627 days ago

Sorry for the monstrously late reply, but I wanted to thank you for posting the pictures of your results. It looks great!

This is very timely for me. I'm doing some outdoor renovations right now and house numbers are on the agenda. I don't like the plain wooden ones my wife bought at Menard's and then painted. They are just too ordinary. This is an excellent idea and, as someone said earlier, "a work of art". My wife will be pleasantly surprised when this shows up on the front of the house in place of her blah numbers. I will not be adding LEDs. They're just lame. Question: did you get the numbers at HD in Canada or the USA? Excellent Instructable too, by the way (clear, good pics, nothing extra or distracting).
cornflake_81 (author)  iamunique1276 years ago
I bought these at Home Depot in the US. Thanks for the kind words.

i am particularly happy with this your project . I am currently going through a project but i need allot of these . I will need your assistance if possible especially as they carry logo and addresses.

Tazmjm692 years ago
I've been looking for something unique and I think this is it, very simple and very nice looking. Good job!
joelhunn2 years ago
Really nice. I've looked at this a few times, and I think I am going to copy yours. Looks clean and modern and tasteful. I also like the improvements you've made; anyone who didn't know would suppose you paid a pretty penny for it. Thanks for posting!
ƈƾmith3 years ago
your post is so great that it inspired me as well as many others here and I created my own. I used two sheets of Lexan - clear and frosted (at this point must admit that sanding went a LOT better than Rustoleum spray). Front sheet with numbers on it is clear, mounted to the frosted one 1 inch. behind all offset from wall 0.5 inch. I live in MCM neighborhood and already got a lot of compliments. Thanks a lot for nice and helpful inspiration. Cheers
Of course pictures don't do it any justice ;) It's all set against brown wall, so it really pops, unlike picture here
lafnbear3 years ago
OK, so wait... you moved NEXT DOOR!?
cornflake_81 (author)  lafnbear3 years ago
Not exactly, but sort of. One street over, but the same neighborhood.
CementTruck5 years ago
I was about to make one of these for my mailbox and went to the local hardware store on my lunch break for supplies. Sticker shock - Those numbers are over $5 each. Great instructable!
Yammyguy5 years ago
I'm definitely going to try this!! Just moved into a new house and I still don't have my house number mounted (only the lot number).. I'm going to add a photo transistor, with a couple of white LEDs behind, so when night falls, they LEDs behind will light up adding to the contrast of the sanded lexan, and the numbers. I'm excited to try this. Just out of curiosity, what grit did you use to sand? 200, 220? or even as high as 400, 600 or 800? Thanks!
JaimiLynne6 years ago
I have to say this is pretty cool. That also happens to be my house number :D I laughed at that. Also, as many of my friends have pointed out that is Master Chief's number from the Halo games :P I'll be putting something similar to that on my house :P Thank you :D
adamvan20006 years ago
For the LED lighting idea, you could always drill into the lexan behind the numbers and epoxy the LED's into the sheet, thus concealing the lighting, as opposed to attaching them to the sides. The result should be the same as if they were attached to the sides, but without marring the appearance. This part might be over-complicating things, but you could also remove some of the mortar between bricks in a path from the light to behind the sign, hide circuitry for powering the LED in the base of the light, and then cover the wires in fresh mortar so that they wouldn't be seen, thus providing power for lighting without a tacky battery pack or LEDs being visible. If you wanted all that extra work. ~adamvan2000
minmav76 years ago
I like this, but I would add a larger clear piece to the back, just for added dimension. I intend to make one for my house too :-).
How big of a piece of Lexan did you use? Also is all Lexan UV protected? The 8 x 12 sheet i bought only had clear blue plastic on one side.
cornflake_81 (author)  Hollywood Cole6 years ago
I don't recall what size I ended up with, I just laid the numbers on it and eyeballed it. 8 x 12 should be plenty big enough, though. If I recall correctly, the side with the blue film is protected, so just make sure that side faces out.
tchiseen6 years ago
Very good work. This is the kind of instructable I love. Simple tools and simple process, and it yields a terrific result.
I used your 150/220 grit sandpaper idea on some acrylic for a project that I'm still working on, it turned out pretty good! I want a laser cutter that'll cut acrylic, that's my dream.
cornflake_81 (author)  tchiseen6 years ago
Thanks. I have a tendency to over complicate small projects. This was a nice change of pace.
cassowary6 years ago
Simply elegant. Lovely idea
I was thinking if you put some kind of light behind it, like some LED's it would look really good at night.
Sorry I just seen someone had posted this already. But it would look good
cyclicgmp6 years ago
and what about that ...fingerprint!!! :)
the fingerprint is like a signature, like your name in concrete.
btop6 years ago
Very nice, turns out looking really good.
deancp16 years ago
My compliments on a clear and concise ible! Also a great idea - I want to see if I can do this for my home.
looks like one for this weekend, nice idea. just one question, is polycarbonate otherwise known as a clear acrylic? i live in england and we have ten names for everyting for some reason.
cornflake_81 (author)  secretshedfreak6 years ago
Acrylic & Polycarbonate aren't the same thing. I think acrylic would probably work just fine as long as it's UV resistant.
soundgod2196 years ago
Dont bother with the LEDs, it looks great the way it is.
Now you only need to apply some correct lightning and it rocks! would be uber cool a nice set of led lights just behind the numbers!! thanks for sharing!
CoolKoon6 years ago
What kind of material is this Lexan?
Very well done. Add some blue or white LEDs in on the edges and wire them in and you've got your self one elegant sign! 5/5
frogamic6 years ago
Love the idea. The fingerprint makes it unique! Well done.
srilyk6 years ago
Simple, Elegant, Inspiring!
graywoulf6 years ago
As a professional signmaker, I have to say that you have created a piece of working art. Very nicely done!!! I have done similar projects by painting the back of the Lexan as well. Imagination and creativity at it's best here on your project.
One might also consider backing the clear layer with a piece of metal that has an interesting surface or finish.
ironfly6 years ago
Great Job!! Very elegant.
QUICK! Someone put some LEDs behind that thing. Then it would be EPIC.
nosemeat6 years ago
This is fantastic. Great 'ible and a smashing final product (and perfect timing.) Incidentally, I have the same style numbers to put up on my place, and I think this might have saved me from using that "floating" method for installation. Several people have mentioned LED lighting, and I considered that as well, but I have this rope light hanging around, so maybe I'll Frankenstein it into the cavities in the numbers. This should be sufficient inspiration to quit procrastinating... That is, after I read just one more Instructable... ..and btw, what's the deal with the fingerprint?
cornflake_81 (author)  nosemeat6 years ago
That fingerprint is actually on the back of it where I can't reach it. I'm obsessive enough that it bothers me to no end. However I'm lazy enough that its still there. Its a paradox, really.
mwwdesign6 years ago
Superb piece of work. I'm a graphic and industrial designer (amongst other things), and love the way you've done this. Everything works just right. Nice one!
bdl6 years ago
That is a very nice idea and very well presented. I move house next week and may "borrow" this idea for the new number. Well done.
nerfer1926 years ago
i like this. very cleanly made.
Guy.Fawkes6 years ago
Nicely done! Good Instructable, clear, to the point. Suggestion: Add lighting with LED strip lights from http://www.buy-leds-online.com/strips.html - put a strip top, bottom, and each side, facing the center (not facing the Lexan), and your number sign will be easier to read from the street (and if the Fire Department is ever looking for your house, you DO want that number to be easy to read. I tell you this from experience).
cornflake_81 (author)  Guy.Fawkes6 years ago
I really wanted to add lights to this but opted against for simplicity's sake. However, those LED strips look awfully handy, so I might revisit that idea. Thanks for the link.
Amazing! That would be pretty cool to put at your street too, like where they have your number spray painted on. +5/5 stars.
maruawe6 years ago
I did the same thing But ut the lexan in a metal picture frame and put a small(6 inch) light behind the lexan to light it up at night. The 220 grit sandpaper is what I used and made it more opaque because of the light , Wanted a spread on the light.. This is a very good idea for a stand out number system for any house. Most houses are so darned similar people have a hard time finding you if they have never been to your house before.....
=SMART=6 years ago
awesome !
caitlinsdad6 years ago
Nice job. Is this sign exposed to full sun? I don't know how much the lexan expands/contracts outdoors so maybe you have to drill a loose fitting hole for the screw mounts so it can slide a little bit. I recommend you try a hammer drill for masonary with the right bit if you have to go through the brick/cement. A whole lot easier. Yay, You used the same technique as I did for my light tablet. Do round off your corners as that stuff can cut if you snag it the right way.
cornflake_81 (author)  caitlinsdad6 years ago
Lexan actually does expand/contract quite a bit. I'm glad you mentioned that because I do need to drill out the mounting holes a bit. Thanks.
Also, I hope you used stainless steel screws or exterior deck screws to mount the plastic. You might have rust stains in a few years with regular screws.
dragonvpm6 years ago
This is a great idea for a house number sign. I really like it and it's given me some interesting new thoughts on what to do at my house. I'd been contemplating spending some money on one of those custom made signs they sell at lowe's and home depot, but what you did looks 100x better. One thing I might mention though is that drilling into mortar isn't always a good idea. Especially in older houses (like mine), the mortar may be just fine (and will feel nice and solid) but it'll do bad things (like crumble) if you start jabbing it with pointy metal spinning things. If you're using a masonry drill bit, you can usually drill into bricks relatively easily (assuming you don't burn out the bit). It's probably a good idea to do a bit of test drilling in an out of the way spot to see what the situation is with the bricks and mortar.
cornflake_81 (author)  dragonvpm6 years ago
That's a good point about the mortar. My home is only a few years old, but that's certainly something to consider with an older home. Thanks for pointing that out.
Hoopajoo6 years ago
Neat! I feel inclined to frost the back lightly with a thin coat of flat white spray paint, and back-light it with solar LED lights in a light-box.
cyc40156 years ago
wow, very professional looking, good deal :)
jc8176 years ago
I have the same drill!
Xolin6 years ago
That's really cool. I really like the way it looks more like the numbering on a commercial premises than a simple house number stuck on the wall. Well done!
That is great! I want to try this next weekend! Very clean look.
cornflake_81 (author)  LividMonkey6 years ago
Thanks and thanks!