Step 1: Making the Signs
Step 2: Painting the Signs and Screws
Step 3: Letter the Signs
Step 4: Drill Sign Holes
You’ll want to pre-drill the holes for the signs. I did 0.75" from the edges and 1.25" from the end. A scrap piece of paper bent around the end will help you mark it the same way each time.
Step 5: PVC Painting
The next step is to prepare the post. I used a simple piece of 2.5” PVC and an end cap- get the stiffest PVC you can find, because you don’t want it to bend. The first time I did this I tried painting it on plastic sheeting- bad idea, it stuck to the plastic. It worked a lot better using some scrap wood to lift it up, but you’ll want to be ready to install when it dries because it will bend if you leave it out for a long time.
After I finished, I thought it would have been a nice to wire an outdoor lamp or install a solar light on top instead of the cap. Maybe next time.
Step 6: PVC Painting 2
This is where your choice of spray paint is really important. The first paint I used kept running off the PVC so it took multiple coats (and 2 cans) to keep the white from showing through. And then, any time something touched it, the paint chipped off. I’m trying not to sound like a shill for Krylon, but their Krylon Fusion for Plastics really did the job right on the first coat. Also, on my first try with the cheap spray paint, the printed markings on the PVC kept showing through. Didn't matter the second time (covered easily by the good paint), but it comes off with steel wool. I put some masking tape on the end so I could cement the cap on later.
Step 7: Sign Base
When I made the sign for my mom this is how I did the base the first time- some scrap PVC and tees. Fill it with water and cover it with dirt and it will hold the sign up no problem.
Step 8: Sign Post Hole
For the post at my house, we wanted to install it in a flower bed in the front yard. I used a 2.75" garden auger bit ($14 at Home Depot). You have to be patient- drill a few inches at a time, pull the dirt out, and go again. I was able to go about 24 inches down, so I cut 12 inches off the 10-foot PVC, because I only wanted it to be 7 feet above the ground when done.
Make sure you’re not drilling around any water/gas/electrical/cable/telephone/sewer lines- call your utility companies to be sure, and they’ll come mark it for free.