Picture of Modern Industrial House Numbers

We were looking for a way to save money on modern standoff house numbers (which can cost up to $50 per number online).

We decided to use what we already had left over after our project, a half empty box of screws!

The beauty of this project is it can be installed anywhere, by anyone and your numbers can be done in whatever font, style and color that best fits your home!

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Step 1: Materials and Tools

Picture of Materials and Tools

All you need to get started is:
- a driver (handheld screwdriver works fine, but a power driver will make quicker work)
- a box of stainless steel/exterior screws (i used number 8 at 1 5/8")
- a printed set of numbers to use as a template (more on this in the next step)
- a hammer, rock or blunt object to tap the screws.

Step 2: Layout/Grid

Picture of Layout/Grid
Find a set set of numbers you want on your home...
This could be a font you like in a word processor or a fancy set of numbers you found using a google image search (or ones you drew by hand).  

Once you've got your numbers, overlay them with a gird and mark at each point where the numbers and grid overlap.

I decided to use the computer and photoshop for this step, but you could just as easily draw numbers by hand and use tracing paper or a printed out grid.  The idea is simply to give yourself an easy grid to transfer to the wood you plan to put the numbers onto later.  

Hint: the closer you can make the spacing of your grid to the size of the heads on your screws, the tighter the pattern will be when your numbers are completed.
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...and for those without a screwdriver, you could do the outline in various types of rocks, stones, plastic stuff, etc. and then pour resin over it. Punch tiny holes in the border of the letters after printing them and then use powder to create the outline on your substrate.

Cool idea. I might point out that TrueType and other fonts will render inside a word processor at full page size. Just use one letter and expand it to fill the page or whatever size then laser print or inkjet or even dotmatrix print.

Brilliant work mate, nice one. Itching to try this.....

Wonder how it would look with nails?

I'm wondering the same thing about my brass shells collected from the shooting range.

.22's, 1/4 inch holes and a little glue.

3/8th dowels instead of screws with .45 shells slid over and glued

just keep in mind how many shells that actually is. a simple item even as this will easily be at least 10 wide and 15 tall per character, that's 150 shots for just one number... Buuuut, assuming you have that many, it would look really cool!

Brilliant Concept and beautifully orchestrated. Congratulations. Truly interesting.

Great idea! As a graphic designer, I would recommend using "pixel" or "bitmap fonts" for this type of application, with anti-aliasing disabled. I think you would get the best results, since these type of fonts a specifically designed to look good when "pixelated." You can find many free bitmap fonts here: http://www.dafont.com/bitmap.php

If you want to get really fancy you could leave the anti aliasing "on" and use smaller screws or screws at a lower height for the smoothing. Obviously on a scrap bit of wood to test!
Dexterko1 month ago

This would drive me nuts, I would HAVE to align all the little crosses in the screw head, but then all the heads wouldn't be the same perfect height in the correlation to the wood...I have problems...

I was thinking the same thing myself. So you're not the only one with "problems" and "issues"... :)
ted.prewitt1 month ago

I really like this idea, wish I'd seen it before I went out and bought numbers for my house. One thing though, since I'm a little OCD, it would drive me freaking crazy if all of the slots / squares / crosses in the screws weren't all oriented in the direction.

on a plank,drill larger holes, all the way through, that the screw/nail will slide into with some resistance.

the plank on a smooth hard surface,dip the screw/nail in glue, push the screws/nails in till they won't go in anymore, align
the slots/squares/crosses till your happy, let the glue set.

just make sure the screw/nail is 2 or 3 (or whatever) times longer than the plank is thick

nicbergero1 month ago

Love it! When I build my house in a few years, I'm going to do this for the house number

jimcathers1 month ago
ingenious! thanks for sharing!

Not all woods, plywoods and wood products can take the stress of a #12 screw insertion at a rate of 16 per square inch--and when you tire of it or a metal scraper armed with a 24 volt driver and a bad attitude steals them, you'll have a mess to deal with. This is certainly something to be placing on a panel that you can remove when the time comes--don't wreck your house--or your landlords'.

Very nice by the way, you can create contoured sculptures of sorts with various nail types that produce undulating tones when brushed by hand. There's a large mural of this sort in the main entrance of Toronto's City Hall ( the City Hallbuilt in the 60's) or there was last time i checked 20 years ago.

blah blah blahhhhhhh yarrrp zzzzzzz

yada yada yada


MohamadB11 month ago

u r just awesoooome ! like it :D

Michael_oz1 month ago

You could get some interesting effects by varying the screw heights too.

bigb09861 month ago


great job

andrej1 month ago

and using vintage 8-bit computer font you can make it even nicer.

Nice! An industrious numbering system.

I like the idea, and I see a lot of potential for alternatives to get added in. Of course other fonts, but there's a lot of deck screws on the market that come pre-painted in several different colors.

I think I would use long deck screws to hold fender washers on top of short lengths of plastic tubing, cut from a bulk length of PVC or whatever can handle being outdoors in the sun.

To keep the screws, or nails, from rusting the wood, maybe it would be a good idea to use some of that recycled plastic lumber used for decks and fencing? At the very least, don't just screw a ton of steel directly into your house! Use a few of the screws to attach a board for a decorative/protective backplate & sink all your number screws into the board. That way, you can paint the backplate a basic black or whatever makes for a nice contrast to the screwheads. And if you have a more diabolical bent, you could run the screws from the backside of the board so the pointy ends are facing outwards!

Ouch! :-) But Shadetree's diabolical suggestion would certainly keep pesky sales people from leaning on your door numbers.

ShinyCat1 month ago
My only concern would be that by putting the screws directly into the side of the house, you run the risk of compromising the water tightness of the house's siding. Using a seperate plaque of wood seems far safer for the structural integrity of your home!
NonofYabiz1 month ago

Excellent idea, thank you! :)

looks really nice!

JuanN11 month ago

awesome idea! Taking the time to lay it down on paper shows on the finished product.

Bridpath made it!7 months ago

Fantastic Intractable. I made a wall plaque for my kids for Christmas of their house numbers. My son's wife loved it. I used a gold cabinet screw that was had a flat bottom. When I did the first layer I kept noticing the little gaps between the screws so I then put a screw in each rectangular gap. Therefore this is a double layer of screws which makes it quite heavy but gives a very solid look. My wood was splitting because of the extra screws so I attached a piece of plywood on the back and bolted them together to solve that issue. When I do one for my house I will layer plywood together and pretrial a number of the holes to avoid the splits. Beautiful look and will look great outside my kids home. Thanks

Bridpath Bridpath7 months ago

One other thing I forgot to add: Incompetech.com has a excellent website for graph papers that I used to create my numbers. The papers can be made with any distance between the centers and was very helpful in setting up my design.

ddsouza1 year ago

Great Job!!!!

Being financially challenged as well, I decided to cut 12" high numbers from Baltic Birch ply


bjwpg ddsouza7 months ago

What a lovely looking job, 'ddsouza'. Another really stylish, professional looking alternative to the typical plain numbers. I also like how you made your numbers 'stand off' as well :)

fixfireleo1 year ago

what a great idea! numbers are indeed expensive. i have more drywall screws than i could ever use and the dark screws will stand out on my light color mailbox post! i just wonder if it might be a safety hazard to leave them sticking out that far and if they will "collect" stuff like fibers, hair, grass, etc??

bjwpg fixfireleo7 months ago

That's a good thought, 'fixfireleo', about the dirt collecting due to how the screws are in such high relief. That might happen, especially if the screw numbers are close to a porch light (cobwebs and the like). But I'm thinking that a quick swoosh with even a cheapie power washer would clean all that sort of detritus off instantly. One might even get away with just the nozzle on a garden hose :)

Lokisgodhi1 year ago

The problem I'm seeing is the temptation for people swiping a
couple whenever they need a screw for a project and they find that
they're out.

Super cool. Might have to try this at my house...!

immaculatelation made it!1 year ago

Cool idea. I decided to do this. However, I'm installing it on our front newel post and didn't want to fill it full of holes. So I decided to screw short screws into a plank of 3/16" plywood to hang on the post. I'm painting it white to match the newel post and using black oxide screws for contrast. I may clear-coat the screws to make them last longer in the weather. The plywood address plaque will be installed with 4 small stainless screws unless I come up with something more creative. EDIT: I decided to add one screw to each number and screw all the way through to the post to hold the plaque in place. I should have just chosen one screw already there in each number to drive home instead. You can see the extra screw in the zero and it looks kinda funny.

House Numbers.jpg
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