Introduction: Protest Sashimono

A sashimono is a piece of equipment the samurai would wear to mount an identifying banner upon their backs during battle. This sashimono's purpose is to allow you to mount a banner or poster for use during protest marches (such as the upcoming Women's Marches on January 21st, 2017. Construction simply requires drilling 11 holes in a wooden board. Additionally, you’ll need to cut some PVC pipe, but hopefully your local hardware store can do that for you. Otherwise, a hacksaw or similar will work fine. Finally, you’ll need a wooden board cut, but again hopefully your hardware store can do that for you. If you are lucky, they might have a good enough piece of scrap wood you can take for free.

The banner pole is simple PVC supported by an L bracket and an internal bolt. It is additionally affixed to the board with a pipe strap for stability. Surface anchors form points to affix backpack straps, adjustable nylon webbing, or very simply some belts so the whole apparatus can be worn like a backpack.

Step 1: Gather Your Tools and Ingredients

Tools Required:

  1. Drill with drill bits
  2. Pliers or small wrench
  3. Screwdriver
  4. Hacksaw (unless your hardware store can cut the PVC pipe and wood piece for you)
  5. Sharpie, pen, or pencil


  1. ¾” diameter PVC pipe (
  2. 2” Steel Concrete Angle (
  3. 3/8” x 2” carriage bolt (
  4. 3/8” x 6” carriage bolt (
  5. x2 3/8” nut to fit the two carriage bolts
  6. x10 #10-32 x 1 ½” round head standard machine screws (
  7. ¾” diameter PVC Tee Slip-on Fitting (
  8. 1” 2-hole pipe strap (
  9. x2 5/8” x 1 ¾” flat washer (
  10. x4 Surface Anchor (
  11. Wood Board approximately 12” x 6” x 1”
  12. x2 adjustable tethers or belts to serve as backpack straps (not pictured)
  13. A belt to wear around your waist (not pictured)
  14. 2” Clevis Pin – OPTIONAL (
  15. Hitch Pin Clip to fit Clevis Pin – OPTIONAL (

Step 2: Lay Out the Hardware Pieces on the Board

Lay out the hardware as pictured onto the wooden board and then mark each hole with your pen. There should be 11 holes to mark. Drill the holes with a bit that will allow the machine screws to fit. You’ll need a slightly larger bit for the 3/8” by 2” carriage bolt which is the hole in the center of the board at the bottom. In the next steps you will be attaching all of these components to the boards using the nuts and bolts.

Step 3: Affix the 4 Surface Anchors to Each Corner of the Board

Take eight #10-32 x 1 ½” machine screws and run them, from the side without the hardware, through the 2 holes in each of the 4 corners of the board. Place a surface anchor over each pair of bolts. Affix the nuts and tighten, first by hand, then using a screwdriver and pliers/wrench. The surface anchors should be firmly attached as pictured.

Step 4: Affix the L-Bracket to the Board

Affix the L-bracket to the board by running the 3/8” x 2” carriage bolt from the side without the hardware through the large center hole at the bottom of the board and through the hole in the Steel Concrete angle. Affix the nut and tighten, first by hand, then using screwdriver and pliers/wrench.

Put two washers on the 3/8” x 6” carriage bolt and run it through the other hole in the Steel Concrete angle so it is pointing towards the top of the board. Affix the nut and tighten, first by hand, then using screwdriver and pliers/wrench. The image featured here is before the final tightening of the nut on the 3/8" x 6" carriage bolt.

Step 5: Cut the PVC Pipe for the Vertical Pole

Cut the PVC pipe for the vertical banner pole. I decided on a height of 5 feet. For stability purpose regarding wind and low hanging trees etc, I do not recommend having a longer pole than this. Remember, your sign will hang down from the top of this pole, so make sure the pole is tall enough so your expected sign won't hit you in the head.

Step 6: Affix the Pole to the Board

The vertical pole will be placed with the 3/8" x 6" carriage bolt INSIDE it, flush with the horizontal piece of the L-bracket. This will keep it very stable.

Step 7: Affix the Pipe Strap to the Vertical Pole for Stability

Take the last two #10-32 x 1 ½” machine screws and run them, from the side without the hardware through the last 2 holes located at the top center of the board. The PVC banner pole should now be between these two machine screws. Place the 2-hole pipe-strap over the vertical PVC banner pole and the two machine screws. Affix the nuts and tighten, first by hand, then using a screwdriver and pliers/wrench.

If you plan on the optional steps of using a clevis and hitch pin to ensure the pole cannot be pulled straight out of the sashimono, make a mark for a future drilled hole just under the bottom of the pipe strap similarly to the mark seen in the picture here.

Step 8: Create the Horizontal Banner Poles

From the remaining PVC pipe, cut 2 pieces to form the horizontal portions of the banner pole. I found two 20” pieces work well. Any larger than this and you risk destabilizing the joints.

Step 9: Affix the Horizontal Banner Poles

Place the PVC tee fitting at the top of the vertical banner pole. Place the tee with the open ends parallel to your shoulders while wearing the sashimono to make a T shaped banner pole or rotate the tee fitting 90 degrees so it is perpendicular to your shoulders if you prefer an inverted L shaped banner pole. T-shaped poles will hold a banner that someone can read when facing you. An inverted L-shaped pole will hold a banner that someone can read when standing facing your side.

Insert both horizontal banner pole pieces into the tee fitting for the T-shaped pole, or insert just one for the inverted L-shaped pole.

Pictured is the tee fitting parallel to the shoulders to make a T-shaped pole.

Step 10: Add the Backpack Straps

Affix a backpack strap, adjustable nylon tether, or any simple belt for pants from the top surface anchor to the bottom one on the same side. Do this for both sides. If using belts from pants, you would run the belt through both anchors on the same side and then close the belt as normal.

Run a belt through the space created by the Steel Concrete Angle and the 2-hole pipe-strap. This belt will go around your waist. This prevents the entire apparatus from pitching too far forward as you tighten it onto your shoulders.

Step 11: Put It On!

Tighten the belt and shoulders straps until it is stable and comfortable. I find tightening them all a little at a time keeps it more stable. Putting it on with the pole in is a little awkward, but you'll figure it out.

Alternatively, you can put it on without the poles in and someone can insert the poles for you.

Step 12: Sign Design

Details on designing the signs will be left up to the reader, but things like poster board could be affixed to the banner poles by punching holes in it and using a series of twist ties or string. Paper signs could be folded over the horizontal bar and affixed to the back of the banner with tape, staples, etc. Light netting could be used with cut out letters affixed to the netting for a transparent sign.

I recommend weighting the bottom of the sign to keep it stable and/or securing it to the pole itself with tape or similar for even more stability.

Step 13: OPTIONAL: Clevis and Hitch Pin to Secure the Vertical Pole Into the Sashimono

To prevent the banner pole from being pulled vertically out of the sashimono, a clevis and hitch pin can be used. With the bolt and the pipe strap it is very secure, this step can be done for even more safety or if you fear someone might attempt to take your banner from you.

Clevis and hitch pins are usually found in drawers in the hardware aisle of the hardware store.

In a previous step, make sure you marked a spot on the vertical PVC banner pole just below the 2-hole pipe-strap

Remove the vertical PVC banner pole from the sashimono. Using a drill bit with enough diameter to allow the clevis pin through but enough so the head of the clevis pin will not go through drill a hole straight through the vertical PVC banner pole at the marked spot.

Put the vertical PVC banner pole back in the sashimono. Insert the clevis pin through the vertical PVC banner pole at the drilled hole and put the hitch pin through the hole closest to the pole. This should secure it firmly.

Step 14: Variations for Cost and Convenience

  • To save money, if you have a router or paddle-bits, you can forgo using the surface anchors and just run your tethers or backpack straps through holes cut in the wood back board
  • To save money, you could forgo using the Steel Concrete angle at all and instead balance the base of the pole directly on the bolt coming through from the back of the board. Another 2-hole pipe-strap should be used to keep it all stable.
  • Cut the vertical PVC banner pole into 2 or 3 pieces and connect them with slip-on couplings. This will make handling the pole easier as it will be broken into pieces. Increases cost by less than $1