Make Signs Out of Cardboard!




About: Retired, doing art work now. Great. Have the time and the money to spend doing what I want to do.

How to make signs out of cardboard. Yes, it's easy and quite effective. All you need is a band saw or scroll saw, some free cardboard, a little imagination and you can make many different signs. For this instructable, THINK is used to show the process.

Step 1: Design and Cut Out Sign Letters

To make this sign, I went into my word processor and simply selected a font and made it to the size I wanted. In this case, it's 350 points.

Step 2: Trace or Outline Letters on Your Cardboard

Simply hold letters down and outline them with a dark pencil.

Step 3: Cut Out All Letters on the Bandsaw (or Scroll Saw).

I use a 1/8 inch blade on the saw so that it is relatively easy to make the curves necessary in cutting out the letters.

Step 4: Cut All Letters

Finish cutting letters.

Step 5: Cut Some Border Strips

For this sign, border or frame strips are 5/8 in. wide.

Step 6: Glue All Pieces to Backing

Carefully line out letters and place where wanted. Add glue and press into place. Borders are glued in this step also.

Step 7: Add Some Hangers to Sign

For hangers, I simply use some scrap paper, cut to about 5/8 inch, punch a hole in the two pieces, and glue into place. Sign is very light, so this method is sufficient.

Step 8: Admire Your Sign

Stand back and enjoy your handiwork. Sign is ready to hang.

Step 9: Possibilities:

Several other examples are shown to demonstrate possibilities for making signs. Check out my shop on Etsy. Enter creativeman under sellers:username

Step 10: Additional Cardboard Signs

I keep making these, thought some would like to see them. Hope your efforts are going well.

Step 11: One More Thing...

I needed to re-do my graphic on this sign so that it looked more reasonable. What do you think?



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    80 Discussions

    Uncle Kudzu

    4 years ago on Introduction

    Do it all backwards and multiple prints (collograpy) could be made with your method. Very cool! I wouldn't have thought to use a bandsaw on cardboard.

    Thanks for sharing this!

    Edwardo Leon

    6 years ago on Introduction

    Nice Instructable. I have done similar sign in the past. I put aluminium foil to cover the entire sign after putting on white glue to glue the foil in place. it will give a silver metalic look to the sign and after painitng the backround with a colour of your choice, the letters will standout.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Great instructable, I know exactly how to use this, and I can save a bit of time making the letter stencils, my mom has a Cricut ;)


    7 years ago on Step 11

    can you pleaasee send me the picture of the gun, I want to make the sign!


    9 years ago on Step 11

    Great idea! I think I will try it but I will recycle plastic campaign signs instead of cardboard. They often leave them up long after elections around here. After painting them would make a great name sign for my house. Plus it would be weather resistant. Love the I DON'T CALL 911 sign!!!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    For this project and for boxmaking, matboards (like framers use) is good, especially because it has solid sides that don't need to be filled. You might be able to talk your local frameshop into giving you their dropouts and scraps (since I realize the whole purpose of this exercise is to recycle and not spend money). Matboard also has the advantage that it is acid free and will last longer than corrugated cardboard. It cuts easily with a matknife or a razor blade.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I did this. I didn't have a saw so I used a penknife so its a bit rough around the edges. (But you can't see that because my rubbish camera doesn't pick it up.)

    1 reply