Mobile Sign




Yard sales are a great American, summer past-time. To have a successful yard sale, you must advertise. Here is a basic sign built as cheaply and easily as my project allowed. Some steps could be skipped or altered to fit your needs. Chalk board paint could make this a great bistro or café sign. Most importantly, be safe and have fun!

Step 1: Design and Plan Your Sign

-Design the sign that best serves your needs. Using salvaged wood served my need for cheap material and to clean up cluttered wood piles. I would have gone a little bigger but having no money in lumber is a big plus. Likewise, because it will be more of a mobile sign, I needed it to be lightweight. Some of this wood is soft and light and I would not have wanted to use it in other projects.

-Make sure you have all your tools, materials, and safety equipment. Careful planning can prevent extra trips to the hardware store...or emergency room.

Step 2: Measure and Cut

-Using two 8' pieces for my frame set my sign around 4' tall. I cut at an angle to provide stability when it is open. I didn't do any complicated math to get the angle. 45 degrees wasn't steep enough so I went a little higher.

-Keeping the boards together, I used a hole saw bit to cut the hole for the dowel hinge/handle; a paddle bit will also work. My dowel was 1 1/4" which is the size bit I used.

-Measuring and cutting the dowels would go under this step, however, I waited until I had the sides assembled to cut those pieces. I got lucky and the rest of my wood was already cut to size as they were scrap from other projects. The sign itself is 1/2" plywood 22" tall and 20" wide.

Step 3: Assemble

-Depending on the screws and wood you're using, you may need to predrill the holes.

-Measure a distance from the top of the frame for where your sign will begin. I measured 5" down and put a screw in to secure the top of the sign. Using a square, make sure the sign is straight on the frame and screw the bottom. Add more screw as needed along the side depending on the size of your sign. Repeat for the other frame on this side and for the other side of the sign.

-This is when I cut the dowel hinge/handle and drilled the holes for the pegs. My pegs were 1/4"; I drilled the holes for them a size smaller at 15/64" and bored them out a little. This provided a nice snug fit that needed to be tapped in with a hammer.

-At the bottom I added supports and casters to increase stability and mobility. On one side of the sign, I simply screwed on the support. On the side with the caster, I marked and predrilled the holes. On the half of the caster that is over the frame I used lag bolts and bolts and nuts on the other half.

Step 4: Paint

-Visibility is important with a sign. A quality, bright, ultra white outdoor primer looks great. Surprisingly five consecutive adjectives in a sentence doesn't look bad either. More that one coat is recommended. It is also recommended to disassemble the sign and paint the sides and dowel apart from themselves.

-For the message, I made a stencil and spray painted it on. There was some over spray that was easily touched up. A paint pen works but may require multiple coats to suit your needs.

Step 5: Use

-This sign is to advertise a yard sale in a rural setting on a busy highway. the driveway from the road to where the sign will be stored is over 40'. Although the sign isn't too heavy, after a short distance it can be cumbersome. The casters make it much easier to move. I originally thought of a chain to prevent the sign from opening too much. However, for now I have skipped that step.

Feel free to leave any comments or questions.

Thank you.



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    10 Discussions


    4 years ago

    an idea crossed my mind,what do you think if we add LEDs that turn on during during the night ?
    I could help you with full documentation and supports on this part if you are interested

    3 replies

    Great idea. Some solar pathway lights might be a good donor for components, may need to upgrade the LED's though. What do you have in mind?


    We add LEDs to the text like on the picture below that turns ON automatticly when the outdoor lights decreases,soThe sign will be 24 Hours visible and we can do Some Animation for the text too.. The coast will stay very reasonable too,arround 20$ for the components .


    The idea sounds great, especially if this sign was for a restaurant or street vendor. However, it's a bit overkill for me as this sign would only be used during the day. But don't let that stop you!


    4 years ago on Introduction

    I love making stuff to help me get rid of the stuff I no longer need, therefore this is awesome stuff.

    1 reply

    4 years ago

    If you go ahead and add the chain to prevent over-opening, then you could place a weight on it to keep it from blowing over in the wind.

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    I haven't had the sign in action yet. I'm sure I will be adding the chain though. Weights might also be in the future, a semi truck barreling down the highway at 60mph can cause quite a gust! I had planned to put the chain on the side posts. Are talking about putting the chain in the middle, behind the face of the sign? Would that provide more stability?