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Wind proof Table Signs

For a while we had a number of paper signs for our sales tables that would get blown away on windy days. Instead of taping them down we took the ones we knew would be permanent, printed them on parchment paper and glued them to thin wood boards. We then covered them with a coat of polyurethane to protect them. Make sure the glue is completely dry before applying the finish to avoid wrinkles. Use a can of aerosol polyurethane to spray on a couple light coats first to prevent the ink from bleeding. An even more durable sealing product is sold in craft stores as "Super Gloss" and comes in a two-part kits you mix together like epoxy. It's used for coating things like tables and bars so it's water and alcohol-proof.

Canvas Signs/banners -cheaply even if you aren't an artist.

Our local renfair wanted us to make the gable of our shop "more interesting" so we took the Jokers from the period playing cards that we sell and made canvas banners out of them. We tool the artwork to a local photo copying place and blew them up to about 2.5 feet tall. I then sewed together the canvas panels, and on a sunny day I taped them on of our living room windows with the photocopied art behind it to trace the art on to the canvas in pencil. I then used a Sharpie pen to ink in the outlines and then painted them .

Wooden Signs

An easy way to make a sign without hand lettering is to print out the shop name using your favorite period font on your computer the size you need, or take it to a photocopier to blow it up to size. Then use graphite paper to trace your design on to the board. Graphite paper works like carbon paper, but consists of pencil graphite so it is erasable if you make a mistake, or smudge it. Once you have transfered the design, you can paint, or ink it in to color it. Then use a can of aerosol polyurethane to spray on a couple light coats first to prevent the ink, or paint from bleeding, and cover it with 3-4 coats of marine polyurethane to seal it.

Thats how I did the sign at right with our name and the face cards from our period playing cards. The board itself was a modern cabinet door I found in a local non-profit that recycles building supplies.