I wanted to buy real traffic signs to hang in Evan’s room, but they were way out of my budget (especially since I had spent so much on the paint). Also, I don’t like the idea of hanging a sharp, heavy, metal sign over my son’s bed. So, I created these signs using foam board and freezer paper stencils. I think they turned out pretty good, just don’t look too closely at the “O” on my stop sign. Ok, now that I pointed it out, it’s going to bug me forever! Eh, I’m too lazy to redo it. You just make yours better ok.
Here’s how they look up on the walls. I used the Command adhesive that I had seen advertised on TV and was not impressed. If it can’t even hold up some foam board, what chance does it have of hanging up heavy pictures? So… there may or may not be some packing tape helping hang up the beauties for their photo shoot. They all fell down last night. 🙁 I don’t know exactly what I am going to do about that, but don’t you just love the rest area sign pointing to Evan’s bed?!
We bought the traffic light hanging on Evan’s wall a couple years ago here on Amazon. Evan likes to turn out all the lights, pump up some Baby Einstein tunes, and turn this puppy on. It’s like we are at a toddler rave party with the blinking lights and music! Awesome!
So here’s the part where I tell you how to make your own.
1. foam board (at least 20 x 20 inches for each sign)
2. box cutter
3. spray adhesive
5. freezer paper
6. exacto knife and/or scissors
7. fabric paint
8. painter’s or masking tape
Step 1: Print your templates. The templates for the three signs can be found here. They will print as separate pages that you will have to tape together. Cut out the letters using either an exacto knife or scissors.
Step 2: Create your stencils. Trace the templates onto the non-shiny side of your freezer paper. Cut out the letters using your exacto knife or scissors. I used the tutorial found here.
Step 2: Cut out your foam board with a box cutter. For the octagon stop sign you will need to go back to your days of high school geometry and use a 135° angle. I just searched “135 degree angle” and printed an image from a math worksheet to make my angles. If you have an actual compass, that’s even better. Each of the 8 straight sides are 8.5 inches long. The rest area and railroad crossing sign templates print the outline along with the letters. Use the outlines as a guide and measure to make them even. I made my railroad sign two separate pieces that I glued together later.
Step 3: Cut out your fabric. Leave a couple inches extra to wrap around the back. I used a t-shirt fabric since that is what everyone was using freezer paper templates on. I’m sure you could use whatever you want. If you could find some colored canvas, that might be nice.
Step 4: Use the tutorial here to stencil the letters onto your fabric. Couple of things I found out through trial and error: 1) I hate trial and error! 2) Iron on the backing piece of freezer paper first and make sure it is smooth. If you iron on the stencil part first, it will get bumpy and you will have paint leakage. 2) Paint one coat of the fabric paint, wait for it to dry to the touch, and then paint a second coat. 3) Do not forget to iron on the little pieces that go inside the letters like “O” and “P” before you paint!Step 5: Use spray adhesive to attach your fabric to the foam board. Do this in the garage with some freezer paper on the ground to protect everything from the spray. This part is a little tricky to get everything lined up just right. I found it helpful to save my paper templates to use as a guide. Oh, and I already tried putting the fabric on first and stenciling after and got horrible paint leakage, so don’t do it! Make sure everything is smooth on the front and then fold over and attach to the back.
Step 6: Use some painting tape (masking tape would probably work too) to create a 1 inch border around the stop sign and rest area sign. Paint and let dry.
There you have it. I think I see a freeway exit sign in our future to hang by the door!