How to Make a Yard Sign

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Things You'll Need

  • Stake

  • Sign backing

  • Paint

  • Nails or screws

  • Sealer (optional)

This sign is wood with a metal stake.

Whether you want to warn folks of a vicious dog or keep trespassers at bay, your message can be told on a yard sign. For a permanent message, like stay off the grass, you can make a yard sign that withstands snow, wind, hail and even those vicious dogs you want people to be forewarned of. You can make a yard sign with some simple materials and few simple steps.


Step 1

Decide what your sign will say. This will determine the size of the sign and even the shape of the sign. If you want to get fancy with “Keep off the grass” you can make your sign board have little, jagged edges at the top to indicate a lawn growing. More words are going to need a bigger sign.


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Step 2

Obtain your materials. You can use a heavy, wooden stake or, for even more support, a metal stake similar to the ones used for parking signs and stop signs. The sign board can be a thin metal sheeting piece or a nice slab of wood. You can find these things at your local hardware or home store or even in a garbage dump.


Step 3

Attach the sign backing to the stake. If you are using a wooden stake, nail your sign board to the stake. Use wood nails that are long enough to stick through the back of the stake so you can bend them over with the hammer. If you have a metal stake with holes, drill holes in the sign board near the top and near the bottom and attach the board to the stake with heavy screws and a washer. The board should be affixed several inches down from the top of the sign to insure adequate support.


Step 4

Paint the pieces. You can leave the sign au natural or paint both the sign and the stake to ensure uniformity and that it matches your yard décor. Use a weatherproof outdoor paint. Paint can either be sprayed or brushed on, with spray paint being much quicker but less precise. If you want your sign board and stake to be different colors, you may want to paint them before you attach them together.


Step 5

Add your message. This can be done with a paint brush, sponge brushes, paint pens or even very thick permanent markers. Pick a contrasting color to the sign board for the best visibility.


Install the sign by digging a hole deep enough to the sign won’t fall over, pack the dirt firmly around the stake and pile some rocks around the base. Put your sign in a visible place but not in a place that gets in the way of normal yard activity. If your sign board is rough wood, you may want to sand it prior to painting so you have a flat, even surface on which to write your message. Even though you used weatherproof paint, you may want to spray your sign with a sealer, such as polyurethane, for increased longevity.


Profanity is unattractive, especially in a sign posted outside for everyone to see. Don’t steal someone else’s yard sign to get the materials to make your own, especially if their sign says “Do not steal.”


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