Thank goodness for the Internet. You can find just about anything nowadays, and it’s so much nicer finding the item online than trying to ask at the local big box craft shops, where the salesclerk often don’t know where anything is, and are pretty sure they never carried that item anyway.
I found some magnetic sheets at Dick Blick’s art materials. The width of the sheet is 24 inches, and you can order by the foot. I ordered two feet of a sheet of white, and two feet of a sheet of yellow. The neat thing is, the sheets come in a solid piece. So you could make a sign 24″ by 24″ if desired.
Next, I looked for vinyl lettering. I decided on one inch lettering for the company name and 2 inch lettering for the phone number. A day or two after I’d ordered, I thought it probably would have been better to order 2″ letters and 3″ numbers. But we’ll deal with these and see how they work.
I went about determining how many packages I needed of each. Let’s say our phone number is 350-555-1235. Well, right off the bat you can see we’ll need:
1 – Number 0
1 – Number 1
1 – Number 2
2 – Number 3
5 – Number 5
Okay, so then I looked at the item specs to see how many of each letter would be included.
So, we’ll need 5 packages to make this sign because only one 5 comes to each pack. Remember you can use the number 9 in place of 6, and vice versa. Also, you could probably finagle a 3 out of an 8, or you could make a 6 from an 8.
Luckily Mr. A’s business number only required us to buy 4 packages of numbers, and we’ll be able to make four signs! His phone number requires:
2 – Number 0
2 – Number 1
1 – Number 2
1 – Number 5
2 – Number 6
1 – Number 7
1 – Number 8
I went through the same process for his business name. Let’s try this for an example:
Home Repair & Remodeling
1 – A
1 – D
4 – E
1 – G
1 – H
2 – I
1 – L
2 – M
1 – N
2 – O
1 – P
3 – R
As you are counting up the letters you are going to need, pay attention to how many are included in one kit – and if you find yourself short by one letter, which can be easily converted to another letter, keep that in mind. For example, you can easily make an E with the letter F by cutting off the bottom leg. The same with making a P from the letter B.
Remember that you can lower your cost per sign, if you order all your materials for all your signs at once, since shipping for one is generally much more expensive, than shipping for more. We ordered materials enough to make four signs.
Dick Blick ships by Federal Express, according to the amount of money you spend. If you buy the materials to make one sign, it will run you $7.95 (If your order is under $29.99). But if you plan to make four signs, you may as well buy the materials all at once because the cost only increases by a few dollars. Our order came to $47.19, so our shipping was only two dollars more for four signs ($9.95 for $30 – $49.99).
Total cost after materials and shipping: $57.14. So for four fairly large signs, we’ll pay about $14.29 each.
If we’d order the materials for one sign, we would have paid $5.49 for the magnetic sheet, $2.99 for the numbers and $4.29 for the letters. Plus $7.95 for the shipping. The cost would have come to $20.72 per sign. We saved $6.43 by ordering four signs at once. Now this only makes sense if you need four signs. We figure we’ll put one on each door of our two vehicles, so we needed four signs. Or you could always make extras for when your current signs need to be replaced.
One more consideration. If you are terrible at making things look professional, you might want to pay someone else to make your signs, because it might not make the best impression if people are going to look at your signs and wonder if you had your five year old make them. 😉
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