Easy DIY Yard Signs & Hey Girl Printable Placemat

Easy DIY Yard Signs & Hey Girl Printable Placemat
June 25, 2015 Alison Faulkner

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Yo sexy people! I wanted to share how I made this “Hey Girl” yard sign! Is it a yard sign? Yard signsss? Party decor? Lawn art? Haha, whatever it is, I’m sharing how to make these awesome oversized letters that I used at my “Hey Girl” baby shower! If you missed it, check out the full party post here! It looks a lot like this:

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I’m ALSO sharing a free printable from the Hey Girl shower, this adorable placemat deisnged by Bri Webb! I love this because you can use it for a baby shower, a bridal shower OR a girl’s party of any kind. Or like a Ryan Gosling tribute party?

DOWNLOAD THE PLACEMAT HERE!

(Print those in color on 11×17″ paper. / Personal use only! Thanks!)

Back to my yard art. I wanted to show you how I created the sign because I think I’m a freaking genius for doing it, and I was so pleased at how well it worked out.

In fact I was setting up the sign in my friend Susan’s yard for the party, and her husband was there and witnessed me congratulating myself when it was erected and perfect. And he said, “No offense but you stuck a sign in the ground, it’s not that big of a deal…”

And I said, “SHUT YOUR FACE!” Haha because creating a large, fairly inexpensive signage option for outdoors, when you don’t want to build an entire backdrop IS a big deal! I’ve basically changed outdoor parties for good. Right?! Maybe. And I didn’t know if the poles would hold the sign up, or if it would have the impact I wanted. So what I’m saying is, I’m a yard sign pioneer and yes, yes, I AM proud of it!

These yard signs have SO many applications! A kid’s party, a backyard BBQ–a playdate at the park that’s a special occasion and you want ONE fun thing to make it feel that way. So versatile! You could paint them as simple or patterned as you like, or glue pom poms on them!? GAH! (Please someone use this to ask someone to prom?! I’d die.) And I especially like this project because you can create this, and have hardly any other decor, and still get that UMPH factor. Kind of like balloons. Balloons just make everything feel festive!

Sure, sure there are some understated party people out there, and you could even make this all sleek and black if you wanted, but I love a WOW and with this you’re gonna get it.

We used these signs at the actual party, but then this week I wanted a couple more pictures of them, so I conned Heather into, “Letting me use her backyard…and I mean if she had her camera maybe she’d want to take a few pictures too?” HAHA. And when she agreed I decided I wanted to show you how EASY and special these would look, even without the flowers and place settings, and I just grabbed some pillows and a blanket from my house and a few things I had at Club Alison. And boom! Party. SEE! You can throw a party no sweat! (Actually there was a ton of sweat because it was 100 degrees.)

Ok ok. Now that I’ve sold you on the signs are you READY?

MATERIALS/INSTRUCTIONS 

LETTERS TO USE AS STENCILS:
You can create these signs for ANY phrase, but for HEY GIRL I printed large oversized letters to use as stencils. I did this by printing 3 oversized prints (they are about $8 each) that had the letters on them. I wanted them HUGE. I placed them all skiwampus to be space efficient. I have a video on oversized printing right here! But basically you email Staples or Office Max the files (the ones you download from me!) I use Staples because they print 48″ x 36″ which is the largest I’ve found, cause yeah size matters.

If you want a different phrase you draw the letters on some butcher paper and then use those as the stencils! (See instructions below!)

OR if you have graphic design skills or want to hire someone to create your own phrase that you can get printed know this: you will not be able to scale the type THAT large, so when I created this file in Illustrator I turned my type into a outline, (type > create outlines) and then sized the letters to fit the space.

DOWNLOAD “HEY GIRL” LETTERS HERE

FOAM CORE:
Foam core is found at craft and hobby stores and is anywhere from $8 to $15 a sheet, depending on the size. It’s like super thick poster board (with foam in the core…eh eh) and you can find it in black or white. In a perfect world I’d be able to find 48″ x 36″ foam core, because that’s the size of the oversize prints I used as stencils, but I didn’t, I usually find 40″ x 30″ and plan accordingly. So if you print the “Hey Girl” letters from me I made it so you could fit the letters on three 40″x30″ sheets of foam core.

XACTO KNIFE, CUTTING MAT, RULER:
I always cut foam core on an oversized cutting mat with an acrylic ruler (usually found near the sewing supplies) and an xacto knife. If you don’t have a cutting mat use some old cardboard and be careful of your table, if you don’t have an acrylic ruler BUY ONE. OR just use a regular one. I GUESS. Make sure your xacto blade is sharp when you cut or your life will be annoying. And you will think, “Damn you Alison! This was supposed to be easy!” And to that I’d say, “Is your blade sharp?” In an annoying tone or, “Bet you wish you’d ordered that acrylic ruler, huh?”

PAINT / PAINTBRUSH:
I used Tempera paint and a thick paint brush. I used that paint because it gave me the most NEON pink. But any paint will do!

WOODEN DOWELS: 
I used 10 for “Hey Girl,” I got them at Home Depot, I think they are 3/8″? But I show my finger for comparison here because I want you to see how thick they are (and so you can admire my mani). If you get them too thin they won’t hold the sign up! They are about $1 each. But you can always take them off these signs and use them again!

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DUCT TAPE:
Obviously it’s great when the duct tape matches your party!

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Loosely tape the letters, whether you print them or draw them, onto the foam core. I would not draw directly on the foam core. It’s expensive! You don’t want to mess it up! If you draw the letters draw them on paper so you can erase (you don’t want erase marks on your finished sign) and then tape the paper down on the edges. I like to use washi tape because it’s not that sticky.

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2. Cut the letters out by slicing hard through the foam core holding the blade up against the edge of your ruler. For round shapes be bold, but cut in 5 inch sections. OR approximately I mean it’s not a freaking science. I cut out one letter at a time, then retaped the paper each time to maximize space.

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3. Once you’ve cut out all the letters get yourself a snack! You need a snack.

4. Paint the edges of the letters or decorate them however you like!

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5. Once the letters have dried duct tape the dowels to the letters. For wide letters (H, G, R) I used two dowels.

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6. Now it’s time to party! Try your hardest to muscle the letters into the ground. Some grass is easier than other grass. If your grass is being impossible find a sharp object to get you started. I tried to muscle one sign and broke the dowel. Ooops. If that happens use clear packing tape to save your sorry self.

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7. Do a celebratory dance, tell your friend’s husband to shut up, and then make all your friends pose behind your labor of love!!!

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Or randomly set it up in your friend’s yard as a pick me up!

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HEEEEYYY GIRL! I hope you loved this! I hope you do this! I hope you never ever ever leave me. Kidding on that last one.

Always always let me know if you use my tutorials because it makes me giddy! Email me a picture, or tag me on Instagram @thealisonshow!

Other than that happy weekend! Happy party planning! And lot’s of love.

xo,

Alison

IMAGES BY HEATHER MILDENSTEIN 

 

13 Comments

  1. shut his face indeed! . . . plus you’re nails r the bomb ♡

  2. Antonia Suzanne 2 years ago

    I have to try this!!!!! Thanks for the step by steps! My daughter is turning 8 soon and this will be perfect!

  3. Brooke Severe 2 years ago

    So are you saying sending the files to be printed at Staples is just an extra measure to get perfectly uniform letters. You could, for example, free hand it on poster board and then put it on foam core? I’m just wondering how critical that step is? Thanks for introducing me to O happy day, BTW. You are changing my life. I like you

    • Author
      Alison Faulkner 2 years ago

      YES exactly, but like I say I would draw the letters on paper so you can erase more, erasing on foam core is messy work! but if you’re confident I mean I’m not going to stop you!!

  4. J Daley 2 years ago

    Where was this post a month ago when I was planning decor for yw camp? ?!! I’m a big fan of the foam board you can get at the dollar store, normal poster board size. 18.5 inches by 27 or so.

    • Author
      Alison Faulkner 2 years ago

      oh man this would have been great for girls camp!! i’ll have to see if our dollar store have foam core!

  5. Paige W. 2 years ago

    Or… you can just buy the large letters from us… :)) We make extra large foam core cutouts with a laser cutter – looks very similar to what you’ve done! super cute!

  6. Stephanie 1 year ago

    love it! trying to do this for my daughter 5th birthday bash. What font did you use?

    • Author
      Alison Faulkner 1 year ago

      i want to say it’s called graphik? I usually always use that!

  7. Bridgette Penel 11 months ago

    Thanks Alison for sharing! I am going to try this and let you know how it goes 🙂

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