How to Make "Open" and "Closed" Door Signs

What You'll Need
Spray paint
Spray adhesive
Old newspaper
Utility knife
PVC sheet
Overhead projector sheet (optional)
Computer with printer (optional)
marker (optional)

You can make your own door signs with common materials in a short time. The signs in this article will indicate when your shop, office or place of business is open or closed. You can also use these for fun in your kitchen, home office, rec room or other home area.

Step 1 - Design Your Door Signs

There are many ways you can design "open" or "closed" door signs. You could create one in your graphics program of choice on your computer and print it out onto an overhead projector sheet. Alternatively you could draw it freehand onto an overhead projector sheet or a spare piece of plastic with your marker. You could even do it using pre-made stencils. Using a computer to create a design will probably result in the most professional appearance, but if you are not confident in your own computer abilities, you may decide against this method.

Whatever method you choose, complete it. Only use one color, and keep the design as simple as possible. Curves are more difficult to cut than straight lines, so minimize the amount of curved lines you use. Be sure to have a minimum number of areas where the color you chose completely surrounds a blank space. When you are finished, you should have an overhead projector sheet or piece of plastic with your design on it.

Step 2 - Cut the Stencil

At this point, you will need to cut out the stencil you have planned so you can use it. Set your design down on a flat surface that you do not mind marking up—outdoor concrete is ideal for this—and with the utility knife, cut out all of the colored sections of your design. If you are not confident of your abilities, draw a practice design on a piece of scrap material and practice cutting it out.

Step 3 - Prepare to Paint

Choose a flat area outside to work in. Set up your old newspapers on the ground in this area. Place your sheet of PVC that you plan to make into a sign on top of the newspapers.

Next spray the back of your stencil with spray adhesive. Once you have done this, you can place your stencil on your PVC sheet. If your stencil does not cover the entire sheet, place a new layer of newspaper bordering it to cover the edges. Tape this layer of newspaper to the stencil. You should now be able to paint without any trouble.

Step 4 - Paint the Door Signs

Shake your spray paint thoroughly. Hold it at a 45-degree angle at least 12 inches from the surface of the PVC. Keeping the can moving and not focusing on any particular area, spray the paint on. Your goal is to lightly coat the PVC and then stop. Using too much paint will lead to dripping and other problems, whereas using too little is completely fixable.

Allow the spray paint to dry. If the words on your door signs are dark enough, you are done. If they are not, apply more light coats until the words on the door signs meet your requirements.