Help! I'm A Children's Pastor

How To Make Street Signs, Sign Posts With PVC, Cheap

by James on October 7, 2010

 

I divide my kids up by grade. Kindergarten, and 1st through 5th… each have their own section to sit in. I then divide those six groups into two teams (almost like the traditional boys vs girls): 1st, 3rd & 4th vs K, 2nd and 5th. This keeps things pretty balanced and allows me to sit kids of the same age together which builds friendships and helps new kids find friends quickly.

It may sound confusing, but with my Street Signs, it’s super simple for the kids to keep track of where they sit. I’m presenting my rough plans and some photos of the completed project. It’s not a step-by-step by any means… but it should give you enough information to make your own. You could use this idea for pretty much any sign holder you might need. Sure beats paying hundreds of dollars for commercial bases and sign holders.

Here’s the completed sign and stand. The PVC was all 1 1/2″ Solid Core PVC Pipe. The signs are Aluminum and I ordered them from a local vinyl cutting sign shop.

Product List (per sign):
1 – 4’ PVC
3 – 12” PVC
2 – 4.5” PVC
5 – 90° Elbows
1 – Threaded Cap
1 Threaded Plug
1 – T Joint
1 – Cotter Pin
PVC Primer
PVC Glue
Silver Hammered Finish Spray Paint

After collecting all of the pieces and cutting them to size, I glued them up according to the plan sketch above. I used a hand-held miter saw to cut a slot about half-way down the top of each Threaded Plug to hold the signs. Then I spray painted the assembled stands. After they dried I slid the sign into the slot and drilled a small hold through the plug and sign. I used a cotter pin to keep the sign fixed to the plug.

The base of each unit can be removed from the main shaft. The signs can be removed by unscrewing the plug from the threaded cap or by removing the cotter pin. Keeping some of the parts loose allows me to store them easily… or replace broken pieces without having to start completely over. The poles take the most wear and tear because kids like to lean on them… the poles can flex without breaking off from the base… but can easily be tightened with just a little downward force.

We’ve been using them for about two months now and they still look as good as the first day. The hammered finish spray paint is very tough, sticks well and resists chipping well. They’re very light-weight so they’re easy to carry and won’t hurt a child if they tip over…. not that they ever have. The wide base keeps them upright and secure. This was a successful project and with a relatively low price.

I spent about $90 on PVC and $90 on the vinyl signs, so around $180 total for six signs. Compare that to the quote from the sign shop for their stands and signs at $399 each!

What do you think? I’d love to get your feedback in the comments. If you have any questions, post them and I’ll respond!