Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Kinder, Prettier "No Soliciting" Sign

For some reason, our subdivision tends to attract solicitors of all stripes. When the doorbell rings, we never know who we'll find standing on our doorstep. Will it be school kids selling overpriced chocolate cashews? College kids urging us to save the rain forests? Juvenile delinquents peddling subscriptions to obscure-magazines-that-will-never-ever-arrive? Landscapers wanting to save our lawn? Zealots wanting to save our souls? With three vocal dogs and a toddler who only naps once in a blue moon, I've come to dread the sound of our doorbell.

I knew that something had to be done, but I wasn't about to hang up a ghastly orange and black plastic "No Soliciting" sign from the hardware store--you may recall my aversion to choosing guaranteed ugly--so I decided to make my own DIY "No Soliciting" sign.

I started with a small wooden 3" x 3" frame from the Dollar Tree. This is what the frame looked like before I started:
Thanks to blogger Melissa at 320 Sycamore for permission to use her "before" photo--I forgot to take my own.

Making the sign is a snap. It's an easy toddler nap time project--assuming that you can find that elusive window of time when a) your toddler is napping and b) no one is ringing your doorbell.

Step 1. Remove the glass and backing and spray paint the frame white.

Step 2. While the frame is drying, create the text using word processing software. I used a font called "Calligraph421 BT" and bolded my text. The words "No Solicitors Please" are in a 28 point font, and the "Friends Welcome" is 24 point. The little graphic in the middle was created with a 22 point "Wingdings" font. (On the off chance that you don't speak Wingdingian, you'll need to type in the letter "V" to create this character. )

Edited 8/11/10 to add: A few people have written to ask how to create the "white text on black background" effect using word processing software. To do this, start by using the "insert" drop down menu to insert a shape onto your blank page (a square, in this case). Use the "fill" feature (the icon looks like a little paint can with paint pouring out) to paint and fill the square black. Insert a text box into this square--change the text box fill color the same way that you did the square, if needed--and then change your text color to white (the icon for changing text color is usually a capital letter "A" with a bar of red under it). Voila!

Step 3: Print out your text and set it aside.

Step 4: After the paint dries but before reassembling the frame, drill two small hanging holes along the top edge. Run a ribbon through the holes and tie in a knot or bow at the top. (I plan to replace my ribbon with a slightly longer one the next time I get a chance to run to the craft store--the ribbon that I used for my sign was actually a handle from a gift bag!)

Step 5: Reassemble the frame, inserting printed text. Tear off the bulky cardboard stand on the back of the frame.

Step 6: Hang the sign where solicitors can't possibly miss it! Sign=$1 Silence=Priceless!

Step 7: When that small neighbor child on your doorstep earnestly points to the word "Solicitors" on your sign and asks, "I'm not a I?", go ahead and buy some overpriced chocolate-covered cashews anyway.

If you don't have time to make your own sign, you can buy this one through the Target website for $29.99. Like mine, it's not designed for true outdoor use.
Can't resist picking up more than one of those cute little Dollar Tree frames? Here's another great use for this frame from blogger Melissa at 320 Sycamore, who first introduced me to this particular frame:

This post has been linked to Finding Fabulous and The Shabby Nest.