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Santa Stop Here Sign

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My sister enters the Christmas light competition every year which is held in our town and this year she wanted to have a “Santa stop here sign”. All the ones in the stores where small and she wanted a very big one, so ask me to have a go at making one for her.
Time: 8 Hours Cost: $50 Difficulty: Medium
This project was made from mostly recycled materials like all my other projects.  This PVC pipe and the plywood were from on a construction site which my son kindly rescued for me.  The PVC pipe was covered in rust marks and concrete but with a little bit of elbow grease most of the mark came off.  I used thinners to remove the print off the pipe. I wrapped masking tape around the pole to get my stripy look.
I used Quick drying red spray paint to get the candy cane look.
I used Quick drying red spray paint to get the candy cane look.
I did not know where to start with the Stop Sign so I googled how to do it and this image came up, which was very simple to follow. This is not my image
My sign was 60cm square to start which was nice and big.  I cut my template out of cardboard first in case I made a mistake.
I lay my template on my plywood and traced the outline onto my wood.
I used a jigsaw to cut out my plywood.
 I gave my wood a light sand to smooth out the surface and to remove any rough edges. 
 I chose to paint the wood instead of using the natural wood grain because I thought it would look more festive and fun. I used plywood in my last Christmas project and had trouble getting the paint to stick.  So after some research I found out that I should be using a primer first when using acrylic paint.  My primer was white in colour so this was great because it served as my background colour.  Once my primer was dry, I added masking tape to the edges and painted my inside crimson red.  When it was dry I removed the tape.
I was not blessed with a nice handwriting, which would have saved hours on this project.  I used a free online site called Pizap to make all my words.  I just kept changing the font to get a different look.  To get the words onto my wood I used a sheet of carbon paper and traced around the edges.
Because my plywood was recycled and had screw holes at regular intervals, I just cut out my signs with a jigsaw free hand waving up and down to avoid the holes.  I loved the final look, think the wavy lines add character. 
I followed the same process as with the stop sign.  Sanded, painted, traced the words, and painted in the words.
I had to try and find a way to attach the signs to the pole.  For this I drilled 2 holes in the center of each sign and used large cable ties to go around the post.  To stop the signs from sliding down the post, I screwed a small screw under the cable tie.
To seal all my signs against the weather I used a clear acrylic spray first, because I did not know if putting varnish onto acrylic paint would make it run or smudge and I did not want to take a chance and ruin my signs.  Finally I added 2 coats of clear varnish to my signs.  I added a couple of bells to some of the signs that looked a bit bare and that was my sign all done.
This project took me 8 hours to do (excluding the final coats of varnish).  Making the sign only took 2 hours, but adding the words and painting it took me 6 hours. 

This project is very hard to cost because the materials were recycled and the other products I already had.

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