Making it Official

Look what I finally have outside my door....

But it's not just me.

I put one outside the Sheriff's Door....

And everyone else's too.

My inspiration.
For several years I've been hoping for nameplates outside of everyone's doors so that officials, visitors, and other agencies that come through can find their way to the right office.

During this time I've been eying some ClearLook office signs that run from $24.95 to $32.95 (each), depending on what size we want.

With 13 offices that need signs we'd be looking at anywhere between $350-$450 for signs (including tax and shipping).

Figuring our budget could be more wisely spent elsewhere, I've never brought it up.

Until recently when I wondered if I couldn't make something similar to it myself.

All I'd need is some plexi-glass and some way to mount them and hold the paper in the center of the glasses.

So I piddled with sizes and decided that, if I could do it myself, 9"x4" would probably be the best size for what I wanted.  Then I called up a very good friend, Leland Gilliam, who owns Camden Glass and Overhead Door (in Camden, AR) to get a price on some 1/8" plexi cut to that size.

And the very next day his wife Lisa, who I also adore, dropped off 30 pieces cut down to size and insisted that they wanted to donate them to the Sheriff's Office.

Since then they sat on my desk, challenging me to figure out exactly what I was going to do and how I was going to do it.

The main problems were:
  1. How am I going to attach these to the wall and get the metal bolted effect without actually drilling a hole into these and risking messing up the plexiglass?
  2. The design idea was to have a 8"x3" sheet of paper centered between two 9"x4" sheets of plexiglass.  How do I get the paper to stay centered without having to unbolt or unfasten the signs whenever a name or title needs to be changed?
  3. How do I get the look of metal fasteners or bolts or whatever you want to call them without actually using them, and again, without having to drill the plexiglass.
So, I've asked around for suggestions and found myself at a dead end.

And then about a week ago I was telling Jason this brilliant idea I had for an adorable spice-rack (if I were the kind to actually cook or use spices) and I start searching Amazon for the necessary items to wishlist so that someday when I have money to spend on such things, I'll have those items already discovered and wishlisted.

While searching for a certain size of ultra-strong magnets I discovered the wrong size (right) and realized that not only would those be the perfect size for what I wanted to do, but they'd solve the entire issue of getting the metal look without drilling holes.

So I ordered 100 itty-bitty but super-mighty magnets.

After that I designed the signs.

Keeping in mind that the female population here is the absolute minority, I went with something clean and professional looking.  No frills, no 'pretty' fonts, and no feminine flourishes.

Just a standard outline, an interesting yet masculine font, and of course the Sheriff's Office logo.  Instead of printing it on standard copier paper, I got some paper from an Artist Sketch Pad (a brilliant idea I borrowed from a creative genius that I know and love) and printed it on there.

After cutting the signs down to size, I attached them to the center of one piece of plexi with Scotch Double Stick tape and then super-glued one little magnet to the four corners of that plexiglass.

To make sure that the magnets on the top sheet of the plexiglass matched the magnets on the bottom sheet (something that I almost didn't think of) and to make sure that they were lined up close enough to look like a solid bar, I set the top sheet of plexiglass directly on the bottom sheet and dropped four drops of super glue where the magnets on the bottom sheet were.  Then all I had to do was pry a magnet loose (which wasn't as easy as you'd think, the jokers are not only little but they're STRONG) and get it anywhere near the other magnet that it'd be paired with.

After that I got some Duck permanent double-sided foam mounting tape and stuck two pieces to the back of the bottom sheet of plexiglass and mounted them to the walls outside everyone's offices.

Totaling the project up, including shipping tape, ink, paper and magnets, the whole project cost less than $50, so I'm proud of how well it turned out and how much it saved the county in doing it myself!


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About The Author
Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a teenager, and a pre-schooler.