How to make rad industrial-looking house numbers

Guest post by Kristen

I originally saw this idea on Offbeat Home a while back. I wasn’t able to find any specific tutorials on how to make the threaded house numbers online, so I figured it out as I went along.

This is how I pulled it off…

What you’ll need:

  • Wooden board
  • Number stencils
  • Pencil
  • Drill
  • Screws
  • Oil-based outdoor wood primer
  • Outdoor paint in your chosen color
  • Fishing line or twine

How to do it:

Step One: Start with a block of wood large enough to fit all of your numbers. Create stencils by using Microsoft Word, or a similar program. Increase the size of the numbers so that one fits on each page, print them, then cut them out. Trace them on to the block of wood.

Step Two: Draw your dots. I measured two inches between each dot around the outside of the numbers. Drill holes for the screws.

Step Three: This next step is important. Prime it with an oil-based outdoor wood primer. I know anything oil-based tends to be a pain in the ass, but oil-based primer will seal the wood against rain and moisture better than latex based primer, making the numbers last much longer. Once the primer is dry, paint with outdoor paint in your chosen color. As long as the primer is oil based, it is okay to use latex-based paint. I used Duron MaxWood Exterior Primer and Duron WeatherShield Exterior Latex Paint.

Step Four: Next, add the screws. Of course you want to use stainless steel screws since the numbers will be hanging outside, but not all stainless steel is created equal. Look for grade 316, marine grade, stainless steel. It has the highest corrosion resistance. I used these, which I found on Amazon.

Step Five: String the numbers. The original picture on Offbeat Home showed the numbers made with twine, but I thought fishing line would stand up to the weather better. After all, it is designed to get wet. I had a little trouble with getting the colors to show up on the black paint. I ended up winding a layer of clear fishing line around the bottom, and a second layer of blue on the top. It gives it that awesome 3D, spider web effect.

Step Six: Hang it up, and you’re done! If you have vinyl siding, you might be able to get siding hooks that will allow you to hang it without drilling holes in your house. They didn’t work for me, so I had to drill into the house. I put a small dab of outdoor paint over the screws that I used to hang it, to conceal them.

Comments on How to make rad industrial-looking house numbers

  1. I just wanted to follow up with this.. after a couple months of being out in the weather, it started to warp. I took it down and after being inside for a little, it unwarped. I screwed some metal brackets on to the back to keep it from warping again (look for “mending plates” in the hardware section) and hung it back up. It’s been 2 years, and it still looks good.

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