How to make a Yard Sale sign tutorial

Copyright © 2002, 2010, 2011 D.A.Kenney

Why I created this tutorial
It absolutely astonishes me how many people around here do not have a clue when it comes to making signs for their yard sale! While riding around looking for yard sales a couple of weeks ago, in one twenty minute period I encountered at least a dozen signs in text so small that they could not possibly be read from a moving car. And they ALL featured an address! No arrow. Just a street address. That’s great – if you know all the street names in all of the towns you may travel to or through. If not you’re SOL. I, for one, am not going to stop my little Punch Buggy in the road to type your street address into my GPS so I can find your yard sale and risk getting flattened by a semi!

[ Return to Top ]

How to make GOOD signs
If you really want people to show up to buy your stuff YOU NEED TO MAKE SIGNS THAT CAN BE READ FROM A MOVING CAR. Take a look at the next Speed Limit sign you drive past. There is a reason it looks like that! It is readable from a moving car. Your Yard Sale signs need to be similarly readable.

The pull down in Word only goes up to 72 point text. However, you can type in ANY SIZE YOU WANT! You want 300 point text? No problem!

Click on the point size pull down to highlight
Type [3] [0] [0]
Hit [enter]

Voila! Humongous text! Bold can help too… Single stroke letters made with a Sharpie or even chisel point felt tip marker are not bold enough. Ballpoint pen is impossible. And I have seen signs on phone poles several feet off the side of the road written in ballpoint!

You need to post them where they can be seen in time to make the turn.

And there only needs to be three (3) things on the sign.
Those three things are as follows:


That’s it. You do not need to list your entire inventory on the phone pole twelve blocks down and four turns away from your sale. That’s what Craig’s List is for! (I may make that a link at some point if I get over being annoyed with them...) You do not need to list the noble cause you are supporting with the funds from your sale. You can tell me all about it when I get there. And you do not need to put your address! You know where your street is. I do not!

All you need on the signs you put out by the road is “YARD SALE =>” or “<= YARD SALE” as appropriate.

Optional things that may be helpful include (and, frankly, are limited to):

The DATE and TIME of your sale.
Maybe if it is a MULTI-FAMILY Yard Sale.
And if the sale will be held RAIN OR SHINE.

That’s it. Nothing else.

[ Return to Top ]

Here are some GOOD signs all ready to be printed.
[Clicking the image opens the Excel spreadsheet that contains the signs.]


There you have it. These are really all you need. The basic collection also contains two bonus signs! Left Turn Ahead and Right Turn Ahead. These signs print well on 8 1/2" x 11" paper.

If you really insist on putting more information than Yard Sale Arrow on your signs we have a set of signs that work really well printed on Ledger (11" x 17") size paper.


The illustration shows a pair of typical signs made with the Large Sign Collection. The text across the top and bottom are user defined. That means you can customize it to suit your needs. The instructions for doing so are on the Data Input page. You only have to enter your text once. Excel propagates it to all of the signs in the collection. If you really truly feel the need to have your address on your signs, the top center text is the place to put it. If you are not going to be open Rain or Shine you can put your Rain Date in the bottom center slot. How to do that should become apparent when you look over the Data Input page.

NEW and IMPROVED! The ULTIMATE Yard Sale Sign!

This is a .png file and opens directly in your browser.

With a fist full of Flip Signs you only need to print one style. These signs are 'read right' whichever way is up! Just point the arrow in the right direction. They even work as continue on this road signs with the arrow pointing up. If you live in a large development you may want to post the Large Signs at the main road and use Flip Signs to guide folks to your sale within the development.

About PRINTING: Copies from a copier or prints from a laser printer work best. DO NOT use prints from an ink jet printer – except as masters to make copies on a copier. The first time it rains on your ink jet signs they will become unreadable mush!

If you decide to use colored paper try to use the same color for all of your signs. That way we can tell which set of signs we are following. Bright colors work best. Remember the background must contrast strongly with the text and arrow for the sign to be readable.

And DO NOT print the background color on your printer! You will spend a fortune on ink if you do!


I am making these signs available FREE OF CHARGE for non-commercial use ONLY.
Feel free to make as many copies as you need. Just don't go into business selling them. OK?

[ Return to Top ]

When your sale is over...


[ Return to Top ]