DIY Surprise Sidewalk Messages

How to make vinyl surprise messages on the sidewalk

How to make vinyl surprise messages on the sidewalk

How to make vinyl surprise messages on the sidewalk

How to make vinyl surprise messages on the sidewalk

I’m on a mission to spread some fun in our town! We started with flower messages, then we did guerrilla balloon Valentines, and this time we bombed the sidewalks downtown with fun notes in vinyl! I was trying to think of a new way to leave these fun little messages, and vinyl turned out to be perfect — you can lay it down fast, it’s durable if people walk on it, and it’s a no-mess clean up when the time comes to remove the messages. They’re also pretty simple to make, especially if you have a cutting machine. It was a spur-of-the-moment project so I don’t have many process photos, but we’ve got a detailed tutorial for you below. So put together a surprise sidewalk message for somebody fun (or for your whole town, like we did!).

Materials

Make Time: 1 Hour per Sign

Step 1: Decide on what you’d like your sign to say. In your cutting machine’s design program, spell out your words in as large a font as your vinyl will hold.

Step 2: Use the cutting machine to cut the words out of the vinyl. For now, leave the backing on the vinyl.

Step 3: Weed out the excess vinyl from the vinyl sheets, leaving only the vinyl words on the backing.

Step 4: Take a length of clear tape slightly longer than the length of your words. To remove a bit of tackiness from the tape, run it over a carpet or your clothing a couple of times. Then place it over the lower half of your first word, adhering it to the top of the vinyl. Repeat with another length of tape over the top half of the words. This tape will serve to keep the words intact as you remove them from the backing and place them on the ground, rather than having to position each letter individually. (Note: you can also use vinyl transfer film for this step, but it’s a craft supply that’s a bit obscure. Tape works just as well!)

Step 5: When you’re ready to place your vinyl down (I recommend doing this on site), peel the vinyl letters off of the backing while keeping the tape intact on the front. Then place the words down where you’d like them and press firmly to get them to adhere.

Step 6: Gently and carefully peel away the clear tape from the front of the letters. Smooth the letters down once more and you’re good to go!

I love seeing these around as we wander downtown! It’s so fun to see people snapping photos of them as they discover the messages. What would you write, and who would you write it to?! I think a birthday or anniversary message could be super fun — you could even put it on a window or in a mirror, instead of on the ground. Now I’m off to think of our next sneaky project! xoxo

How to make vinyl surprise messages on the sidewalk

How to make vinyl surprise messages on the sidewalk

How to make vinyl surprise messages on the sidewalk

How to make vinyl surprise messages on the sidewalk

17 thoughts on “DIY Surprise Sidewalk Messages”

  1. Great idea! And really fun messages ind a beautiful font!
    I think, I’m going to look for my sidewalk chalk. why not practising one’s lettering skills slightly upscaled on our street…? 😉
    My guerilla experience is only about throwing some seeds around.

    Have a nice day,
    Lici

    1. Hey Diane! They’re from Nine West; I got them on Zappos last year and sadly I can’t find them any more! Should have bought multiple pairs. 😉

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