This Old (Campaign Sign) House

From time to time, the Thrifty Maker will find, bargain, borrow, steal (not really) to create something a little different. She'll rely on her own skills as a scout of trashy treasures and will sometimes bring in a few experts to help.

This week we ask:

Q: Now that the Primary Elections are over, what's to do with all of the plastic signs of the failed campaigns?

A: Collect, cut, hole punch, hang ... and ultimately help mend the broken hearts of the wannabe politicians. Introducing the Corrugated Plastic Campaign Sign bird house (though you can change the scale we've provided to create a doll house, a dog house or a children's play house, too.)

Materials, instructions and happier failed candidates after the jump ...

Materials Need:
- Corrugated Plastic Campaign Sign
- Ruler
- Marker
- White Out Pen
- Rotary Cutter
- Self-Healing Mat
- Hand-held Hole Punch
- Zip Ties

1. Find an old campaign sign (there should be no trouble with step one).

2. Use a ruler and marker to measure squares panels (these will be the walls, floors and roof). You will need seven of the same size. Hint: Keep it simple your first go at it and make all panels 11 by 11 inches -- you'll see why  ...

3. Use a ruler and a rotary cutter on top of a self-healing mat to cut your panels out.

4. You are now going to punch holes along the edges of your panels. First create a template so that all of the holes are a punched in the same place. Use the long edge (11-inch side) of an 8.5-by-11 inch sheet of paper to lay out where your holes will be. Make a mark to indicate where you want the holes to go. Punch through the marks on that paper template. Now use this paper template along the edges of four of the panels to mark them so you can then go back with your standard hand-held hole punch and create the holes.
Have a dark marker and a white out pen on hand, when the print on the sign is light the dark marker will work just fine. When it is dark print use the white out pen to create your mark.

5. Punch holes along all of the edges of five of the panels. For the two roof panels only punch holes along one edge.

6. Now lay one panel, with holes punched, on a flat surface. This one will serve as your floor.

7. Line up each of the three wall panels to the floor panel and begin to loop zip ties through the matching holes. Pull zip ties tight and move on to the next one. Do this through all holes until the three walls are fully attached to the floor panel and are standing up right. Attach the top ceiling panel now and zip tie that to the walls.

8. Zip tie the two roof panels together to make a triangle shape. Set these joined roof panels on top of the open-faced box you created. Use a sharp awl to push holes through where the roof meets the boxes edges. Run zip ties to join the roof and the bottom.

9. Tighten all zip ties and run a string through one of the ties at the top of the roof and now hang your bird house in a tree (preferably the candidate's).

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Cyndi Coon
Contact: Cyndi Coon