kittens! i'm back. like a magic-deprived unicorn, i've returned to the land of whorange and rainbows for rejuvenation.
yes, the cheeto tornado in the white house is overwhelming and the political climate feels precarious. it's not good for the hair and it's not good for the soul. pushing through and resisting is necessary, but it never feels like enough -- so many phone calls to make, town halls meetings to attend, organizations to support, trolls to block, vulnerable communities to protect, news stories to absorb, strategies to plan, and congress people to micro-manage.
at times like this, i find community building very healing and empowering. around the country, folks are gathering in congressional town halls, protesting at airports, and organizing en masse down city streets to resist this administration.
protests and marches have the awesome power to bring people together and provide an amplified voice. they remind our officials we are watching and they show people around the world we are not backing down. the tornado hears us, too.
one of the best ways to express yourself in a crowd is with a sign. personalized signs are easy to make and can be done on a minimal budget depending on your degree of fancy.
wanna make one? here's what you'll need:
i like two-sided signs, so i get two boards per sign.
paints. i use acrylic paints for my poster boards. fabric paints are great for cloth banners and for signs that need to withstand rain. spray paints work well with stencils and large scale signs. also, a sprinkle of glitter on semi-dry paint makes everything awesome.
pens and sharpies. these are especially good for smaller signs, fine lines, and illustrations. have pencils and erasers handy for sketching.
optional -- pre-cut letters, glitter letters, and stencils. these are available at most craft stores. i prefer to use them for tracing only (so i can reuse them), but many of my friends directly apply them to their signs. this is a more costly, but it's quick and easy.
i cut even-sized strips of paper using my paper cutter. i free-hand the letters using a pencil and scissors.
looks like this!
another sign-making option is paint. painting is quick and easy.
tip: do not water down your paint. it will warp your foam boards.
optional (but fabulous!) -- sprinkle glitter on your sign when the paint is semi-dry.
tip: bold color backgrounds and black text are easy to read from a distance!
we had a sign-making party with friends. the kids loved making signs, too.
as mentioned, paint can warp foam boards. if this happens, wait until your signs are completely dry and use heavy books to flatten corners.
for sign handles, please check with your city or town's sign regulations. some cities do not allow wood handles. others require specific dimensions. for example, los angeles allows wood sticks that are no more than 1/2" thick and no more than 2" wide.
or, opt not to use a handle at all!
if your location does allow wood sticks, affix your signs with a staple gun:
remember, you do not need to be fancy. a piece of cardboard and sharpie marker will always do the trick.
think about your message and the climate of the march. some marches are more somber and others are more playful. design your signs accordingly.
above: my "here to stay" sign for the "free the people immigration march" in los angeles. the forecast called for rain, therefore, i used fabric paint because it is waterproof.
above: our signs for the women's march in los angeles.
consider making a two-sided sign so your messages can be read from the front and back.
finally, have a sign-making party! ask people to bring their own foam core boards and a few items (paint, paint brushes, drop cloth, adhesive letters, pens, glitter, wood sticks, cardboard tubes, etc.). research previous marches for slogans and inspiration. read the rules, regulations, and platforms for each march and prepare accordingly. also, consult these handy march tips before you go.
that's it! remember, keep showing up! stay active and be engaged. gather your people and let your voices be heard.