The following are instructions for construction of a super cheap double-sided cardboard protest sign.
You will need:
- 8 Ramen noodle cardboard container boxes
- 2 rolls of duct tape; 1 black, and the other some non-black color
- Approximately two dozen toilet paper rolls
- An indelible marker
- A pair of scissors
Step 1: Break the boxes down flat. Cut off the bottom and top flaps, but not the larger side flaps.
Step 2: Overlap the side flaps with each pair of broken down boxes. Duct tape the back (labeled) side, as well as tape looping between the flaps (select an appropriate length of tape, tape it back against itself sticky side out, then squish it between the flaps).
Step 3: Place two pairs back to back, with the blank, non-labeled side facing out, and tape the remaining side flaps together.
Step 4: Now is the time to actually write your message. After selecting something pithy, write it in pencil quickly. Then take your indelible marker and slowly trace it over and around the penciled letters. Finally, get out the black duct tape, select appropriate lengths, cut these strips in half, and then lay them over the indelibly marked letters.
Step 5: Repeat the previous step for the other side.
Step 6: Wedge toilet paper rolls inside of each other until you have a length that is comfortably longer than the height of the sign (that is, both halves stacked on top of each other). Duct tape any weaker joining parts together (WARNING: do NOT use paper towel rolls, their length makes them less sturdy for bearing weight than a bunch of toilet paper rolls; of course, if it’s windy, you’re just plain fucked unless you use a broom handle or equivalent, which oh-so-conveniently tend to be illegal for use with a protest sign in various locales, so check your local statutes).
Step 7: Decide how you will get your protest sign to the site. If you are going to prefabricate it, then make sure to perform the next few steps before you arrive on location; on the other hand, if you are going to assemble it on site, I would recommend devising some way of carrying it hands-free and having whatever tools you need to assemble and take it down while you’re there. In that case, I suggest that you have on hand extra duct tape (not the whole roll, perhaps 5 – 10 ft doubled over on itself), a knife, and paracord to strap together and carry the sign to the location.
Step 8: Place the top half of the sign on the lower half and tape the inside edges together. Don’t worry, it should hold.
Step 9: Here is the most critical step; slip the toilet paper roll handle up the length of the sign and tape it to one side (work from the most inside part out). Then flip it over and tape the roll to the other side. If for some strange reason you happen to run out of duct tape before you’ve taped the roll to both insides of the sign, then focus on reinforcing one side, since that is going to bear the weight.
Step 10: Lift the sign by the edges, not torquing the hell out of it by lifting from the handle which might very well break it. Once right side up, place your hand on the toilet paper roll pole right at the bottom edge of the sign. This will give you the most stability and control possible (of course, if it’s windy, you’re fucked, in which case you’ll be doing arm exercises the entire time).
There you go. Have fun being completely useless and counter-productive.