DIYdiy projects

diy wednesdays: address numbers w/ pancake & franks

by Grace Bonney

sure we love the whole DIY thing, but it’s infinitely more fun and inspiring for us to collaborate on creative projects with friends, something we often refer to as “DIT” (do it together, get it?). well this week we had the perfect opportunity to drop in on our good friend stacy of pancake & franks, one of our favorite letterpress companies ever (check out some of her new card designs after the jump!). stacy had collected a fun assortment of address numbers, so we headed over with our tool kit in tow and set to work making this custom address plaque to hang outside her studio. click here for the full directions or just click “read more” below.

so much fun! thanks stacy!!
derek & lauren

[photo of stacy pancake by lenny gonzalez]

Address Numbers with Pancake and Franks

Here’s what you’ll need:
-Assorted (found) address numbers in different fonts and sizes
-Sandpaper in various grits
-Interior/exterior acrylic gloss enamel (available in 2 oz. jars)
-Piece of plywood for mounting numbers, cut to size
-Screws for mounting numbers
-Appropriate hardware for hanging wood plaque
-Drill and drill bits


1.Prepare numbers for painting by giving them a light sanding with 150 grit sandpaper.
2. Apply two coats of enamel to numbers, allowing them to dry completely between coats.
3. Sand down plywood and apply two coats of polyurethane, sanding lightly and allowing to dry completely between coats.
4. Place numbers onto plywood and mark placement of screws with a pencil.
5. Pre-drill holes for screws and attach numbers using a drill or screwdriver.
6. Mount wood plaque using appropriate hanging hardware.


[a sampling of some new pancake & franks designs]

Suggested For You


  • Maybe this is me just being a nitpicker, but I absolutely adore the variation in color of the original metal numbers. I think that painting the board red and putting a protective coat on the numbers (against tarnishing and rust) would have looked better. This is also the beauty of a DIY project, I and others have the opportunity to change the original idea to how I would like to see it done. Thanks for the idea!

  • what a funny coincidence. i just had someone come by and spraypaint new numbers on my curb and try to charge me for it. (but i keep avoiding the door, thank god for intercoms)

    i love the house numbers! people normally have a hard time finding our address because it’s in grey.. red might be the ticket.

  • I keep seeing the little moss covered rocks, they are so cute!
    anyone know where, or how I can get some of my very own?

  • those house #’s are terrific. And to think we just dropped 90$ on a new number plate. This would’ve been just as cute, and way cheaper. Ha! and I call myself creative :)

  • Hi I am an avid d*s reader and i love the DIYs and sneak peeks..

    I like the cute plants on the top pix and i’d like to feature that in my blog

  • We need new house numbers. We’re updating the inside of the house, but should be working on the outside too! Thanks (:

  • Admittedly, I’ve got wedding on the brain. But I see potential for table numbers and centerpieces here! Cacti in assorted white mugs and other vessels would be adorable for a modern California or New Mexico affair…

  • Could we place tthe #s on tiles instead of wood? If we painted decorative flowers on the tiles and
    sprayed a protectant would this work? I want something “Swiss looking.”