Skip to Content

How To Make A Latitude/Longitude Sign

Don’t ask me why – I’m a weirdo – but I’m fascinated by geography and the fact that every place on earth has a specific location. I have wanted to incorporate our latitude and longitude into the house forever, and I also had a bit of a craving for something chevron, so using paint and supplies I already had in my garage, I made this little number:

Here’s how you can make a chevron latitude/longitude sign too.

*First up, find your geographical location – there are a bunch of sites online where you enter your address and it automatically figures your latitude and longitude for you. I used
You can also enter a latitude and longitude and the site will give you the coordinating address, which is exactly why you won’t see my sign in full in this blog post. I hope all you stalkers out there understand 🙂

Bruschi says, “we must protect the house”

*Prime and paint a board. 
(This is a great use of a scrap piece of wood – I used one from my board and batten project – or even a leftover cabinet door if you’ve recently jumped on the open shelving trend in your kitchen!)

*Next up, print out a chevron template, tape it to the board and transfer the pattern onto the wood by tracing with a ballpoint pen, which leaves an indentation that is visible. Billie Monster has a few variations on a printable chevron stencil (the one I used is from an unknown source.)
(I learned the ballpoint pen transfer method from Jaime and I like it better than the chalk method I used for my Destinations Sign.)

*Use painter’s tape to create the chevron pattern   Overlap the tape and then trim it with a blade to get nice straight corners.
(I find Frog Tape to have much less bleed-through than the blue tape.)

*Paint the whole board, right over the tape, with a second color. Let dry and then give it another coat. Remove the tape while the paint is still wet.

*After removing the tape, gently sand down any raised lines from the layers of paint.

*To figure out the best size of the numbers, I had to print several versions in various font sizes until I was happy with the spacing on the board. How big your numbers will be depends on the size of your board.

Cut the paper down so it will fit on your board and using a T-square or ruler as a guide, center the numbers, taking care to line them up straight (or your crooked numbers will always bug you!) and tape them down.

*Using the ballpoint pen transfer method again, trace your numbers onto the board.
(Take a photo of your freaky, gnarled, grotesque hand, you know, just for fun.)
*I used a Sharpie oil-based paint marker on this sign, and it worked well. It’s wide tip was a little challenging for the more details parts of the numbers, so I also had a regular black Sharpie marker on hand. I’m not so great at freehanding with a paint brush but you may find that method easier.
*To give the sign a little more definition I taped off the top of the sign and painted the edges black.

*Screw two hooks on the back for hanging. You can find a box of these hooks at your local hardware store.
(If I was making this sign for someone else I would paint the back – a nicer finished product. For myself – I’m not too fussy!)

Right now our little geographical location sign is hung over the window in my kitchen, but I’m envisioning it in the basement, where I hope to hang a humungous map on one wall. I think the latitude/longitude and map would be a natural combination, don’t you?
{A few of you have asked how the basement came out. Check it out in it’s finished, but as-yet undecorated state, on tomorrow’s B&A.}

If you like the idea of displaying your latitude & longitude in your home or on your person, here are some more fun ideas (intentionally leaving out Angelina Jolie’s tatts, even though I appreciate the maternal sentiment 🙂

Latitude and longitude painted onto garage or basement steps. I had considering doing L&L when I painted the stairs in our garage last summer.

Latitude and longitude on a simple pillow. {This gorgeous photo has long been in my inspiration files!}

Jewelry of a special geographic location (the place you were married? A child was born? Your home?) There are tons of jewelry options out there but here are a few of my faves:

And last but not least, Mandi’s grouping of LL Bean signs of all the places her family has lived – you must check this one out!

Thanks for visiting and hope you are enjoying this fine spring day!

I’m linking up to these great blogs:

You Can Do It: Retrofit A Door For New Hardware
← Previous
Before and After Friday: Our Basement
Next →


Friday 23rd of March 2012

What a cute idea Lisa! This would be perfect with a large map. I haven't seen the paint sharpie before either. I might have to pick one up.

Dana [email protected] Make Them Wonder

Friday 23rd of March 2012

Love it, Lisa! Anything that personalizes a room totally steals my heart. I haven't seen the oil-based sharpie before...must check that out!

pam {simple details}

Friday 23rd of March 2012

Such a cool idea, Lisa, I've never seen this! What a fun personalized gift, too! I wasn't suggesting you send me a gift, but... :)

Lisa - A Room with A View

Friday 23rd of March 2012

This is a great idea, Lisa. It can be added to a gallery wall of some sort. I might try this one - makes me think global.

[email protected]

Friday 23rd of March 2012

Oh my crap I love it, Lisa! It turned out SO Fab!

And can I say that I still love your stairs? When I was cleaning the garage, looking at my nasty (two of them) stairs, I thought. . . I wish mine were like Lisa's.

True story.