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House Numbers

Source: Martha Stewart


Many towns around the country have ordinances requiring that house numbers be clearly and prominently displayed; in case of emergencies, it's essential that the police and fire departments be able to quickly identify a home. The most common way to indicate a street number is to simply affix metal numerals to the front of the house or its mailbox, but as style editor Tom Tamborello explains, you can use a faux terra-cotta planter (real terra-cotta can crack as a result of extreme changes in weather) to create an attractive and functional display.


  • Faux terra-cotta planter

  • Evergreen shrub

  • Card stock

  • Ruler

  • Sharp knife or utility knife

  • Adhesive spray

  • Sponge brush

  • Enamel paint


  1. Choose a font for your numbers using either the template or one installed on your computer. Scale it to the size that will best fit the container you've chosen. Create a stencil; print the numbers onto card stock, and using the knife and ruler, cut the interior shape of the numbers out from of the card stock.

  2. Trim the stencil to fit your container. Lightly spray the back with the adhesive, and press it firmly onto the container, smoothing it down so there are no bumps or wrinkles. Make sure the entire surface, including the cut inside edges, adhere to the container.

  3. Using a sponge brush, apply an even, opaque coat of enamel paint over the stencil; remove the stencil immediately after painting. Allow to dry overnight.

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