We’ve all bought a metal sign thinking it’s the perfect way to tie our homes together, only to realise hanging it on a fence or gate is a lot harder than we thought. You can’t choose a new perfect spot, you need to be able to mount your metal sign on a metal gate or fence, but how do you do it?
Using specially made mounting brackets like single bolt strap brackets or sign brackets are a strong and sturdy way to display a sign on a metal fence or gate, while things like carabiners, cable ties offer an easier and less permanent alternative.
Wanting to know which of the different types of mounting methods you should use to hang your new sign or custom metal artwork? Continue reading to learn the DIY skills you need to put up your fancy new sign, metal plaque or other decorative piece.
How Do I Attach a Sign to Wrought Iron Fence?
There are two main ways to attach a sign to wrought iron fence — through single bolt strap brackets, and sign brackets. Signal bolt strap brackets and sign brackets are designed specifically to attach signs to wrought iron fences, and will secure your sign safely.
Single Bolt Strap Brackets
Single Bolt Strap Brackets are metal pieces which have a slit on two sides where a metal band can be inserted. This band is fastened by a single screw, and allows the bracket to be strapped on to round poles or square posts.
The main bracket itself is fastened to the post by a single bolt. A washer is usually included for pressure distribution, and is sometimes made from a non-metallic material such as rubber or nylon to protect the post. Although single-sided brackets are the most commonly used variant, there are double-sided variants for those who need a sign on both sides of the fence.
How to Use Single Bolt Strap Brackets
- The first step is to measure the width of the pole where the bracket will be attached to. Ensure that your bracket and metal band can wrap around the pole just tight enough that it can be properly fastened later on.
- Attach the sign on to the bracket using the single bolt included in the kit. Check if the sign is aligned properly and straight before tightening it all the way.
- Insert the metal band through the bracket then, place it onto the pole. Once you have identified your desired height, keep it there and fasten the band using the screw included in the bracket kit. Make sure it is tight enough that it could support the weight of the sign without moving, but loose enough that it does not damage the pole and still allow the sign to be inserted.
- Check if your sign is aligned and perpendicular to the pole it is attached to, and check if the bolt holding the sign, and the metal band are properly secured. If any of the attachments were too loose or misaligned, remove and re-attach, using the previous steps to guide you
These sign brackets allow the sign to hang flush against a wrought iron fence, without having to bolt, penetrate, or damage modify the fence in any way. This works through the use of a rail kit that can be split in two, with each of the rail’s parts meant for each side of the fence.
These come in a variety of rail sizes and lengths to accommodate a wide range of signs. For larger signs, it may be necessary to use two rails — one for the top and another for the bottom.
How to Use Sign Brackets
- Determine the placement; how high and exactly where you place the rail depends on its length. Shorter rails are more straightforward, while longer rails will require you to plan where exactly to attach them.
- Once you have identified the exact placement you desire, place both parts of the rail on opposite ends, ensuring that the bolt hole for the sign is facing towards the direction where you intend the sign to face.
- If it is a short rail, then you may proceed to bolt the sign into the bolt hole which will also clamp the two rails together. For longer rails, you may have to bolt through the brackets on the back first to make sure the rail doesn’t move, before you start to bolt the sign itself.
- Check if your sign is aligned and perpendicular to the rail attachment. If anything is misaligned, simply loosen the bracket and tighten once everything is aligned.
How Do I Attach A Sign To A Chain Link Fence?
There are three options for mounting signs onto a chain link fence, namely through mounting brackets, carabiner clips, and cable ties. Mounting brackets are a strong and permanent mounting method, while carabiners are fairly strong and easy to move, and cable ties are affordable and easy to use.
Fence Sign Mounting Brackets
A fence mounting bracket is a strip of metal with mounting screws on both ends which come in varying lengths, with the longer ones usually containing more than two mounting holes. Another form of this is called a chain mesh sign bracket, which is a set of brackets that are attached on each corner of the sign.
How to use Fence Sign Mounting Brackets
- Identify your desired placement for the sign. Due to the nature of chain link fences, you have more freedom to pinpoint exactly where you want the sign to be placed. Take into account the type of mounting bracket you are using — the strip type which only has mounting holes on both ends, or the set of mounting brackets that go on each corner of the sign.
- Once you have determined your desired placement, place the bracket at the backside of the fence (the side opposite of the sign), and place the sign on top of it. If you are using the strip style bracket, then you have to bolt through both ends of the bracket loosely. Once the sign and bracket are held by the bolt, you can adjust the alignment before tightening the bolts. The same concept applies to the individual mounting brackets that come in sets of 4 or more. Loosely bolt them together with the sign, and realign before finally tightening.
- Check the placement and alignment of the signs. If all are properly aligned then you are done mounting the sign onto the chain link fence.
Another way of attaching a sign to a chain link fence is by using carabiner clips, which are a strong yet temporary way to attach signs to chain link fences. Moving and adjusting the sign will be easy, but it will be prone to damage on windy days.
These are similar to carabiner clips used in outdoor activities like hiking. Although the same kind of carabiner clips can be used for signs, there are usually commercially available carabiner clips that are specifically designed for signs. The downside to this type of attachment option is that the sign dangles or hangs freely since carabiner clips do not employ any form of screwing or fastening. This also makes the sign susceptible to theft or unwanted modification since the carabiner clips can easily be opened.
How to use Carabiner Clips
- Identify where you want the sign to hang from the chain link fence and prepare the appropriate number of carabiners to be used. Some signs have larger holes that allow the use of multiple or larger, heavy-duty carabiners, so take these into account.
- You can either attach the carabiners onto the sign before attaching it to the chain link fence, or you can attach the carabiners onto the chain link fence first, before attaching the sign.
- Once everything is in place, check if the carabiners were properly closed and give the sign a little shake to ensure that it is secured in place.
Cable ties are a fast, easy and cheap way to secure a sign to a chain link fence. The cable ties can keep your sign very secure and they are made of durable plastic, making them an ideal, non permanent way of securing the sign.
Unlike carabiners, these can be fastened relatively securely on a chain link fence. However, they are not as secure as dedicated mounting brackets, and can also be cut by most household tools.
How to Attach a Metal Sign with Cable Ties
- Determine how many holes or slots your sign has, and prepare one to two cable ties per hole.
- Hold the sign firmly onto the chain link fence and insert one cable tie per hole. Fasten the cable tie loosely so that it can still be adjusted.
- After all holes have cable ties, press the sign onto the fence and tighten each cable tie. Once fastened, you may use additional cable ties if the holes permit.
- Cut the excess of the cable tie to keep the sign looking clean.
How Do I Attach A Sign To A Corrugated Metal Fence?
Screwing in your sign with button head screws is the most effective way to attach a sign to a corrugated metal fence. Corrugated metal fences have fewer places to link carabiners and tie cable ties, but button head screws will secure your sign in place very easily, with minimum difficulty.
Screwed In With Button Head Screws
Button head screws can be found commonly in hardware stores, and are a cheap way to mount a metal sign to a corrugated fence. The head of the screw will keep the sign perfectly in place, and will make it hard to steal, and will stay in place even in heavy weather.
How to Use Button Head Screws
- Identify your preferred sign placement on the corrugated metal fence.
- Press the sign on the metal surface and use a level to make sure that the sign is straight.
- While still pressing the sign on the metal surface, mark the sign’s hole placement on the surface. You may use a pencil to make sure that it can easily be removed after the installation process.
- Use a drill with a driver bit to screw the sign into place. Drill the first two screws in a diagonal fashion (upper left screw and lower right screw, or upper right screw and lower left screw). This will ensure that the sign is held into place after just two screws.
- Continue drilling screws into the remaining two holes, making sure that it is not overtightened.
How Do I Add Privacy To A Metal Fence?
To add privacy to a metal fence, you can install fencing slats, grow plants in front of the fence, or plant a vine that will eventually crawl to the fence, among others.
How to Hang a Metal Sign on a Brick Wall
A metal sign or outdoor metal art is a great way to decorate an exterior wall. To hang a metal sign on a brick wall, follow these steps:
- Mark the spot on the brick wall where you want to drill in the hook. Remember that it’s best to drill into the grouting, not the brick itself. If your sign has a wire, be sure to account for hanging.
- Use a masonry drill bit to drill into the grouting, just long enough for the anchor screw. Make sure to point a vacuum cleaner underneath the drill to reduce dust spreading around.
- Feed the anchor screw through the anchor, and use a screwdriver to tighten the screw, making sure the anchor is level.
- Screw until the anchor is tight and level. Hang the metal sign on the hook and adjust until it is level.
Looking for the best way to mount your sign indoors? Read our guide on how to hang metal wall art for all kinds of surfaces.
Graham Dawe is the Managing Director and Works Manager of Kanyana Engineering. With decades of experience in the metal fabrication industry, he is dedicated to keeping Kanyana at the forefront of the sector’s technological growth. Looking beyond the process itself to holistic, integrated CAD, CAM and MRP solutions, Graham believes Australian manufacturing has an enduring place on the global stage. In Kanyana Engineering’s state-of-the-art workshop in Mandurah, WA, Graham delivers an exceptional standard of work for commercial, industrial and government clients alike.