DIY house number tiles

Happy New Year, everyone! Sorry for my long absence. One of my New Year Resolutions is to blog more often, so here it goes. This is a project I finished more than two years ago. I finally got around to blogging about it. I hope you like it.


Inspired by house numbers spotted at a salvage yard.

A reader, Josie, emailed me quite a while ago asking for uses for leftover tiles. Subway tile nameplates was the first idea that came to mind, but I also thought 4-inch tiles would make excellent house numbers.

The idea was inspired by the house number tiles (at left) that Sarah from Sunset magazine found at a salvage yard years ago. She described them as “sunny and Parisian,” which is the look I tried to achieve with my Santiago numbers (above).

I had so much fun creating DIY house numbers that I got a little carried away. I finally stopped at 10 different sets. I based my Santiago house numbers on Karen Barbé’s gorgeous handcrafted textiles. I designed Stanford for the university town in which I used to live. Apple is a tribute to the late Steve Jobs, modeled after the classic keys of an Macintosh computer keyboard. Treehugger is for all you folks who love natural wood. New York is based on the actual colors and numbers of the NYC subway lines (except, of course, that an 8 line and 0 line don’t actually exist). Any guesses on what Squirrel is based?

10 House number designs

Download all these designs below after the jump.

How to make house number tiles

Supplies for house number tiles

Supplies and tools

Cut out & glue on

1. Cut out your house numbers. Be sure to cut off the black lines. Apply a generous coat of Outdoor Mod Podge directly to the tile, then position the paper design on top. Using a brayer, your fingers, or the side of a pen, smooth down the design. Flip the tile over and apply more glue to the underside of the paper edges that are sticking out. Use your fingers to wrap the edges around and smooth them down. Smooth out the excess glue. Repeat for all tiles. Let dry 10-15 minutes.

Paint two top coats

2. Apply two more coats of the glue on the top of the designs, letting dry 15-20 minutes between coats. Let dry overnight.

UV resistant top coat

3. Apply two topcoats of clear coat to seal and protect your designs from UV and moisture damage. Allow to dry 20-30 minutes between coats. Let dry overnight.

Affix mounting squares

4. Affix one mounting square to each corner on the back of the tile. Secure to the wall of your house. You’ll want to hang them in a covered area out of the weather because, while they are water and UV resistant, they are neither waterproof nor sun proof. And I haven’t yet tested their longevity.

Download the designs

Choose just one set of numbers—or mix and match from different sets!

Santiago house numbers

Download SANTIAGO »

New York house numbers

Download NEW YORK »

Golf house numbers

Download GOLF »

Crop house numbers

Download CROP »

Download ATHENS »


Apple house numbers

Download APPLE »

Stanford house numbers

Download STANFORD »

Jazz house numbers

Download JAZZ »

Squirrel house numbers

Download SQUIRREL »