Saturday, February 28, 2009

Platform 9 3/4 - The Sign

I knew I wanted a Platform 9 3/4 sign so I found the one in the movie, paused it, took a digital picture with my camera and then printed it on paper. I actually used this technique a lot and found it extremely helpful even if the picture quality wasn't great.

The sign from the movie.

To make my sign I picked up a piece of plywood at Michael's that was about the dimensions I wanted, no cutting required. I had Steve drill holes for hanging it before I started painting, good thing since it tore the wood a bit. I painted the whole sign with house primer. It bowed the wood on the first coat but it bowed back in place when I painted the back. Over the primer I used acrylic craft paint for the entire thing. Because it is a thin paint it required several coats for each of the steps but I was able to get a fairly smooth finish that way.

Then I found a bowl that was about the size of circle I wanted and penciled it in place. I painted the circle white. Then I hand lettered the 9 3/4 with pencil on top of the dry white circle. I then painted that with black acrylic craft paint.

Next I used a yardstick and pencil to mark where my gold frame would be.

I painted the entire sign red up to the circle and the lines for the gold frame as well as the back of the sign.

After the red was dry I painted the gold frame.
The lettering was tricky. I knew I wouldn't get the spacing right if I did it by hand so I typed the words Hogwarts Express in Microsoft Word using Perpetua Titling MT font 180pt and formatted it as an outline. I then printed onto paper on landscape mode. I did a chalk line with the yardstick where I wanted the bottom of my lettered. Then I taped the lettering where I wanted it onto the sign. Then traced the outline firmly with ballpoint pen, elongating the R's to look more like the font from the movie. That left enough of a mark that I could then trace over with a Sharpie. Then I painted inside the lettering with a super fine brush and the gold acrylic craft paint.

I painted the black circle around the white circle freehand as there really is no other way.
When it was all dry I painted the entire sign with several coats of Varathane Waterbased Diamond Wood Floor Finish because I knew the sign would hang outside and it could rain.

I had some black curtain rings that I used to hang the sign with and purchase 1 1/2ft of black chain from Lowe's that I attached to those. This allowed me to hang the sign simply over a hook. Much simpler than the wall mount used in the move sign.

My sign being painted.

The finished sign.

*Edited 8/20/10 to say that for a period of time Warner Brothers had 9 3/4 signs for sale. If you can find one for sale, on E-bay maybe, save yourself the time and just buy one.


  1. This is great! I'm planning a party on the day of the Midnight Premiere, and I want to have signs to label the rooms as places in the Wizarding World. Your website is giving me some great ideas!

  2. This is so beautiful. You should be really proud. Also, you are such a lovely mommy for doing all of this for your little girl :)

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  7. When I am at a train station I secretly hope I will see someone going in the wall.
    meet and greet Luton

  8. I'm a proud mudblood and I am a slytherin.

    1. I'm gryffindor, still, Snape was a very sad death for us all, Slytherin or not