For U.S. Readers: Free Coroplast Grids!

It's Election Day, when the whole world gets a look inside the sausage factory that is the United States democratic process. If you are reading this from somewhere the USA, please remember to vote.

But more important, don't forget to help clean up any coroplast campaign signs that are still standing in your area tomorrow.

They are nothing but landfill fodder after the polls close, and they make great DIY gridspot raw material. Black is best (no internal reflections) but white is doable, too. Avoid colors - they give you a color cast.

In fact, Strobist reader Leann has a neat little tutorial for making coroplast gridspots that make my little cardboard jobbies look like crap.

The advantage to my version was that they were free. But it's practically raining free coroplast tomorrow morning, and you certainly don't wanna miss out on that.


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Blogger genex magazine said...

Ah democracy at it's best - I gotta find some tomorrow. There's also that AIGA Polling Place photo project:

November 07, 2006 12:17 AM  
Anonymous BobSam said...

I use them for cd mailers. Cut them into squares large enough for the cd to fit between two squares. Use shipping/strapping tape to seal them together. Weight is low enough that postage is only 63 cents. makes a very rigid and safe mailer.

November 07, 2006 1:56 AM  
Blogger Rod MacPherson said...

For the readers in Ontario the big day is Nov. 13, so if you Americans can't get your hands on some tomorrow and you are near the border hop on over to Ontario on the 14th and help us clean up the left over signs.

November 07, 2006 2:27 AM  
Anonymous lightnewb said...

not only do they make good light diffusers but the ones with white backs can be made into lightboxes and others can be spraypainted for different colored Back grounds in said boxes and you can also glue em together to make rather large light reflectors, paint any color and do tons of creative things with em...for free no less!

November 07, 2006 7:27 AM  
Anonymous lightnewb said...

hey Rod from CANADA.. your lucky, for the next week you get to see whats being made out of these signs and by the time you guys get them youll have ideas, instructions and everything ready to go!

November 07, 2006 7:29 AM  
Anonymous Chad said...

I really like the black foam addition. It gives it a finished look and is a very practical way to get it to stick to the flash. I may add that to my cardboard grids.


November 07, 2006 8:55 AM  
Blogger Raven said...

If you want to be annoying to the annoyers...

In most US cities, those coroplast signs (not just political, but the weight-loss and make money from home ones, too) placed at the side of the road or tacked onto utility poles are there illegally.

You don't have to wait for election day to take them down... you can snap them up any time you like and it's not only legal, it's cleaning up litter.

November 07, 2006 1:24 PM  
Anonymous Andrew Ferguson said...

That coroplast tutorial is hella useful! Thanks for posting :)

November 07, 2006 7:24 PM  
Blogger Bryan said...

I will be heading out shortly to cover tonight's elections. I will now look at all those campaign signs in an entirely different light. I can't wait to try my hand at making my own grid. Thanks for the terrific tutorial!

November 07, 2006 7:49 PM  
Anonymous ishootblue said...

I envy you americans on election day with those mountains of free Coroplast. All we get in the UK are politicians knocking on your door and handing out leaflets ... try making a grid out of that ;)

Joking apart, the tutorials are pretty great and have been very inspirational. I will be making some grids of my own once i get my hands on some Correx (UK equivalent).

November 08, 2006 4:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually in public right of ways, you can post signs. That's why you can put up for sale, service and such.

November 08, 2006 12:10 PM  
Anonymous sitbonzo said...

I popped into a sign making shop today. One place wanted £6 per estate agent size board! I tried somewhere else and got it for free :-) enough for 3 of us.

November 09, 2006 3:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the only problem with corex is after its been screen printed you cant do much of anything else with it because that ink is impossable to get off unless of cores your going to paint over the printing or something like that

August 14, 2007 12:48 PM  
Blogger Skavoovie said...

Before you go buying this stuff from a vendor:

Actually, Anonymous poster #1 is correct.

In most U.S. cities, street spam signs are in fact illegal by city ordinance, and you can remove / take them legally - they are legally considered LITTER - just like an empty McDonalds cup on the side of the road.

Many larger U.S. cities actually have a staff dedicated to getting rid of these illegal eye-sores, paid for by our tax dollars.

Heck, a couple U.S. cities have even begun a fund-raising program for Boy Scouts -- such as Garland, TX. They pay the Boy Scouts 25 cents per sign they turn in. They require it to be done in an organized, supervised, safe manner, but pay them for every sign they extract and turn in.

Check codes for your city if you care to, although with such ugly street fodder, either way, grabbing a few will only be doing your neighbors a favor.

Citizens Against Ugly Street Spam's FAQ may answer your questions:

December 10, 2007 5:13 PM  
Blogger Tammy Cravit said...

Hi, David,

You can delete this comment when you've read it, but in case you want to pass the pointer along, I found a great source for Coroplast: Beacon Graphics ( has Coroplast in 18x24 inch sheets for $1 a sheet with a 10-sheet minimum order. I didn't see anything on their site that says you have to order all 10 sheets the same color, either.

Tammy ( or

January 27, 2008 7:13 PM  
OpenID cohort said...

Another way to get them for free is to ask your local convenience store or gas station owner. They get lots of coroplast signs that are only useful for a specific period, and will often happily let you get rid of them afterwards.

May 31, 2008 9:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the UK coroplast is known as Correx or Rigilite. Hope this is helpful.

February 26, 2009 12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually Rigilite is made from aluminium. Sorry for any confusion.

February 26, 2009 12:57 PM  
Blogger Chris Miracle said...

Another source for coroplast (Corex, Coroflute, Cadflute, Fluteboard, or Correx in the UK) may be those stationary/storage boxes you get.

February 26, 2009 1:13 PM  
Blogger thegaijin said...

if you're trying to find this in japan, it sells under the name "puradan" (plastic cardboard...)

January 28, 2011 11:46 PM  
Blogger Josh said...

I know this is an old post but man this just made my day.

Being a designer i have lots of random things laying around. While cleaning out our art rooms that moved at school I remembered I had some random pieces of this. So I went and looked, clear, blue, silver, and orange... Then I remembered I made a book with clear as a cover once and I had ordered it specifically for it. The search for the box began. I find it, open it up and two 20x30 pieces of black were in it. i guess i was smart enough when i made the minimum order to get some different colors...

Mine is Elmers Stratacore. I feel like I got it from here, which they still have corrugated plastic but by a different name. you can get sheets of black for $4!!

happy gridding!

August 18, 2011 7:48 PM  

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