My husband brought home some wood this past summer from a coworker’s old fence, and its been sitting in our room collecting dust. I saw the pallet signs back on Pinterest a while ago and thought what a fun and cheap craft. I love the level of customization that comes with DIY projects like these. You can literally do anything to the wood, and you’re left with a beautiful piece to accent your home. Getting into the Spring season, I rediscovered the planks of wood and decided to take on the project.
Here is a list of things you’ll need:
Some kind of wood (Recycled pallets works best, but I used parts of a wooden fence)
Acrylic Paint (White, silver, and black)
The first thing that you’ll want to do is cut your wood to the desired size. We chose to have the boards roughly the same size. Very roughly, I like the dimension it gives to have the planks be a little off in size. I’m not your modern-day Rosie the Riveter, so I left the hardware work to the husband. We used a small hand-held wood saw that we got on sale at a local hardware store. Line the saw up with your shoulder, and saw the wood using even and controlled strokes. When you get halfway across the plank, flip the wood and start from the other side, so the ends don’t splinter.
After cutting the wood to size, we decided to sand the wood. Our wood was old fence posts, so it was necessary to do some kind of sanding to reduce the risk of splinters. We started to sand it by hand with 50 grit sandpaper. However, this was too time consuming, so we purchased a little electric hand sander. This proved to be a big improvement on the quality and time it took to finish. We also sanded the ends to prevent future splintering.
For this project, we decided we wanted to arrange the boards horizontally. We took two smaller pieces of wood and screwed them into the back side to keep the planks together. You can get small strips of wood at your local hardware store, but we ended up just using some of the wood that we had. We spaced them the same height, perpendicular to the boards. A third board was necessary to help stabilize the sign. To create a hanger, drill two screws with washers into the wood holding the planks together. Leave a little space between the washer and wood for the wire needed to create the hanger. Wrap wire around screws, leaving a little slack to create an arc.
Now its my turn to get creative and paint the wood. I painted about 3 coats of white onto the entire wood sign, mostly because I was undecided with what I wanted to do with the sign. Then, I remembered ombre and how cool it would look with a quote written in white. I checked out what paint I had on hand and only came up with black, metallic silver, and a few pastel colors. I wished that the silver was a grey, but it actually looks kind of cool with one of the middle pallets shiny. For the second row, I used a very light coat of silver on top of the while. For the next four pallets, I painted two coats of paint, waiting about a half hour between each coat. The third row down consisted of two coats of silver paint. The next row needed to be a little darker than the silver, so I made a mixture of 1 part black to 2 parts silver and applied two coats. For the fifth row, I created a mixture of equal parts black and silver to make a charcoal grey. I painted the last pallet black.
After painting the sign, its time to write in your quote. I used the quote “And all of the stars will guide us home.” Once I saw this quote, I knew it’d be perfect for a home piece. I chose to draw my quote freehand. I like the authenticity and the perfect imperfections of a hand drawn piece. If you choose to freehand and lack some sense of coordination, like myself, I suggest sketching it out on a piece of scrap paper a few times before you commit to painting it on. I’m super OCD, so I figured it would be best to write a line on each plank. This also made it easy to clean up mistakes. The benefits of painting the wood rather than leaving it natural or staining it is that it is easy to clean up your mistakes. I’m a novice painter, so I used the color of the pallet to clean up the lines on the writing.
Once your painted piece dries, you are left with an authentic (and affordable!) piece of artwork for your home! I love these pieces the best as they’re not mass-produced, but unique pieces that only you have.