Picture of Easy picture frame from pallet wood

This is a ridiculously simple, quick-and-dirty picture frame made from pallet wood.

I built it to display this old motorcycle license plate, but the same approach could be used to make a frame for just about anything.

You only need a few basic tools to make this. However, a 3D printer or laser engraver could come in handy if you want something stylish to rest your beverage on while you work. That's completely optional, or course.

This is not a traditional picture frame in any sense other than general appearance. But it's just about perfect for framing up some ratty old thing that you think is too cool and unique to throw away.

I hope you make one! Let me know if you do.

Thanks for taking a look.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

You will need a couple of pallet slats (or any other wood, really). I chose to use some rough old pallet slats because I thought they would compliment the license plate nicely.

You will also need some kind of flat material for a backing piece which will hold everything together. I used a scrap piece of 1/4" MDF.

Thin plywood or even sturdy cardboard would also work great. The only requirement is that this backing piece be a couple inches bigger all around than what you want the open display area of the frame to be, and smaller than the overall finished frame.

The pallet slats I used were very clean. If you have pallet wood that is dirty, give it a good scrub with water and a stiff brush and allow it to dry thoroughly before proceeding.

tthomas108 months ago

ive tried to get the mitres right, no matter how hard i try i cant get the wood straight so when cut and joined its seemless. I dont think its possible!! its very frustrating!

seamster (author)  tthomas108 months ago

Perfect, seamless miter joints are highly elusive, so I understand your frustration!

So, for this type of project done with pallet boards, I'd say "close" is good enough!

ctx19859 months ago

Great looking frame! I'm getting my dad a license plate from his birth year and this frame will be perfect for it!

seamster (author)  ctx19859 months ago

Very cool idea. If/when you get it done, I'd love to see how it turns out!

ctx1985 seamster9 months ago

I will definitely post a pic when I get it done! Thanks again for the great idea!

ThisIsMyNameOK11 months ago

Stupid Question: Where can I get old pallets to use? I have a couple of projects I would like to do that I could use pallet slats for, if I had some pallets.

seamster (author)  ThisIsMyNameOK11 months ago

Nope, good question! It totally depends on where you live. I picked a couple up from some kind of warehouse in an industrial park near where I live. If you know anyone that works hard for a living (anyone not behind a computer, ahem), they will more than likely have access to plenty, or at least know of some warehouse that has a pile out back. Just ask, and most places will give you a couple.

Okay, great. Now I just have to go and and find someone who works for a living and get to know them.

I missed out on a good one a little while ago. I was out for a walk and saw a huge pallet sitting next to a dumpster. Would have been enough wood to build a planter (one of the things I want to do). But I didn't get back to get it. Or rather, couldn't get anyone to take me back to get it. I really need to learn how to drive.... To bad there isn't an Instructable for that.

seamster (author)  ThisIsMyNameOK10 months ago

That "works hard for a living" line was a jab at myself, and myself only. :)

I used to have manly calloused hands, but they've turned soft due to my camping out by a computer all day!

inklayer1 year ago

Very nice and rustic is in! This would be cool for house numbers or displaying kitchen items or bathroom art.

Kathy681 year ago

Cool idea!!!

What a great way to use pallets!

boludes261 year ago
You are from puerto rico?
seamster (author)  boludes261 year ago
No, but I lived there for a little while. It's a pretty place, but way too hot for me!
Wow wow
lj1vukoder1 year ago
This is so simple and rustic, but smashingly beautiful! I love it!