Introduction: DIY Pallet Sign

About: Husband to a great wife, father to my baby girl, and child of the one true king. 9-5er during the day and woodworker the rest of the time. Follow along as I offer tips, tricks, and woodworking plans. I star…

This Instructable walks you through making a pallet sign. You'll need a pallet (obvious right?) and a few basic tools.

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Tools Used:


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Step 1: Breaking Down a Pallet

My initial efforts of breaking down my pallet were less than fruitful. The approach of prying the boards off left me with a lot of split pieces of wood. So maybe don’t go this route…

What I ended up doing was using a reciprocating saw to cut through the nails that hold each board to the cross members.

Step 2: Layout

I didn't want this sign to be gigantic, so I picked just a few pieces from the stack to give me the look I was after.

To keep with the theme of rough pallet wood, I chose a piece for the top and bottom that was split and then a full width piece for the center. I played with the arrangement until I was happy with the look.

Step 3: Assembly

Before I screwed the pallet sign together, I broke out the sander and smoothed off the edges and sides of each board. Just a few quick passes with a 120 grit disc was all it needed.

I cut two strips from some extra pallet wood to roughly 1" wide and screwed each of the boards to them. I pre-drilled and countersunk the holes to prevent the screws from splitting the wood.

3/4" flat head screws were used to assemble this sign.

Once things were assembled, I hit the entire pallet sign with the sander. I only used 120 grit and gave it a scant sanding so that most of the "character" is retained.

Step 4: Stain + How to Hang

I used Minwax's Jacobean stain for this sign. I applied it liberally, and once the stain had soaked in for a few minutes I blotted the surfaces. This helped to create an uneven finish. After that, I followed up with the sander to remove some finish around the edges and across the surface.

There are a few ways you could hang this sign. I kept it cheap and simple by using fishing line tied through 1/8″ holes I drilled in the strips on the back.

Step 5: Graphic Transfer

There are many options for transferring your graphics, with the most popular being a vinyl overlay; I don't have the equipment for that so the method I chose was a graphite transfer.

Since I couldn't find my carbon transfer paper, I achieved this by rubbing the back of a paper print out with a pencil and then traced the pattern. With the design transferred I ready to paint the logo. You can barely see the outline I had to follow here.

Step 6: Paint!

I used some detail brushes from my wife's painting supplies (with permission, of course) to do the lettering. I used Behr paint that was color matched to Benjamin Moore's Simply White.

Let me say that while I'm very meticulous and detail oriented, this kind of painting is not my forte. The texture of the boards didn't play well with my lack of paint brush mastery. But by the end of painting the word "process" I was into a rhythm of accepting "good enough" and "that doesn't look half bad."

This project wasn't too difficult and I think it turned out great!

Thanks for reading y'all! If you want to see more content like, find me across the web!

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