Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Pallet Sign Love!

Those of you who follow me on Instagram may have seen a similar photo to this one a few days ago...

That's right - my hunky hubby deconstructing a pallet for me... what a man! He actually helped me take apart three pallets that we picked up from my dad's greenhouses for free this past Saturday. It ended up being a more difficult task than expected, but we turned out being successful in the end!

We originally thought we might just be able to knock the boards apart with a hammer and a crowbar, buuuut no such luck. Spiral nails hold those tough babies together and they didn't budge too easily. So we just got out the saw and sawed them off - it got the job done, as you could imagine.  

Once they were sawed apart on the sides, then we could actually just kind of pound them off the middle piece with a hammer. I had fun helping out with this. Look at that smile on my face - you can tell I'm really enjoying it ;)

And then we trimmed them a bit and sanded them down. And when I say "we" I mean Eric :)

Once we had several good pieces of wood sanded down, I decided that I wanted to pair several of the pieces together to make two different sized square-shaped signs. I kinda staggered the planks to give them a more imperfect look as you can see in the photo below.

As you can see, Eric also kinda took care of that part as well. Are you surprised? ;) He cut two pieces of wood to lay across the backs of each sign and then drilled them onto each of the wood planks to make them stay together securely. If you would like a more detailed explanation for how to do any of the steps that involve power tools, please feel free to email me and I will have Eric kindly respond. I obviously have no idea, as I was more of the creative mastermind behind this project and Eric was the muscle :)

So when we were all done sawing, cutting, sanding, and drilling, this is what we ended up with! One smaller sign made with half planks and one bigger sign using full planks. Pretty awesome huh?

I have future plans to make something for our new house with the bigger one, but I'm waiting to pick out more of the details of our house before I start working on it so that I can match the stain and such. However, the smaller one is complete and I absolutely LOVE how it turned out!

First, to make the wood look a little more weathered, I took the back of a hammer to the wood to pound little dents in it. In hindsight, I suggest doing this at the very end if you plan to create a sign similar to this. After making all these dents, it made the painting and tracing a little more difficult so I'm definitely going to wait to do it until the end next time. Lesson learned.

This sign is actually going to be a wedding gift for a friend so I already knew what I wanted the sign to say, I just had to find a way to organize the text to make it look good on the sign. I created my design on the computer using a program called Gimp, a free program that you can just download from their site - it works like a charm for stuff like this. The fonts I used were all free downloads as well and I just kinda played around with the words until I found text combinations and size combinations that I liked. 

I originally planned to use a different method I had seen on Pinterest to transfer the design I created onto the wood, but my dear husband had a better idea. He suggested that we use the resources available to us and project the image from the computer and onto the sign so that I could just trace it. BRILLIANT! My husband works at our church so we just borrowed the projector for a few minutes and it worked extremely well. I know that not all of you have access to projectors, but there are other ways to do this as well, this just happened to be the most convenient for us. 

After I traced everything in pencil onto the wood, I used a small paintbrush to paint in the word LOVE, as it was pretty large and could be painted pretty easily. I didn't dare to use a brush on the smaller words though so I broke down and bought a paint pen to do that part. I had to retrace several times to get the white to show up bright enough, but it ended up looking pretty good in the end.

Don't mind the little pink sticky note that I was using as my paint pen tester or the fact that I was munching on animal cookies while putting the finishing touches on... if the photo showed what's behind me you would also see a can of Diet Coke on the coffee table. Gotta fuel the munchies with projects like these!

And finally, the finished product! I seriously love it and I really hope my friend does too. She's definitely going to see this before the wedding day, but I kinda already warned her cuz I couldn't stand not sharing it on the blog for another two weeks!

Awkward photo of me holding it...

And here's another one that I quick threw together for our apartment which is definitely moving with us to the new house as well. 

I painted this one white first and then actually used a black sharpie to color in the black letters. Unfortunately, I wrecked a couple of Sharpies in the process so I bought a black paint pen immediately afterwards. I'm definitely gonna use that next time instead to prevent more unnecessary Sharpie deaths.

So my big question for all of you... would you buy a pallet sign like these? I'm seriously considering trying to start selling them either through Facebook, Craigslist, or Etsy but I'm not sure if there would be enough interest in them. Let me know what you think and please let me know if you have any suggestions for how to best go about selling them if I do decide to go this route. I would love your feedback! And Jess - let me know what you think of your wedding gift! ;)


  1. Lauren, love the signs. I would buy one, I think you could sell them!

  2. I think you should help me make one!!!

  3. Kristi - thank you! If you'd really like to buy one and have something specific in mind, please let me know!

    And Jackie - let's do it! :)

  4. I would definitely be interested in purchasing one!