Thursday, February 7, 2013

Wedding DIY: pallet sign

I take back every time I ever said "this is my favorite DIY" because THIS, what you will see below, is my favorite DIY to date. I love art in different mediums, and there's just something about a pallet sign that makes me happy. The thing is, the markup on these things on etsy is out of control. 
I will say, after completing one I now understand the sellers are charging for labor, because holy tedious. 

I based my particular sign off a few different pins on Pinterest. 
The font and layout were inspired by this one:

I didn't even realize the pin was from a now-defunct etsy seller until just now. 
Nevertheless, this was what I was going for. 
There are tons of DIY's on Pinterest for "pallet signs"... but instead of attempting to locate and dismantle an actual pallet, I went to Home Depot and picked up 6 pieces of balsam in their lumber department that were the exact size of the strips you'll see in the project and required zero cutting. They were about $1.69 a piece. I then bought a thinner piece of the same type of wood that I cut for the back braces. That also was $1.69 or so. 

Total for this project $14.50 (including a sprite purchased at checkout). 
I had the nails, 
I had the black paint and cream paint from other projects (a quart each). 

Here's the finished product:


I love her. 

Now to the "how to"...

1. Assemble your wood into strips.

Because my wood was store bought, I wanted to offset the "newness" of it by not perfectly lining up my pieces of wood. If you look in the finished product photo, you can see they're uneven.

2. Nail your braces into the wood.

If you were going to do this project right, I'd recommend getting wood screws about 1/8 an inch smaller than the width of the brace and strips of wood combined.
BUT I was intensely impatient and discovered that we did not have short enough wood screws, so I just used finishing nails.
After nailing from back to front, the wood didn't seem 100% stable, so I then nailed from front to back to reinforce it.
This is why you can see nail heads in the first picture. I don't mind though, I think it looks more rustic.

3. If you want, paint the wood a base color. 

I had a paint color called "parchment"that matched some of our wedding colors (we're just using tans, creams, black and white.
I applied SUCH a thin layer of it (because I wanted it to look worn and still show the wood grain).
You could also take sandpaper to it when you're done to distress it.
Let dry, and then start on the letters.

4. Print lettering off computer in the actual size it will appear on the sign and trace onto wood.

[I used THIS lettering technique from another pallet sign tutorial.]

In the bottom of the above photo you can see a tiny bit of the printed letters. They were around size 200 font,  and I used Edwardian Script and Century (I believe).
Cut close enough to the letters that you can estimate the layout, but still have some white space around the letters.
Take a black sharpie and very slowly trace the outside of all the letters, moving slow enough so the marker bleeds through and leaves a faint outline on the wood that you can paint in.

Like this:


[If you're wondering why the "Love" is so dark, it's because I commissioned Matt to help on that word. At the risk of not doing it dark ENOUGH, he overcompensated. After a few sighs and "there has to be a faster way to do this's" I relieved him of his duty. Bless him for trying.]

5. Paint in the letters using a small paintbrush.

[You can see the thin layer of base paint in the above shot really well. Makes it look worn.]

And again, the finished product.

I think I'm going to utilize the other side of the sign for something else wedding related, too.
Maybe a "pick a seat, not a side" sign.


  1. You're amazing!! That sign looks incredible! I can't wait to see your wedding complete :)

  2. Every blogger is beautiful but you are my favorite.

  3. OMG I love this!! I am so going to use this idea for the nursery!!! Good job Kelly!!!!

  4. You make it look so easy I almost want to go make one this afternoon!

  5. My favorite part of this whole thing: "including a sprite purchased at checkout." And this is why you're awesome.

    Looks great Kelly!

  6. OMG! It's SO CUTE! And you can totally hang that up in your house after! SO CUTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. what a great job. I love it! I can't believe how cheap everything was.

  8. this looks SO great! i think about all of the DIY projects you have completed and i am convinced you will have one of the sweetest weddings!

  9. OH MY GOSH. It turned about amazing. Good for you, lady! I can't wait to see all of your craftiness come together on your big day. :)

  10. I love love love love this! soooo cute!
    can you make me one??? :)

  11. It looks great! you did an awesome job. But it looks super detail oriented, I don't know that I am patient enough to paint in each letter

  12. Love this!! I can't wait to see everything at your wedding. It's going to look amazing!

  13. Wow congrats in your love story. I now believe that there is a forever
    liquidation pallets