January 12, 2012

Pallet Gone Artsy

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I have been fascinated by projects I've seen using the ordinary pallet reclaimed as 
something beautiful and was on the search for some pallets so I could start creating.

In my spare time when my husband is off work, we sometimes
find cool junk out on the streets. This was my lucky day. These
pallets were laying outside abandoned in our downtown. 
Yes, that is in fact 3 pallets
rigged to the top of our little hatchback. 

Side note: People sometime ask us how we have 2
kids without a van and I tell them we survive just fine-and sometimes
can even fit furniture inside/on top of it. (You should have seen our car
when we left IKEA! When there's a will there's a way...ha ha...)

Ok, back to the story: So, we found these pallets and since we always drive around
prepared with bungee cords and rope, we tied them up and they got home just fine.
The first project I got to make with them was a gift request for "local art".

Here's what I used to make this project:

  • one pallet plank
  • wire
  • 4x6 photos of zoomed in letters (one letter on each photo)
  • staple gun
  • sander and sandpaper
  • wire cutters or Dremel with cutting attachment
  • foam board
  • exacto knife
  • matte Mod Podge
  • small craft paint  brush
To start the project, we took zoomed in and took photos of lettering around our city
on local businesses. We used it as a fun walking scavenger hunt for with the boys. 
(see, this is how you fit in projects with kids and teach them their A,B,C's...)

After getting the photos printed, (we used 4x6's) and gently prying off the pallet plank 
with the back of a hammer,  we were ready to get started:

First, I lightly sanded my pallet plank to soften and lighten up the appearance.

Then, I traced each photo onto foam board.

I cut the foam board rectangle with an exacto knife. This would be the backing
for the photos. (Make sure you protect the surface underneath by cutting on a mat or cardboard.
 I just used a cutting board because that's what I had laying around.)

I evenly spaced out each piece of foam board onto the pallet,
 then used a staple gun to secure them into place.

After the foam board pieces were secure, I brushed a light, even layer of
matte Mod Podge onto the foam board. 
I then placed the photos onto the foam board, careful not to get
any Mod Podge onto the photo, lining them up evenly with the foam board
 and smoothing with a tissue.

For the next step, we needed two people. We wrapped wire
tightly around the pallet in an x shape in the front. I held it in place while
Jeff used the staple gun to secure it in place. 

When it came time to cut the wire, our wire cutter wasn't doing the trick, 
so I pulled out my new Dremel with the cutting attachment. 
It worked really fast, but be prepared for sparks if you try this. 
And wear safety goggles! Yikes!

Here's the finished sign showing off some hometown love! We were so happy with the mix of rustic, industrial, and modern styles. Perfect for the loft apartment where it's going.  I want to try this idea for my own house with other words spelled out, maybe hanging vertically with family photos?

So many possibilities when you take the humble pallet and turn it into art. I can't wait to do a headboard with the rest of them, and whatever else I come up with. Well, what do you think? Are you in love with pallets too? And have you ever made anything from them?

Thanks for visiting ReMadeSimple!  Looking forward to showing off some more of my repurposing and thrifty decorating projects in the near future. I hope you come back to visit and if you love what you see here, please consider staying connected via Google friend connect, Facebook or Twitter on my sidebar to the right!

Linking up with these parties and this party.


  1. cool sign! i really like it. thanks so much for sharing it!
    {love} lauryn @

  2. Visiting from Whipperberry. Love this! What an awesome idea!!

  3. Newest follower! Found you over at Romantic Homes! We both have the exact same amount of followers!! AND like to re-purpose, recycle and such! :)

  4. Cute! Is that Toledo Ohio? :) That's close to where I live!

  5. very neat idea! I am going to remember this one. :)

  6. Thanks everyone! I plan on making more-also a great gift idea :)

  7. Pinned!! Another awesome project and lovely photos!!

  8. This is super cool! Love it... and even love it for non-reclaimed wood... You could distress some wood from the big box store and achieve a cool look too!

  9. Lovely! A really nice new twist for my beloved pallet boards is always welcome! Gorgeous photography too... I've snooped around. Your hubby is REALLY GOOD. :)

    I've shared this on FJI Facebook and pinned for SNS 116. :)


    1. Thank you so much!! I'm impressed by all your pallet creations too!

  10. Pinning it!! Lovin all your ideas...:-)

  11. Thank you everyone-snooping is welcome and encouraged!! It's been really fun figuring out different projects pallets/salvage wood-yes you could also distress newer wood to make it look fabulously shabby!

  12. I love the rustic/industrial mix. Its fabulous!

  13. This is ridiculously wonderful and I featured it today! Come take a look and grab a button!

  14. I LOVE this!! I do a little letter photography myself, and am envious of this display idea :o)

  15. Oh my! I have a PILE of pallets I've been wanting to use for signs and this idea will be my first! Love it! Pinning it!

  16. This is so cool. I love the use of the letters. Great Job!

  17. That looks really cool! GOod job!

  18. Very cool! Thanks for linking to Thrifty Thursday!

  19. I just love this idea! Thank you for sharing!

  20. WOW!I love LOVE this! Super creative and a classic piece!

  21. I am reading this at work and there are 3 pallets about to go into the dumpster back in the warehouse RIGHT NOW. I have walked by them quite a few times, wondering if there's anything I could do with them, or if I want to be *that person* who tries taking our garbage home with me, LOL. What a timely read!! :D


    1. Pretty funny! Have fun creating and thanks for stopping by!

  22. This is really creative! Followed over here from FunkyJunk... Love this piece!

    Would love to have you submit it on our {very first} party here too if you'd like!

  23. You were featured tonight!!!!

  24. Hello, fellow Ohioan :) My parents and some of my family live near Toledo. I'm near Columbus. This is an amazing project. I've been wanting to do the letter thing for my kids' rooms...but never would have thought to do this! I'm pinning this one! Thanks!

    1. Hi! Small world! I want to make more with different words on them-lots of possibilities-thanks for stopping by and have fun creating!

  25. Featured you b/c you totally ROCK!!! XO, Aimee

    1. Thank you so much Aimee! Your support has really been wonderful!

  26. I definitely want to try making this! What an awesome idea. Thanks for following me on TurtandElephant! I found you through Aimee at

    1. Thanks, Emily-I plan on making more, too! You're welcome-I really love your blog too!


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