DIY Rustic Pallet Sign

I love words.  I have for most of my life.  Once I had decorating rights to my own room, you could see it on my walls.  The words that were meaningful for the season I was walking through were framed in card stock and hung where I could see them.  Not much has changed.  Except now I have a house I can decorate and I use heftier materials than card stock.  🙂

Most of the art pieces in my house now are pieces I created that tell the story of a season when God intervened and I don’t want to forget the lesson.  This one is no exception.

For quite a few years, I’ve wanted a sign that says “Give Thanks” but couldn’t find one I liked since most of them involve a turkey and fall colors – which wasn’t the look I wanted.  So, when Caleb offered me an old (free!) pallet, I got a bit excited.

I decided to put Psalm 118:1 (NLT) on the sign for two reasons.  One – because I need the reminder to give thanks.  I so often gripe, complain, and forget the blessings God has covered me with.  Gratitude tends to change my perspective and brighten my day.  Second – because “faithfulness” and God’s faithful love have been key words throughout our married life.  We have story after story of where God has come through when it didn’t look like things were going to work.  As I remember those, I gain fresh hope for the difficult things I’m facing now.

Here are step-by-step instructions should you want to make your own sign!

1. Disassemble the Pallet

I was totally prepared to exercise my brute strength to do this, but when Caleb looked at me with terror in his eyes when I requested a crowbar from his shop, I told him I was fine if he loaned me some muscles with the crowbar.  Word to the wise – life is a whole lot more relaxed if you get the muscles to come with the crowbar and just get to watch the show!

Free pallet!!

Caleb taking apart the pallet

My chosen boards

2.  Paint the base coats on the wood

I have a standard set of four main colors that I’ve used as accents throughout my house – so these weren’t  difficult to choose.  I chose four boards, and painted each of the boards a different color from my palette.  Caleb came in to observe my progress and had a great suggested I paint each board in 2 colors so when I sanded you could see the other color peaking through.  I figured it was worth a try and layered up.  I ended up painting the teal on top of the green for one board and the green on top of the teal for another and then switching out the coral and cranberry the same way.

The painted boards

3.  Sand

I started with a small square of hand sandpaper and decided that I didn’t have the time to sit for several hours and sand to get everything to look the way I wanted.  I borrowed the power sander from Caleb’s shop and knocked out the sanding in just a few minutes.  I love the way the paint layering turned out!

The power sander

4.  Add lettering

My favorite (cheap) method for getting lettering onto whatever I’m painting is pretty simple.  I  print out the lettering and draw a line with a ruler under my letters so I can align them when I’m transferring more than one sheet in a row.

My printed sheets (you can see my line under the words if you look closely)

Then, I color the back of the paper with a pencil where the lettering is located.

Pencil on the back of the printed paper

I place the paper onto my art piece pencil-side down and trace over the top of the letters with my pencil or a ballpoint pen.  You have to apply enough pressure to get the pencil to transfer, but it usually works like a charm.

Tracing on the letters

Then I can go over the area I transferred with paint.

If you look close, you can see where the pencil transferred

5.  Assemble and hang!

I recruited Caleb again for this step.  He was kind enough to cut two of the pallet boards down to length so they could act as supports for the back to hold the wood together.  Then he screwed the whole thing together and added a wire to the back so we could hang it.

Mr. Awesome screwing it all together!

The backside with the wire added for hanging

The finished product!

Hope you enjoy making your own rustic pallet sign!

Much love,


  1. This is so clever but it demonstrates a cooperative effort in marriage between you and Caleb. You’re also correct that you like words and use them well in your sign and your instructions. I hope this will be the first of many more. Love, Jan (Martha’s friend)

    • Janine

      April 24, 2017 at 5:13 pm

      Thank you, Jan! You are correct – Caleb is truly a gift and I’m so grateful to have him in my life! Blessings!

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