Chloe’s Pallet Sign

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My wife Erika picked these letters up before our daughter was born a little over a year ago. She got them painted and planned on putting them up on the wall. That never happened so it became my task to turn them into a “pallet” sign.

This project is super easy and could be done very fast and with little to no cost.

Things You’ll Need:

  1. A pallet. (You’ll only need one pallet unless you are making a giant sign, then you’ll have to figure that out.)
  2. Letters. (You can either do what my wife did and purchase a few letters from a local hobby store or you can make your own. If you want to do it on the cheap, you could just cut out letters from a section of pallet wood or even paint them directly onto the board as seen in this project.)
  3. Backer board. (If you have any scrap lying around just use that. Optionally, you could use some other slats left over from the pallet. The backer board is really just to help hold everything together. I used some 1/4″ hard board which was really just some left over wainscoting.)
  4. *Paint. (You’ll probably want a color for your letters and maybe some black for painting the backer board so you don’t see the cracks in between the boards.)
  5. *Craft Paper. (I put some craft paper on the back of my sign to help protect my walls from the back side of the screws.)
  6. *Hanging Hardware. (If you plan on hanging it on a wall, you’ll have to figure something out on the cheap or spend a few bucks and get some hardware at a store.)
  7. *Glue. (I used some liquid nails because that’s what I had and it is a pretty good gap filler. I’m sure you could use other types of glue and maybe even no glue but I wouldn’t be banging it around with no glue holding it together.)
*Optional
There are legal and illegal ways to get pallets so make sure you choose wisely and that the pallets you want are up for grabs. You may have to cut them to size depending on your design and the length of your words. For my project, the standard pallet length worked just fine.
I’m not going into great detail on how to disassemble your pallets, if you haven’t figured it out yet you can do a quick search on YouTube and find tons of ways. I used a reciprocating saw and cut the nails holding the planks on but you pick the way that works for you.
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After you have all of the supplies assembled, the first thing you’ll need to do is to get things painted. I would suggest painting either the entire backer board black or at least some strips where the joints in the pallet wood is going to be. Unless you will be getting a straight edge on your planks, you will probably have gaps. The black paint on the backer board is an easy way to hide those.
After you’ve figured out your design and have everything laid out, the final assembly can begin. I started off by putting down some glue on the backer board where the planks would be resting. I ended up using a bit too much and had a little squeeze out that I had to clean up but I guess that’s better than not using enough.
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Now that the glue is on, you’re committed to finishing this sign so get everything laid back out. I used a small piece of straight wood to help align all of my letters. I then moved each letter one at a time and drilled some pilot holes. This way each letter along with the backer board and glue will help hold everything together to make it nice and solid.
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After you get the pilot holes drilled through each plank and backer board for the first letter, it’s time to screw it on. I used 1 1/4″ screws and put at least three into each letter. (One through each plank.) Using the pilot holes as a guide, hold the letters down and screw the letters down from behind. Continue this until you get all of the letters done and you should end up with a pretty solid sign.
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At this point the sign is pretty much done. Actually, if you aren’t going to hang it up then it is done. I, however, am going to be hanging it up, so I have a few more steps. I covered the back with some craft paper to help protect my newly painted walls from getting damaged by the screw heads. The paper I had was over sized so I just sprayed the back with some spray adhesive and stuck the paper on. After it was dry I cut it to size with a utility knife. The only thing left before hanging it up is to give it some hardware to hang on. I picked up some simple hangers at the big box store. After measuring and marking the same distance form the top and sides, I  screwed it onto the back.

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Unless you have some other kind of decorating to do, you should be all done and have a great looking sign. So now the hard part.. finding the perfect place to  hang it. This particular sign made it over my daughter’s window.

In case reading isn’t your thing, you can enjoy a short clip of this build here.

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