A sign made from pallet wood

One day when we were out and about for appointments, I saw this sign. Free pallets. Stop!  I couldn’t believe my luck, that I saw the sigh and we were in the truck! Now what to do with all that lovely wood? Pallet projects flooded my mind…you know how that is!

Here’s my first project, a pallet wood sign, but first prep the pallet safely!


We began with the pallet leaning against saw horses and a quick lesson on using the sawsall, to cut through the nails because removing them is almost impossible.

pallet cut page

We wore gloves, safety glasses and masks. Bill made the first cut as an example of how to do it correctly.

cutting a pallet2

His cut was so perfect because he’s, “an efficient machine.” He gloated. get over yourself already

pallet cut

No spiders were harmed in the making of this project.

My first time using the sawzall was not as perfect as his, but I got better with more practice. Pallet wood is pretty rough, so I sanded both sides then screwed them together using pieces from the bottom of the pallet.

tape back pallet

Because the screws were just a little too long and poked through the front, I covered them with duct tape to protect the wall and added wire for hanging.  I  Red heart duct tape.

pallet sign 1

Next, the lettering. I had no idea how I was going to do this, since I had a previous lettering project fail. After a little searching, I decided to print out the letters and rub a pencil over the back of each letter and then trace them onto the wood. This method is supposed to transfer the graphite from the pencil onto the wood. I should have printed out just the outline of each letter instead of using so much printer ink.

pallet sign 2

That didn’t work because the graphite was the same color of the wood. What worked was pressing the shape of the letters into the wood with a pen, like etching. I used a sharpie to fill in the letters.


After coloring in the letters, I decided to sand it a little more to make the letters a little less dark.


Here’s the finished sign.

a mantel center banner

I still have a bunch of pallets left, what would you make? I think I’m going to attempt some crates for magazines, pillows and stuff and I’d love to make a coffee table for the patio.

For more pallet ideas check out my Pinterest pallet board.

Skip To My Lou Home Stories A2Zmet monThe Southern Institute

Added to Best DIY projects at Beneath My Heart


Debbie (((xx)))

32 thoughts on “A sign made from pallet wood

  1. My husband and I enjoyed this post (yes I made him read it)! What a terrific recycling job and a great sign.

  2. Great job, Debbie! You and your “efficient machine” did a great job. : ) You could make a lot of things. I always thought to find a section of picket fence and use the pickets to be the pointers on an outdoor sign to towns or states. I may do a Christmas themed one for my daughter because we saw one we liked somewhere last year, but I wanted to do one for a few years at our old house. I had a great post with a bird house on top that would have worked well for that.

  3. Good day to you, too, Sunshine! Great project, Debbie. I think that is a hard wood to work with because it is so rough. You did a wonderful job. I love the finished sign. xo Diana

  4. Great work~love your new sign. I also have a couple of pallets that I’ve been wondering what exactly I want to do with them. I’ve seen some amazing projects in the last couple of weeks.
    Oh, great deal on the “Free pallets” never come across that but would love to.

  5. Love the sign Debbie! And look at you go with the sawsall! I am impressed! I tend to go all willy nilly when I am sawing anything….so far I have not lost an appendage….which is a good thing!

    Can’t wait to see what else you create from these pallets!

    Lou Cinda

  6. You use electric saws and everything? Wow. My husband doesn’t trust me with the equipment and I don’t think that I trust myself either. Good for you. It came out great and there are so many things that you can say to make it all your own or all someone else’s own as I think these would make a special gift.

  7. Awesome sign. You could have harmed the spiders if you wanted to, they aren’t my favorite creatures :). I’ll go check out your Pinterest board on pallets now.

  8. I have got to find a place that gives away pallets…lol!!! Loving all these great sign ideas! I don’t even know what a sawzall is….maybe we have one in the garage! Found you on the Haven list…can’t wait!!!

  9. Great idea!! I have been trying to come up with ideas because I know where I can get free pallets!!! You are a true blessing!!

  10. Let me give you a little hint. For the lettering, remember dress “transfer paper” where you ran the wheel over colored waxy paper to show where to sew darts? Use that to transfer the lettering.I did it on pallet for art for my son’s house and it worked GREAT. I just traced over the lettering with a pen with the transfer paper between the lettering and the pallet. REALLY the BEST answer I have had to transferring.

  11. Hi Deb, just wondering what size and what fonts were used in these letters. it looks to be 3 different ones. love it by the way……

  12. I have a stack of pallets I offered for free and only had 3 taken. Last week I asked my husband if we had a sawsall and we DO!!! I loved the final sanding – it gave the perfect finishing touch to your sign. I think I’m going to make signs for my garden. Thanks for the inspiration!

  13. That is really cute, I wonder if carbon paper or something like that would work for transferring the writing? Thank you for sharing.

  14. Love it – you made it straight forward and easy to understand, but also very charming! I giggled when I saw the note about “no spiders were harmed”. Too funny!!! Good work sunshine!

  15. I use carbon paper when I make my pallet signs. I think I may try your idea just for the awesome indentation…

  16. Hi I too would love to know how to do the font? Where do you get it and what size!
    Thanks so much!
    I’m going to try a head board!

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  20. Hi! I have learned that c if you go to your local small town lumber yard they are more than happy to give away pallets they stack out back along with “scrap” wood. Also, any store like a hometown grocery store will give them FREE! ♡ THAT free word 🙂

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