Pallet Art

How to make this pallet art board for displaying family pictures.

Age: Adult


Difficulty: Medium


Time Scale: 3 out of 5




  • 2-3 pallets with wide boards
  • wood glue
  • white glue
  • hot glue gun/ glue sticks
  • plastic container
  • 2 inch paint brush
  • 1 1/2 inch nails
  • 2 -1x4's 6 ft.
  • chocolate brown latex paint
  • off white latex paint
  • wood filler
  • heavy black scrapbook paper
  • scissors
  • cricut machine ( can be done without)
  • jute string
  • 2 inch hinge with screws
  • jigsaw
  • drill
  • 7/64 th drill bit
  • staple gun/ staples
  • pry bar
  • claw hammer
  • square
  • measuring tape
  • pencil
  • painters masking tape
  • sand paper
  • small wooden clothespins


This pallet art board is made from recycled pallet wood. It is a great way to display family photos. Since the pictures just clip on, they can be easily changed around, whenever you like. Any sized picture ranging from 8 x 10 inch all the way down to wallet size can be used.

Although this was made with the help of my handy dandy cricut machine, it isn't necessary to use one. It did take less time this way but an alternative method would be using a stencil to trace out the letters and then hand paint them. This would be more time consuming and also a bit more difficult.

There is quite a variation in the quality and size of pallets, so shop carefully. Look for ones that have the code DB which means debarked. Make sure they have NOT been chemically treated.

After you get past that obstacle, you will need to also consider what size and thickness the boards are. You will need boards that are approximately 5 1/2 inches wide. Collect enough pallets to get eight useable boards. Gather extra pallets because you will probably not remove every piece of wood, in good condition. Prepare for some splitting when you take them apart. Have enough on hand, so you can scrap the ones that split. There is nothing more aggravating than starting on the project, only to discover you don't have enough boards because you broke some of them. Chances are you may not find matching pallets later, if you have to go hunting for more.

Build your Pallet Art board

Use a pry bar to lift the boards enough to pop the nails and then remove the nails with a claw hammer. If the boards are splitting, an alternative method is to use a nail punch and pound the nails completely through the boards. This will make larger nail holes that will need to be filled with wood filler.

Measure eight boards and mark with a pencil to 36 inches in length. Use a square to draw a straight line across the boards.

Cut with a jigsaw.

Lay out the eight boards with sides together. Measure the total height. The boards I used were 5 1/2 inches wide for a total height of 44 inches.

Cut two 1 x 4's so they are the same length as the height of the eight boards together. In this case, 44 inches.

Give the cut edges a light sanding to take off any rough slivers of wood. 


Glue and nail the 1x4's vertically and evenly spaced on the back of the pallet boards, so there is a 15 inch space between them.

Cut a 1 x 4 to 15 inches long. Glue and nail horizontally in the 15 inch space, 5 1/2 inches down from the top.

Let dry.

This pallet art board, will have a leg, so it will be self supporting. Skip the leg, if you plan on hanging yours on a wall instead.

Painting the back now, before putting on the leg, will be easier.


This has a crackle finish but you don't have to use that expensive crackle medium from the craft store.

Paint the boards, front and back  with a chocolate brown latex paint. Want a tip on how to save money on the paint? Buy it from the Habitat restore or get oops paint from the hardware store. Can't find chocolate brown? Any dark color for the background will do.


After the paint has dried, apply a thick layer of white glue to the surface. Leave it until it starts to looks slightly bubbly, but is still very tacky. Use a wide paint brush and apply the off white paint using long even strokes. Don't go over it again, once it has been applied or you will mess it all up. This is where I have to resist the Miss Fix it, in me. Put it on, and leave it alone. When it starts to dry the cracks will start to appear. The thicker the layer of glue was that you put on, the bigger the cracks will be.

The leg on the pallet art board is made by cutting a 1x4 to 36 1/2 inches long and cutting the one end at a slight angle. Sorry, I don't know what degree. Math is not my strong suit . To get the angle correct , I put the leg on and extended it out about a foot. I checked to see how the bottom was sitting on the floor and guesstimated the angle. I marked this angle with a pencil and then cut it. Yes, guesstimated is a word and a totally excepted practice for a repurposed pallet art project, like this one. If the cut angle is still not right, sand it into submission! This is where a sander comes in handy.


It' s amazing what can be done with a sander, when the saw doesn't get things just right. I am here to prove, with determination you can make this and many other craft projects, even without great math skills.

Screw a hinge to the horizontal 15 inch board and the other side of the hinge, to the leg.


Drill a hole in the 1x4 leg about 18 inches up from the bottom.

Cut a piece of jute string 18 inches long.

Extend the leg so it is about 12 inches out from the board.

Run the jute string through the drilled hole and straight across to the back of the board. Staple this end in place.

Tie the opposite, hole end in a knot, so the jute won't pull through. Leave the excess string so you can adjust the leg for more or less lean on the board.

Now, on to the lettering. If you have a cricut machine, this will be a snap. The lettering is done on heavy black scrapbook paper.

Cut out the word "FAMILY" 4 1/2 inches high, in capital letters. 

This will be placed on the top center of the pallet art sign.

The words "All because two people fell in Love" are cut 2 1/4 inches tall and done in lower case letters, except for the A in all and L for Love. They are in capitals.


Use a piece of masking tape as a level line, to get the lettering straight, on the pallet art board.  Attach the letters using white glue.

If you don't have a cricut machine, don't let that keep you from making this project. Print out the letters, stencil them on to the board and then hand paint them on, using black craft paint.

Cut three pieces of jute string 56 inches long.

String the jute tightly, across the front of the board and around to the back. Staple in place. Put the first one about 6 inches down from the top. The other two should be spaced about 11 inches apart. If you are hanging 8x10 pictures, check your spacing. If they are framed pictures, they will pull down on the string and you may have to adjust the spacing, accordingly.

Now, dig out those special family photos and hook them on the jute string, with little wooden clothespins.

Change it up, any time you please. Dress it up, however you want. This pallet art board doesn't have to be just for photos! Add kids art work and school projects too!

› Pallet-Art

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