Easy Steps to Create a Pallet Sign

DIY Pallet SignO'Connor Chestnut Club DIY pallet sign!


With lots of intimidation and quite a bit of hesitation, I decided to create a pallet sign to give to my dad for Father’s Day!

If you want to make a DIY pallet sign, you might need to employ some heavy lifting. In this case, Bridget's hubby was the perfect fit!

I enlisted my better half to carry this way-heavier-than-I-expected pallet home from a dumpster nearby. (I say “nearby” loosely… more like 1/2 mile of trucking this thing home). Poor Matt, such a team player.

DIY pallet sign before the cute transformation!

Breaking the Pallet Apart


After we he got this bad boy home, we got to work tearing the wood apart.

Step one in creating our DIY pallet sign is to break apart the wooden pallet.

I know this is the man of my dreams when I see him knee deep in DIY still rocking his Sperry’s.

Broken up wood from the pallet before it's DIY pallet sign transformation.

Needless to say, the muscle part of this duo took care of most of this demolition as well.

Step two of your DIY pallet sign is to gather some weathered wood to make the bulk of the sign.

Thanks to Matt, we were left with some weathered pallet wood that would eventually make up the Pallet Sign.

This is a rough layout of how your DIY pallet sign should look before nailing together all the wood pieces.

We laid out a rough draft of the sign and decided that the tiny pallet leftovers just weren’t sturdy enough to back this heavy sign. We headed to Home Depot to buy some new wood.

Get rid of those nasty, dangerous nails from the old pallet - carefully!

But first, these dangerously scary nails needed to go. With the back of a hammer and some more muscle (ohhh Maaaattttttt), we got those bad boys out in no time.

Step three for your DIY pallet sign: measure the wood layout to know the exact size of the sturdy backing pieces you need.

To identify how big our strips of wood needed to be at Home Depot, the project manager did some measuring.

Measuring the pallet so we know exactly what size wood pieces we need to give some structure to our DIY pallet sign


Putting it back together

Here is the template for the back of your DIY pallet sign!

Since the whole sign was 21 inches long, we picked out one long strip of wood and had it cut down (for free) to 20 inches. The total at Home Depot for the wood, a whopping 97 cents.

These 20 inch long pieces of wood will give structure and strength to the back of your DIY pallet sign
Here are where the nails go into the support pieces of wood for your DIY pallet sign

After we did some more measuring and re-adjusting, we were ready to nail. One pallet board at a time, we leveled, nailed, nailed, nailed, nailed, nailed, nailed and repeated the process over and over and over again.

We used Crown Bolt 1 1/2 inch nails for our DIY pallet sign
Step four: start nailing the support beams to your pallet wood.
This DIY pallet sign is almost complete!
Here is what the completed back of the DIY pallet sign should look like once you have all your support beams in place.

Until we were done!!

We had to make sure our DIY pallet sign was level and sturdy!

Sturdy? Check. Level? Check. Proud? Check, check double check!

Here are the materials you need to get that vintage washed look on your DIY pallet sign - water and paint!

Now, the fun part- adding a “little” finish to the already weathered pallet strips. I didn’t want to add a fresh coat of pure paint onto this sign because I figured that would eliminate the vintage charm this wood already offers. However, without a little color I knew the wood was just too unfinished for my dad’s style. The compromise: watering down paint to give it a vintage washed look.

Painting the Pallet Sign

Here is the paint color we used for our DIY pallet sign - a rich brown.

I used a small jar of an old paint sample for my paint base. #hugemoneysaver. Instead of buying an entire gallon, Home Depot will create a sample of any paint color you choose for around $3. How could you beat that?

Try a sample of paint mixed with different amounts of water to determine exactly what look you want for your DIY pallet sign

Before I took my (paint + water) concoction to the pallet sign, I sampled it on a piece of leftover wood. If you want the darker look, use less paint. I wanted my finish to be a little lighter, so I added more water to the paint. There’s no rhyme or reason to my mixture, I just kept adding a little bit of water until the consistency was exactly what I was looking for. It’s sort of like creating the perfect pancake mix… kinda?

Here is what our DIY pallet sign looked like half painted.
Here is a closer look at what our DIY pallet sign looked like half way through painting! I love this weathered look!

Some of the pallet wood absorbed more of the paint than others; giving those strips a darker look. Clearly each strip looks a little different, which was A-ok with me! The more weathered charm, the better.

Our DIY pallet sign is almost finished - here is the full final coat of paint.
Making a DIY pallet sign out of refurbished wood.

The next step: adding some words! I traced some letters that I printed off the of computer with a pencil.

To make the writing for our DIY pallet sign, I printed out the text in a stencil to make it perfect.
Here is a close-up of the stencil for the text on my DIY pallet sign

I filled in the lines with a few itty-bitty artsy paintbrushes and some white paint.

White paint and paintbrushes

About an hour and a half later, I was so excited to present this treasure to my pops.

How to make a DIY pallet sign
Pallet Sign with paint
All I have to do is add a bow and present this one-of-a-kind artwork to the real DIY Master…. my dad.

(Dad, if you’re reading this…. skip this part)

Cost Breakdown

  • Pallet Wood……… Free
  • Backing Wood…. $0.97
  • Nails………………. $1.30
  • Paint………………. already had it
  • paint brushes……. already had them
  • Total Cost: $2.27

A personalized gift….. Priceless

The finished product - super proud of this DIY pallet sign!
Look at how great this DIY pallet sign looks mounted on the backyard wall!

Happy belated Father’s Day to the best dad in the world. Not only have you taught your daughters how to become independent young ladies, you have shown us what it means to be a selfless parent, hardworking professional, amazing husband, and most importantly…. a good person. Thank you.


P.S. If you love this affordable project, I think you’re going to love DIY Address Sign too! 

How to DIY a Pallet Sign
More Pallets! If you’re looking for another DIY pallet sign, be sure to check out this DIY sign HERE


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.