unfinished pallet wood sign

Reclaimed pallet wood sign step-by-step tutorial

Reclaimed wood or pallet wood signs are a hot, item right now. If you Google “pallet signs” you will see many different, beautiful signs out there! And, if you’re like me, this brings up a desire, within, to own one of those beauties. Well…aren’t you in luck! This post is going to teach you how to easily make one of your own!

Let’s get started. Here’s a list of the supplies you are going to need:


Step 1: designing your wood layout

First, you are going to begin by laying out your wood boards in a pattern that looks attractive to you. Knowing the size of your project is helpful at this point. It will help you to know if your boards will be long enough and how many you’ll need to use. In this example, I have chosen to go with the size of 18″x20″. I laid out my wood boards and measured how tall my sign would be. It’s not always going to be the exact measurement you’re looking for. And you may need to interchange a board or two to make it fit your dimensions as close as possible.

18″x20″ reclaimed pallet wood sign

One of the things I love about working with this wood; is it’s easy to switch out and interchange the pieces. They all have their own little uniqueness and character to them, and it doesn’t really matter where they are placed.

Step 2: marking and cutting your wood boards

When you have the layout that you want, you are going to measure and mark all your pieces of wood. Pay attention to where the knots and nails are placed. You don’t want to be sawing through that great character in the board. Once you have all your cuts marked, you are going to move on to cutting them on the Miter saw. Wait, before you cut anything, put your safety goggles on. Your eyes are very important and lets keep ’em! 😉

Pay attention to your layout before you cut. You want to be able to put them back in the same order after they are cut. But, as I said before, it’s nice how you can intermix this wood and it still looks great! (so don’t stress if you forgot exactly how they were).

Step 3: securing your wood boards into place

After you have all of your wood boards cut and in the layout that you want; it’s time to secure them into place. Using strips of extra wood, you are going to make supports. You can use the left over pallet wood for this, or you can get other pieces of wood. I used some scrap wood, from a broken piece of my fence. The support strips are going to go on the back, so it’s not real crucial what they look like.

Flip your boards over so the side you want showing on your sign are now face down. Measure how long you want your supports to be. They need to be long enough to hold sturdy the top and bottom boards. You do not want them as long as your sign is tall. Make sense?? I used 18″ support boards, so there was about 1″ of overhang on the top and bottom of the sign.

When your supports are ready, lay them on the back of your “sign”. Make sure they don’t hang over the edge. If they look good, apply some wood glue and glue them into place. Work on one at a time. Using a Brad Nailer, secure it into place. Make sure you get at least 2 nails in each board. Repeat this step with the second support. After you have secured both supports in place turn it over and take a look at YOUR pallet wood sign!!

I usually let my signs sit over night, so the wood glue can dry. Then I put the finishing touches on it! Once your sign is made and dried, you can design, paint, cut, or do whatever to make it special. If you don’t have any ideas in mind, you can always check here (link coming soon) to get some great ideas and inspiration!

Happy crafting!

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