DIY Command center Part 1: Pallet wood list holder

Do you feel like life is happening all around you and you just can’t keep up? Do you ever feel un-organized and messy, with clutter all around you? Have you ever needed something very important, but you couldn’t remember where you put it and you frantically search for it? Do you wish life could run more smoothly and you could feel a little more in control? Yeah, me too! Let me introduce you to this beautiful farmhouse command center and the pallet wood list holder. All designed to pass for wall décor as well.

I’m not saying that the command center will solve all your problems, (it might!) but once you implement and use it, you will be well on your way to less clutter, more time, a running smooth, rewarding, and feeling in control, happier life. So let’s get you there! Follow along to see how to make one of these for your home.

Today, I’m going to show you how to make the first part of the command center. I call it the list holder. I love writing lists! So. Many. Lists. I also find that after a day or two, I have a hard time finding my lists. PROBLEM SOLVED!!
The list holder can be used in many different ways, but I use it as a place to hang my children’s chore lists and my “to do” list, but the possibilities are endless.

Let’s get started. Here’s what you’re gonna need.


  • 3 pieces of old pallet wood each measuring 40″ long (or 1×4’s will work)
  • 2 pieces of old pallet wood each measuring 10.5″ long (or 1×4’s will work)
  • wood glue
  • brad nailer or staple gun (with correct size nails or staples)
  • wood stain & gloves
  • palm sander
  • sand paper or sanding sponge (I used 120 grit but any will work)
  • screw driver or drill
  • copper hooks
  • tape measure
  • hanging supplies

Step 1: Building the base of your pallet wood list holder

To begin, you are going to cut your old pallet wood down to the sizes you will need.

Pallet wood is usually about 40″ long. Measure out 3 pieces that are approx. 40″ long.

Now cut 2 pieces that are the width of the 3 pieces laid out together. Approx. 10.5″

Once you have them cut, lay the 3 large pieces out on your work surface with the “front” sides facing up.
Next, you want to lay the 2 shorter strips across the larges pieces (going in the opposite direction) about 2″ in from the edge.

Once you have the placement that you like, you are going to glue and nail them into place. Check the length of your nails before you use them. I have, too many times nailed my project to the surface I was working on because I forgot to check the nail length 🙂
Turn your small piece over and coat with wood glue, flip it back over and nail into place. Repeat for the other side. I put 6 nails (total) in my piece to hold it in place.

Step 2: Stain you pallet wood list holder

After you have built your list holder, you are going to stain the entire piece. I used the color Provincial, but you can use whatever color best matches your home. Read this tutorial on how I stain my projects.

Quick-dry staining technique using old towels.

Let your list holder dry for about 24 hours before moving forward. If your stain is not dry enough then you are going to gum up your sand paper and it’s not going to give you the finish you are going for.

Step 3: Antiquing your pallet wood list holder

Your stain should be completely dry by this step, otherwise you will go through an insane amount of sand paper and you won’t even get the look you want. So make sure it’s dry.

You want to sand the front, sides, and edges of your list holder. Hold the sander straight on the project and sand with the wood grain back and forth. The more you sand, the more the stain will be removed and the natural wood will show through.

  • Using a palm or hand sander is going to make this step much easier and faster, but it is not required. This can also be done by hand.
  • If you use a finer grit, you’ll get a softer look. You can use a coarse grit, it just is not as smooth and delicate of a finish. I prefer to use 120 grit.
  • Practicing on the back is a great idea until you get the hang of it.

Sand the entire piece until you have the look and finish that you like and then brush off all the sawdust.

Step 4: Applying your hooks to your pallet wood list holder

For this step you are going to need your:

  • Tape measure
  • Screwdriver/drill
  • Hooks with screws

Measure where the center of your list holder is. From this point you are going to measure 3.5″ to both sides. Measure to the RIGHT 3.5″ from center point and down 1.5 ” from the top, mark it. This is where the hook is going to go. Now repeat this same thing for the left side. The hooks will be spaced 7″ apart from one another.

***NOTE- the 1.5″ down from the top location, is so that you have room for your clip boards to hang. If you are not using clipboards you can place the hooks wherever you want. The 7″ spacing between each hook is also to make sure you have room to hang your clip boards without them overlapping. ***

At this point, you should have the location of 2 hooks marked on the middle section of your list holder.

Measure 7″ outward from one of the marks you just made, and down 1.5″ from the top. Mark this spot. This will be where another hook will be. Repeat this step for the other side of your list holder.

Place your hooks on their marks and stand back to make sure it looks even and you like the way it looks. If you like it, screw them into place. If it doesn’t look right, re-measure everything and make sure it’s correct, before you screw them into place.

Once your hooks are in place, you are ready to hang your clipboards and your list holder.

Ideas for using your pallet wood list holder:
  • Children’s chores
  • To-Do lists
  • Grocery/Shopping list
  • Daily schedule
  • Monthly calendar
  • Projects list
  • Work sckedule
  • Homework list
  • Hat rack
  • A place to hang face masks
  • Family photos

Using the list holder will help things run more smoothly in your home. Also, you will always know where your lists are, and you will no longer be wasting time looking for them or trying to re-write them.

I would love to hear how you use your pallet wood list holder!

Let’s create this. -Brandee

Coming soon!

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