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Pallet Signs and the Silhouette Challenge

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It’s that time again! Silhouette Challenge time! This month’s theme was all about home decor. Which is very appropriate since I just moved into my new home. Do you know I don’t even have one thing hanging on my wall yet? I just can’t decide what sort of style I am leaning towards. Anyway I had two big events coming up (Signature Finishes opening and Brimfield) where I needed to create some pallet signs to sell. So I thought I would share those with you this month. 

I’ve been pretty obsessed with making signs these days. I think its the combination of picking out the sayings or image thats going to be used and actually painting. I work on the computer all day I love to come home and be hands on with tools or painting. It really is therapeutic. 

I start first by cutting down the pallets. Which you can read about that process here. Once I have the pallet cut down I lay out pieces that sort of fit together and cut them down to a manageable size. 

Update: I was told about two other products that make dismantling a pallet easy and don’t require power tools. Pallet Buster and Deck Wrecker (affiliate links). Now they are a bit more expensive than a crow bar and a hammer but are worth checking out if you are going to be taking apart pallets a lot. 

Once the pallets are cut down. I use the scrap pieces as the backing or the support. Tip: When you are nailing the support pieces don’t nail straight down into the wood always nail at an angle and then nail next nail at a different angle. This will insure that you can’t just pull the support piece off. I found when I nailed the support piece straight over time or if you dropped the sign the backing could come loose. 

Now when cutting vinyl I have always found that I have the most success when I cut on a mat. So for pallet signs I decided to buy the 12×24 mat. I bought it about 2 months ago and I have used it more than my actual 12×12 mat! Only thing is you need to clear enough space on your work table to allow the mat to go through each side of the cameo (about 4 feet)

There are two different ways to make pallet signs. You can either paint the wood before stenciling or you can paint the wood with the stencil. I tend to do both. I actually hand place the  vinyl most of the time so I can use the excess image as a second stencil. For example the deer above. Vinyl prices can add up so why not get the most use out of one cut.

When I am making a large amount of signs I lay all the vinyl down on the wood first and then paint them all at the same time. 

I use a small 1 inch brush from Harbor Freight. Try not yo over saturate your brush you can always do a second coat incase you need it. Once the paint is dry (about 20-30 mins) peel back the vinyl. You may need to do a few touch ups but for the most part you will get crisp lines!

Love this project? Pin it for later here.

Want to Check Out More Silhouette Projects?

My Silhouette Challenge buddies and I are all sharing projects on our blogs today, so peruse the projects below for a wealth of Silhouette inspiration!

Our Sons & Daughters Wood Shims and Word Art Simple DIY Canvas Art Pallet Signs Chalk Paint Pumpkins with Fabric Leaves Make a Personalized Scarecrow DIY Wall Art for the Bathroom Decoupaged Fall Leaves Lampshade Gimme A F.A.L.L! Eat SOMETHING Sweet Baby Love Quilt Big Reveal Sketching Inspiration for my little Dancer - September Silhouette Challenge Family Feature Presentation Wall Art Last Unicorn Shadow Box Makin' my office a little more artsy fartsy Family Command Center DIY Grandparents Sign with Photo Frame Dream Big Little Girl Canvas Art Fall Pallet Sign {Grateful, Thankful, Blessed} Pumpkins and Apples Sign Handmade Freezer Paper Cloth Napkins

1. The Moberg Family // 2. Sandpaper and Glue // 3. American Honey // 4. Weekend Craft // 5. Grey Luster Girl // 6. From Wine to Whine // 7. Cutesy Crafts // 8. Practically Functional // 9. Home At Eight // 10. McCall Manor // 11. Dragonfly & Lily Pads // 12. Adventures in All Things Food // 13. Create it. Go! // 14. Please Excuse My Craftermath… // 15. The Outlandish Momma // 16. The Sensory Emporium // 17. My Paper Craze // 18. unOriginal Mom // 19. My Favorite Finds // 20. Architecture of a Mom // 21. Black and White Obsession //

Some links in this post are affiliate links. If you do purchase from these links I receive a small percentage which allows me to put it towards future projects to continue provide quality content to Weekend Craft readers.

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54 Comments

    1. Thanks Alisha I’m pretty obsessed with these colors right now and most of them are oops paints from Home Depot or Lowes!

  1. You don’t have anything hanging on your walls yet?! I’m astonished! Lovely signs by the way. I wonder how well the newish stencil material would work for you? The wood would probably wear it down faster than other materials – but it might be re-usable for long enough to make it better priced than using vinyl. Just a thought! And I CAN’T WAIT to be back in the area to visit your shop!!!!

    1. Kristy I haven’t put up a single thing yet. I just can’t decide what I want to do. Usually I have to be moved in and everything in place with in a week but not this time.

      I’ve used the stencil material a lot! I love it but they aren’t reusable because the fibers of the woods come up on the back of the stencil making it less sticky. So for $10 a roll it works out cheaper to use a 12×24 piece of vinyl that I get for about 1.25 a sheet at Joanns.

      Your always welcome at the shop let me know when you are back up!

  2. I am so jealous of your pallet-sign-making ability! Not only do they all look great, you are so creative to come up with a different design for every one.. I actually haven’t made one of my own yet, but I have half a pallet sitting under the deck right now that is calling my name…maybe I will finally get around to it!!

    1. Girl get that pallet out and some tools and start painting! It really is fun and easy. Not to mention they are super impressive gifts.

  3. I love this! They are so cute. I definitely want to make one, but I’m not sure where to find an old pallet! I might have to go hunting for one!

    1. Ashley I always have luck on craigslist in the free section. You wouldn’t believe how many people have 100s of pallets in there parking lot that they are looking to get rid of!

  4. I’m loving that deer one– so cute! and congrats again on having your own shop space… I hope it’s going well 🙂

  5. These are so cute! I think the whales are my favorite. 😛

    Found you on Thrifty Thursday. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Hey! Love this by the way. I had a quick question…..after you break down the pallets, do you prep the wood at al before painting? I’m still very new to this stuff. Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Bethany,

      I like my pallets with a rough texture so I don’t tend to prep the wood. If you wanted a smoother finish you could definitely sand them. Hope this helps!

    1. Jennie I just use a dry brush never adding too much paint to it. That way the texture and roughness of the pallet comes through.

  7. I love these. I’m just starting out after deciding that my silhouette shouldn’t intimidate me. My problem is that when I use a vinyl stencil on painted wood the stencil peels off some of the paint when I remove it. What kind of vinyl do you use?

  8. Tell me a little about your vinyl process. Are like you printing an image on to the vinyl and cutting it? What kind of printer and vinyl are you using?

    1. Hi Rich,

      I don’t print on vinyl what I do is I use a silhouette cameo to cut the vinyl design that I create on the silhouette software.

  9. I haven’t done anything like this before, but I am dying to start… What do you use to make your vinyl stencils?

    1. Hi Jenna,

      I use vinyl and a silhouette cameo which is a cutting machine. I usually use Oracle vinyl or really whatever I have around.

    1. Hey Stacey,

      I didn’t use a sealer on this wood since I am looking more for the shabby chic look so if some of the grain comes through it just adds to it. That being said I have definitely done some projects where I’ve sanded down the pallets and used a sealer.

    1. Hi Taylor!

      Thanks for stopping by. I acutally mostly use latex paint. I get the small paint samples at the hardware store and they seem to last a while. Also if you hit up the opps section the small cans are .50 to $1.00.

  10. I don´t know even how to begin. What are these machines you use? Is there anywhere you give a step by step right from the beginning? Where you get the machines, how much cost? I don’t know about vinyl, mats, anything!Where do I go to. Learn?

    1. Hi Gale,Love that you’re so curious. The machine that I use is the Silhouette Cameo http://amzn.to/1jbRCeu . I bought mine on amazon you can get a starter kit bundle for around $269. I would recommend the Silhouette School blog to dive right in! Also under my projects tab I have a whole slew of silhouette tutorials. Enjoy!

  11. Hi there! Loving your blog and am so glad I discovered it! One question– what size nails do you use for the pallet support on the back? Thanks!

    1. Hey Meghan. Thanks so much for stopping by. So the nail sizes I use vary. What I always do is hold the length of the nail up to the two pieces of wood and choose a nail size that is about 3/4 of the thickness of the two pieces of wood. Also always make sure to nail at a slight angle and the next nail do the opposite angle that way the board is secure and you can’t pop the board off.

  12. Michelle…love it all! I have the Cricut, and the final I get for it is from craft store…but for some reason really doesn’t stick well. I’m not sure it would stick to the rough surface of the pallet boards. Any suggestions on a better vinyl….?

  13. Hi, I have made (or sometimes "tried") to make many pallet signs. I have tried what I think may be EVERY trick to keep the paint from seeping under the stencil and only once did I have NO seepage and that was with a piece of pressure treated lumber. It gets very disheartening to put so much into a project only to have it look like cr_ _. I am almost to the point of giving up on the pallet signs, any suggestions?

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