Pallet Wood Signs

I have been fascinated with pallets for many years. A few times I have attempted to dismantle them but I just ended up frustrated by the split pieces and nearly impossible to remove nails. In my past attempts I ended up buying lumber for my project and making a lovely bonfire from the mangled pallet. Now I am on a very tight budget and the idea of free wood is calling me again!

I decided to start with a small project and to embrace the rustic looking split pieces. I also decided to skip the nails and just saw the boards.
I used a hand saw and sawed along the thicker support board I ended up with several 16 inch long boards, perfect for a sign.

I roughly sanded the boards and even added some dents by pounding with a hammer. Next I painted the boards with some watered down acrylic paint so the wood grain and stains would show through. Once my paint was dry I sanded some off to give a distressed feel.
For the words I decided to use a Mod Podge transfer method. I wanted my signs to say welcome in several languages. I googled how to say welcome in Russian, Italian, and French. Once I found my words I cut and pasted them into a Word document. I used Word Art so I could specify the size I wanted the word to be. Once I had the font and size the way I liked I rotated the word so it was backwards. I printed out my document on a laser printer – an ink jet printer will not work for this (I tried and it was a mess.) Since I don’t actually own a laser printer I printed my document with the ink jet and made a copy on the copier at work (shhh don’t tell my boss.)

Next step is to paint the board with a coat of Mod Podge and while it is wet put the paper with the word face down on the board. Smooth the paper to remove air bubbles and to make sure your word is securely attached. Now let it dry completely.


Once it is dry the fun begins. Wet the back of the paper with a spray bottle or wet cloth. Then gently rub the paper off with your fingers using a circular motion. The print from your paper will remain on the board.


I got a little too aggressive and rubbed off some of my word so I went back with a sharpie marker and filled in some of the spots. Then I added a light coat of Mod Podge to seal it.


This is my attempt to use the ink jet printer, when I rubbed the paper off the ink came with it. It did leave a faint outline so I just used my trusty Sharpie marker to color it in. But then it was too dark compared to my other signs so I lightly brushed some paint over to make it look a little more distressed.


I nailed sawtooth hangers on the back and hung them near my side door. I love my multi-lingual welcome signs!



5 thoughts on “Pallet Wood Signs

  1. Hmmmm… I wonder where we could find some pallets? Love your blog! Lost a bet though. Looking for good ideas to up cycle beer cans.

    • Hi Jaclyn,
      I use Microsoft Word. Insert Word Art and Type your text. Once your text is in Word Art you can format it in many ways. Rotate Horizontal will flip your text backwards. I hope this helps.

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