Sunday, July 29

Scripture Wall Art From Pallets

I love the idea of displaying scripture prominently throughout the home. So one of my goals for our new house is to incorporate God's Word somehow in each room.

This passage from Deuteronomy has become a personal challenge for me to value scripture as a central part of my life, not just inwardly, but outwardly as well:
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 
 Moving into a new house prompted me to search the home decor boards on Pinterest with compulsive intensity. One of my favorite ideas by far was this one, a sign made from found industrial pallets. I loved it. I had to have it. But where in the world would I find a pallet?

To my surprise, within a week of moving to Southaven, MS I acquired five wooden pallets! The first two were propped next to a dumpster at the storage facility we went to for a Craigslist purchase. The others were rescued from construction dumpsters at several of the new lots in our neighborhood. It was a great way to identify ourselves as weird neighbors right off the bat. : )

The pallet that would become art

As it turns out, pallets are nasty boogers to take apart. I'd imagined myself tearing them apart, but when it came down to it I couldn't even carry the stupid things! It turned into what we call a "boy job" in the Vaughan household. We had another project in mind (more on that later), so Michael decided to take apart several pallets at once. He started out using the claw end of a hammer, but found that it was hard to get the planks to budge, and when they did, they typically broke. No good. But he discovered that a thin crow bar did the trick really well. Even so, it was really hard and tedious work.

What a handy husband!

Pallets: more fragile than they look

Beware of rusty nails!

Once the pallets were taken apart I painted the pieces with gray paint I found for cheap on the mess-up rack at Lowes. Score!! Unless you're planning to distress your wood like they did in my inspiration photo it's important to get paint in all the nooks and crannies of your planks.

This is where the tricky part came in. Lots of the tutorials I've seen for similar projects involve fancy cutting machines like Cricuts, which I don't have. The tutorial that went with my inspiration photo said to cut the words out of printer paper by hand, paint over them, and peel them off. I tried cutting out words for about a minute and the results were pretty pathetic! That lady must have super crafting powers!

I was getting desperate for a solution when I found this tutorial for tracing words on wood signs using carbon paper. Perfect! This method probably works much better on a smooth surface, but it worked fine on my gnarly wood. Things started moving quickly at this point:

1. I printed my words. I used the same font as my inspiration tutorial - Rage Italic, and I think I used size 120? It was big. I printed the words in gray so I'd be able to see where I'd traced over them. I also printed each line at the top of a page and spaced words far apart so that it would be easier to line them up evenly.

2. I cut off the excess paper beneath the words and arranged them on the planks. Be sure to divide phrases so that they make sense and look evenly spaced. Some lines will be spaced farther apart than others. Having each of the words equidistant from the top of the page made it easy to keep them straight. Once I was happy with the arrangement I used blue painter's tape to keep it in place.

3. I slid a piece of carbon paper under the printer paper and used a ballpoint pen to trace over the words. In some cases just outlining the word was sufficient, but in other cases, especially on rough patches of wood, it was necessary to fill them in entirely. The carbon paper leaves a faint black imprint anywhere you press sharply on it. I was concerned that the weight of my hand would leave black blotches underneath, but it didn't.

I got mine from Office Depot


Turn the carbon paper black-side-down

Very faint outline - but enough to do the trick

4. Once the words were all traced I used a small paintbrush to paint in the letters. I used the cream colored paint the builders used for trim throughout our house. My friend Amelia came over to help me out with this, but I forgot to take pictures of her. Instead I just have pictures of wood and paint. : /

I used the traced outlines and the printed words as guides

5. After the paint was dry Michael helped me line up the planks on the backing pieces and nailed them down. I dabbed a little gray paint over each of the nails so they weren't shiny anymore and we were done!


In its new home by the fireplace

I absolutely love it! I love the size, the colors, and the perfect amount of imperfection. But most of all I love having such a prominent reminder of the richness of God's love to us in the form of adoption through Jesus. Let me know if you have creative ideas for displaying more scripture in other parts of my home.

Thanks for stopping by! Be on the lookout for more successful Pinterest projects in the next few weeks!


  1. I love this and I have someone local making one for me....a copy of the second one in your post. Thanks so much for the idea!

    1. Traci, I'm so glad you like it! Hope it turns out well!