Here’s an easy DIY fall pumpkin pallet project that you can do in just a day!
What better way to welcome fall than with a fun wood sign. You can easily make this in an afternoon with recycled pallet wood. Pallets are so versatile and so full of character! Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Read my full disclosure policy here for more details. As an Amazon Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases.
What You’ll Need
Start by recycling a wooden pallet.
You can pick one up for free at most any of the big stores just by asking nicely. We got several from PetSmart and the wood was really clean and unspoiled because it held mostly just boxes of other boxes. Make sure you have a pair of thick work gloves handy when picking up pallets to avoid lots of splinters! Also, wear eye goggles to protect yourself from nails that may pop out.
Dismantle the pallet. Then, attach several boards together by securing them to a couple of support boards on the back. Since we were doing a pumpkin, we arranged the boards in the general shape of a pumpkin, then freehanded a more defined pumpkin with a pencil. Finally, we cut the assembled pumpkin into a more defined shape.
Now, here’s the secret to building any AWESOME wood yard sign.
Most signs have a measly little stake that you have to manhandle to get it into the ground. However, Beau allowed a bit extra room on the stake…just wide enough to plant your foot on it as you shove it into the ground. Genius! This little extra foothold really helps! Especially in our hard clay here.
Paint your sign’s background color as desired.
You can often find inexpensive “returns” or samples at the local hardware store.
Next, prepare your stencil.
While you are waiting for the paint to dry, design and prepare your stencil. I use a Silhouette CAMEO for all my craft cutting. Best investment ever! I sure do love this machine!
Select your file and cut it out on regular vinyl. Actually, the less expensive contact paper from the dollar store would work great for this project. You’re just using it as a disposable stencil, so no need for the pricy stuff.
Weed the cut vinyl so that it’s a stencil. You’ll be painting through the parts you weed out.
Place the stencil on the wood sign, making sure to center and align it correctly.
Move the stencil to your project using transfer tape. Use the scraper tool that came with the silhouette or a credit card to smooth out the vinyl. This will get rid of air bubbles and create a tight seal.
How to make crisp lines and avoid paint bleed
Pallet wood is rough and therefore it can get tricky to get crisp lines. But here’s the secret to crisp paint lines! You’ll often see it referred to as PVPP – as in Paint, Vinyl, Paint again, Peel off the stencil. After applying the stencil, paint the stencil openings IN THE SAME COLOR as your background paint. Use an up & down, stippling type painting motion around the edges of the vinyl. Since you are using a very light layer of paint, this should dry pretty quickly so you can get started on the next step! This seals any tiny gaps between the rough pallet wood and the stencil. Any bleed through will be the same color as the background, so no one will ever notice! Then, without yet removing the stencil, paint the stencil pattern with the contrasting paint of your choice – in my case, black.
No need to over saturate while painting – a little bit goes a long way and it’s less likely to bleed through the stencil if you paint several thin layers rather than one thick layer. Once the paint is dry, carefully pull back the vinyl and Viola! You have a custom made pallet sign! Now that wasn’t too hard was it?!
So are you ready to do this? I’d love to see what you make! If you’d like more inspiration, be sure to sign up below.