I LOVE this time of year! It is absolutely my favorite. I love all the smells and sparkly lights and mushy Christmas movies and cooler temperatures and chunky babies with mall Santas. It’s the season for celebration and gratefulness with friends and family. Unfortunately, we all know that this wonderful season can also bring some big challenges. There’s so much budgeting, deal hunting, cooking, errand running, scheduling, and overall Christmasing and it can leave us feeling exhausted and grumpy. It’s also the time of year when family losses are felt most acutely and our family is no exception to this. For some people, the holidays produce overwhelming anxiety and loneliness. If that’s you, I’m praying for you. I’m so sorry and I truly hope this year will be better for your family. This Christmas season, I want us all to embrace joy. I want my little family to soak up all the precious moments of our baby girl’s first Christmas. I want us to avoid being caught up in the Christmas craziness and instead relax and enjoy the journey. The season always passes so quickly and I regret the moments that were ruined by my bad attitude. I want this year to be different.
In the spirit of my new Christmas theme, I spontaneously decided to make a pallet sign yesterday morning to keep us on track and I want to share it with you. This craft cost me $0 because I used supplies that I already had, but even if you had to buy them, this should cost you less than $5 and it’s SO CUTE. Since you have a long holiday weekend coming up, this might just be the perfect craft to start your Christmas season off right.
The Birth of the Pallet Sign Idea
Have you ever read the book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie? Frightfully, I have a lot in common with that mouse. Yesterday morning, the baby woke us up bright and early so we were up and at it by 7:15. I realized that this was the first weekend in several weeks that I had NOTHING scheduled (isn’t that such a relief sometimes?!?). I decided to pull out the Christmas decorations and put out a few things. The following few hours went something like this:
Hang up stockings. Look up and realize that the TV nook is still empty and weird-looking. Decide to decorate it. Go through house trying to find the one curtain rod that will fit in the nook to hang antique lace curtain. Find rod and disassemble that room’s window decor. Microwave my no longer hot coffee. Climb up into TV nook to hang curtain. Arrange large centerpiece for nook and then decide it looks lonely up there by itself. Shop the house for some pretty books and a small lantern. Remember that decorations look best in odd numbers and decide that I need something short and squatty. Microwave cold coffee a second time. Remember the pile of pallet wood outside! Gingerly pick through wood throwing pieces when I think I maybe see a spider. Find an actual spider and reject that piece forever (it might as well be burned). Choose a wood piece and search Pinterest for a tutorial using only things I have at home because I’m wearing sweatpants and don’t want to go out. Microwave cold coffee again. Find the perfect Pinterest tutorial and make the cutest pallet sign ever! Finish the decorating. Realize it’s 11am and I never ate breakfast…
How to Make a Pallet Sign
My Pinterest search led me to a post on Salvaged Inspirations about DIY Wood Signs. I definitely recommend that you go check out this website. There are all kinds of beautiful DIY projects and tips. I used the tutorial to transfer my sign and it worked perfectly! It took less than an hour from start to finish and I am thrilled with the result. Here are my step-by-step instructions. You can click here to get access to the PDF for my design as well as the other items in my Resource Library.
- Find your wood piece. We have a pile of pallet scraps outside, but you can use a newer piece of wood if you need to. I left my wood the way I found it, but you can paint and distress it or stain it if you want. I quickly sanded some of the jagged edges of wood to keep us from getting splinters, but I left it very rough-looking. Mine had a couple of nail heads that had been left in when the pallet was disassembled. I chose to leave those because I like them.
- Choose your message. I originally was going to write “Joy,” but decided to use “Joyful” instead because my piece of wood is much wider than it is high and I didn’t want too much blank space. I designed my message on Canva (this is a free website) on an 8.5 x 11 inch document. My sign is 6.5 x 13 inches so I knew this size would work. Pick whatever you need. I used the “Playlist Script” font because I think it reflected the spirit of my sign. Canva has a lot of fun fonts to choose from. Don’t be afraid to use more than one if you have a longer message. I think “Sunday” and “Architect’s Daughter” are great Christmas fonts. “Alegreya Small Caps” is a bold, traditional font that would look great on a sign as well. Type up your message and arrange it how you want it on your sign and then download and print the PDF.
- Color the backside of your printed sign with a thick layer of chalk. Make sure you choose a color that will show up against your board. I used yellow.
- Turn the paper back over and arrange it on your sign exactly how you want it. Then use a sharp pencil to trace the outline of your message. The chalk will transfer to the board beneath.
- Paint inside the lines. As you can see in the picture, I used a fat foam brush because that’s what I had at home (remember, sweat pants + a deep desire not to leave the house). I do not recommend this. It’s a little clumsy. If you have a fine paint brush, use that instead.
- Sprinkle glitter on the wet paint as you go so you don’t have to add it on with glue later. This step may be considered optional to some people, but not at my house. I would wear glitter every day if I could figure out a way for it to look professional enough for my job. Since I haven’t worked that out quite yet, I have to settle for glittery home decor instead and leave my wardrobe mostly sparkle-less.
- Step back and admire your work! Put that holiday inspiration on display to keep you and your people grounded this season.
I hope this tutorial is helpful to you! Please feel free to ask any questions below in the comments and I’ll answer as soon as I can. This Christmas, let’s all choose joy. Happy crafting!
Click the picture below for access to the Resource Library including this PDF printable.
You might also enjoy reading these holiday posts. Click the pictures to keep reading.