A new line of American-made, gorgeous wooden bedroom sets from Artisan & Post came in to Kensington last week. As our store stylist and I were planning out how to set up the display for these new sets, we decided we wanted to have a rustic sign that said "Handmade in America." Since we have a ton of extra pallets from our furniture shipments, we grabbed a couple and upcycled the wood to create the sign ourselves.
This sign would be perfect for a rustic farmhouse styled room, and the best part is it's extremely cheap to make! If you were to buy a piece of wall art this substantial you would easily pay a couple hundred dollars, but when you DIY it's maybe a $50 investment — only if you don't have any of the common items in your home already (sand paper, acrylic paint, small paint brush, etc).
You can often find free pallets from stores who throw them away after receiving shipments. Try asking local hardware, furniture, garden, and power equipment stores; often they are happy to get them off their hands.
Once you have your pallets you need to disassemble it. We took ours apart with just a hammer and crowbar. We weren't too worried if the boards cracked or broke off at the ends a little because we wanted the sign to have an overall rustic, and imperfect look.
Depending on the look of your pallet boards you may want to stain them to give them a darker tone or a more aged look. We stained ours with a mix of black cherry and walnut stain. Using a paint brush, we painted on both stains randomly on the boards mixing the colors in some sections. We left the stain on for only a couple minutes and then used a rag to wipe off the excess stain.
Once the stain dried we lined up our boards to create our sign. We laid two boards of wood across the back of our stained boards to keep it sturdy. You'll want to place one board towards the bottom of the sign and one towards the top. Then using a nail gun we nailed down each board into the beams across the back.
This is where the fun part begins! Now you get to be creative! To paint on the words "Handmade in America," I used grey chalk paint and a small paint brush. I did it by hand, but you could easily use a stencil! If you want to make one for your home with a patriotic design like ours, try writing "America" or "Land of the Free."
If you want to have a faded American flag like ours what you'll need is some red white and blue acrylic paint, a small paint brush and a small sponge paint brush. I placed a small amount of acrylic paint on my sponge brush, then I painted in a downward motion from the top of the board, letting the paint fade out at the end of each stroke. I repeated this process with blue paint on 6 or so boards. I then painted two boards red, two boards white, and continued alternating until all the boards were painted. For a final touch take your small brush and white acrylic paint and paint little stars randomly on the section that is painted blue. To make the paint look more faded and rustic, you can take a piece of sandpaper and just sand it off a bit in areas.
Want to see more DIY Ideas for your home? Check out the rest of our DIY tutorials!