How To Make a Pallet Sign with No Pallet

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I shared my porch nook makeover way back in May, but I never shared the tutorial for the rustic wood sign that I made. About time, don’t you think?
How to make a pallet sign when you have no pallet.

Pallet signs are all the rage nowadays, but pallets can be hard to find. At least they have been for me. I live in a town with no commercial businesses, so you can’t find them just laying around waiting to be picked up. And truth be told, I’m a little wary of using wood when I have no idea what it’s been in contact with. That free pallet may have held raw meat, or something worse. No thanks!Use this tutorial to make a wood sign, no pallet required!

Fortunately, if you want to make a “pallet sign”, you don’t actually need an old pallet. You can make one with wood from the hardware store. It’s clean, you don’t have to pry out any nails, and you can even get it cut to size. That’s a win in my book! (And of course I LOVE the smell of the lumber aisle. Am I the only one?)
Rustic wood sign with hanging boxwood wreath- a perfect way to spruce up your porch!

How to Make a Pallet Sign without a Pallet

Supplies I used:
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-Cedar Fence Pickets (I bought mine at Home Depot for about $2.50 for the 5 1/2″ wide x 6 ft long boards.)
-Chop Saw (optional)
-Inexpensive paint brush
-Stain (I used Minwax Water Based Wood Stain in Americana)
-Drill (I used the Ryobi One Cordless Drill)
-Wood Screws
-Wire for hanging
-Hook to hang the wreath on
If you are hanging your sign on brick, you will also need:
-Masonry drill bit


Cut your boards down to size with a chop saw (or have the hardware store cut them). I cut off the dog eared ends, then just cut the boards in half. I bought 5 boards. I cut them in half and used 7 for the front and 2 for the back. I ended up with one board left over.
Rustic Wood Sign with Boxwood WreathUse an inexpensive chip brush to apply stain to the sides and front of each of your boards. (I don’t use my nice Purdy Brushes on rough wood because I don’t want to damage the ends.)
How to make a wood sign for the front porchFor a deeper color, apply two coats. Here are my boards after two coats. Tip: Stain the fronts of the boards that will be screwed to the back. I didn’t, and you can see the raw wood through the slats.
Stained Wood Sign with Boxwood WreathNow flip all of the boards over and line them up the way you want them. I think it is very helpful to use spacers so the gaps are even. I used paint sticks because I have buckets of them on hand. 🙂
Fake Pallet Sign for PorchNow use your drill to screw the two boards to the back to hold everything in place. Mine were a little long, so I didn’t screw them in all the way. I didn’t want to wait till I had time to go to the store, and I knew no one would see it. (Well, except for all of you.)
Cedar Fence slats make great "pallet" signs.Now determine where you want to hang your wreath, and attach a hook.
Wood Sign with Balsam Hill Boxwood WreathTime to attach the wire to the back. Turns out it was kind of handy my screws weren’t in all the way, because I was able to use them to wrap my wire around.  You can just use two new screws if all your screws are tightened all the way.
Tips for making a wood sign out of cedar fence slatsFlip it around and hang your wreath on the front. I used a Boxwood Wreath from Balsam Hill, and it is seriously gorgeous! It’s been out in the weather for a couple months, and it still looks gorgeous. Look at the detail. I thought mine needed a pop of color, so I made a simple fabric banner and hung it from the corner.
Balsam Hill Boxwood Wreath on rustic wood sign- perfect outdoor decor!Now all that’s left to do is hang up your sign! You can hang yours on a wall of course, but I hung mine outside on my porch. Such a pretty way to welcome guests. I sure do love it!
Balsam Hill Boxwood Wreath on rustic wood signAre you a user of pallet wood, or do you just buy your wood?


  1. I definitely have had a hard time finding quality pallets for all the signs and things I want to make. Thanks for the tip to use fence pickets! I hadn’t ever thought of that. I really like the look of doing a darker stain on them. I’ll have to put this on my holiday list of things to do!

    • I know there are some people that seem to just find pallets at the drop of a hat, but not the rest of us. Hope you have fun making your “pallet” fence picket signs! 🙂

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