Want a fun vintage DIY project? Follow these step-by-step instructions on how to make wooden letters perfect for any room in your farmhouse.

Have you seen wooden letters hanging in a store window or on a vintage sign? They are easier to make than you think and it isn’t all that difficult. Here’s how to make your own wooden letters.

how to make wooden letters

how to make wooden letters pallets

Don’t you love pallet wood?

Which I have used before to make tons of pallet wood projects like this and this and this.

But today we’re making a pallet wood letter.


Before we get to the step-by-step, here are some of the most commonly asked questions about pallet wood.

Q: Where can you get pallet wood?

Many times, stores have recycled areas where you can pick up pallet wood for free. These pictures were taken at a place in the country that sold pallet wood for $1 each. You want to look for high-quality wood that isn’t stained or splintered to use for pallet wood projects.

Q: How do you dismantle a palette?

Start by taking off the pieces of wood at the top with a pallet ripper. After you remove those strips of wood there will be a frame of wood that remains. Pry the frame apart and take the nails out of the pallet.

Making your own pallet wood letter is easy.

How To Make Wooden Letters


  • pallet boards or reclaimed lumber
  • wood glue
  • plywood
  • nails (or you can use a nail gun
  • jigsaw

Step 1:  Disassemble the pallet to make wooden letters

Remove the pallet boards from the pallet and rip each board down the middle.

Each board will then measure approximately 2 1/2″ wide.

(total aside number 1:  you don’t have to use pallet wood for this project.  You could use paint sticks or yardsticks or even random sticks from your yard.)

Step 2:  Cut out a piece of plywood 18″ x 18″

This is just basic plywood that we got from Lowe’s.

It’s 1/2 inch plywood that we got from Lowe’s.

This is what you’ll trace your letter on as a foundation for your wood letter.

pallet wood letter plywood tracing

Step 3:  Determine the font you want to use.  

Ariel Black is a really good font. Or Impact is a good choice.

Print the letter out on your computer and take it to a local copy shop and have it enlarged to 16″ tall.

The width of each letter will be different depending on which letter you are cutting out.

You could also just draw the letter on the plywood with a ruler, too.

(total aside number 2:  You could always just make a smaller letter and skip the copy shop step)

(total aside number 3:  These asides are like when you used to take Jane Fonda aerobics and she would totally adjust each of the exercises for different levels.)

pallet wood letter steps with pallet wood

Step 4: lay down the pieces of pallet wood on the plywood base

Lay the pieces of pallet wood end to end and stagger them like bricks.

Glue the pieces of pallet wood down.

Then nail each piece in place.

pallet wood letter cut out

Step 5: Cut out the pallet wood letter

Next, cut out your letter that you’ve traced with a jigsaw.  You will cut through the plywood and the pallet wood together at the same time.

This makes the project so much easier and faster.

Rather than cut the pieces one by one and add them to the plywood, you simply cut the two together.

Your sides will be even now.

Frame the cut-out of your wooden letter using plywood.

Step 6:  Frame the cut-out letter

Frame out your wood letter with pallet pieces.

The outline of this pallet wood letter is rustic and vintage looking.

It doesn’t have to be perfect.

Just measure and cut pieces that fit around the edges.

Sometimes they won’t line up exactly perfectly.

That’s okay.

Character is perfect for a pallet wood letter.

Cut parts of the plywood at an angle to properly frame the wooden letter.

Depending on the letter you may have to cut some of the pallet boards at an angle.

Next, nail the boards in place.

Sand the letter thoroughly to make sure you knock down all the rough edges.

Then finish it with wax or polyurethane.

You could make monograms or simple words like “Eat” or “Joy” or numbers or punctuation.

The possibilities are endless.

And if you like a smile with your pallet wood….here’s a corny joke my son told me yesterday that totally made me laugh out loud:

What did the number zero say to the number eight?

….nice belt. 🙂

Here’s a video I made showing how to make a pallet wood letter.

You can see more videos like this over on my YouTube channel. 

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  1. Image for prince snow farm prince snow farm

    Love this KariAnne! Just peeked at your brother's shop and I want that table! Actually, I want a dining room table made just like the letter! So amazing. We live in a country setting too KariAnne. But here, the highway is a 3 minute drive, the beach and lighthouse 2 minutes, and Target 10 minutes. I have often dreamed of living in a setting like yours. So perfect.

  2. Image for Farmhousefancier Farmhousefancier

    Here's another good one for your son. Why is six afraid of seven? Because seven eight nine! Get it? Eight sounds just like 'ate' , and seven is real hungry, so watch out! (My guess is that he's already told this joke a hundred times, but I just had to pass it on...Nice woodworking, 'guy' post, btw...

  3. Image for Lisa G Lisa G

    Oh goodness - your brother goes to my church - I had no idea. He is terrific! I will be ordering from him soon. (:

  4. Image for andrea cammarata andrea cammarata

    This is simply awesome KariAnne...awesome!!!!! I love it and how incredibly original! You really are a master...one thing you can't do...???? and that is disappoint!!!! : ) hugs and then a few more!!!

  5. Image for Karen Karen

    Karianne, your blog is my favorite! Even more than the pallet wood letter, I love the wreath! Have you shown us how to make that?!

    1. Image for Rosalyn Rosalyn

      Karianne, I'd love to know about the Bark Wreath also! Looked online, at your brother's Etsy shop, and the wreath is not one of the items he offers. Is this something you made? How about an instruction blog, if you did!?! Love everything Thistlewood Farms!

  6. Image for Janet Janet

    Lurve! I'm going to attempt your burlap wreath/bows on my mantle....and I'm so OVER the red walls in my kitchen - suggestions?

  7. Image for Jennifer Jennifer

    I love this KariAnne! I bet this would work well using the reclaimed lumber from our barn that I had my hubby rip down last time we were in Alabama. I love the personality this letter has. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Image for Beth Moore Beth Moore

    Oh the possibilities for this fun project! I love the rugged, but clean lines on this & now I must go find some pallets. Do you have a tutorial on the fun wreath too? Love the natural look of the two of these together. Thanks for the inspiration!

  9. Image for Tanya Tanya

    LOVE this gorgeous wood project Karianne!!! Read your post over at Lamps Plus too, thank you for all of the beautiful farmhouse inspiration :) xo

  10. Image for Regina Regina

    I just knew I had a new joke for my children's librarian . . . but she knew that one already! :) SUCH a cute letter! And "M" would be a LOT like making a "W!" ;)

  11. Image for Cindy Cindy

    Hey Karianne, what an awesome idea! Monograms are one of my very favorite things!! Just wish I wasn't a little skeeeeeeeered of power tools, lol! Maybe one day :) p.s. my 9-yr old daughter loved the joke ;)

  12. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    Your son's joke is a good one...I love corny! I'm interested in that wreath...have you shown us how to make that already? If you haven't will you...please? ;)

    1. Image for jrachelle jrachelle

      I too am interested in the wreath. I've searched your sight and not found it. I'd like to make it. Please give more information.

  13. Image for Regina Regina

    Oh my, KariAnne! I have lived in the same (as your's) setting all my life. I was born a country/farm girl and after 53 years I'm still a country/farm girl. We just built a new home on a hill with a 360° view of farmland and timber. It's breath taking during every season. You and I are lucky! No wonder I can relate to every one of your posts.

  14. Image for Marian@Gathering Branches Marian@Gathering Branches

    My daughter told me that joke abou 2 years ago, and I thought I was the funniest. And it IS you doing the jigsawing, in your hoop earrings and full red lipsticked, 3m sporting glory, yes? Because I can totally picture that. Actually, it makes me smile just thinking about it. I need to come hang with you in Kentucky sometime. I'll bring the Diet Coke. The Other Marian

  15. Image for Sheryll & Critters. Sheryll & Critters.

    I totally love it. But it sounds way too hard for me to make. And too with the letter S...... not so sure I want to spend the money 'yet'. I would have to buy some pine planks, no pallets I know where to find .... anyone know for Jacksonville, Florida on the west side of town?

  16. Image for Nana Diana Nana Diana

    That is a really, really cute idea. W was the first letter of my last name before I married. That turned out really great. Love the little BELT joke. Here's one for you (kids). Why was SIX afraid of SEVEN? Because Seven EIGHT (ATE) Nine. Love those funny little things- xo Diana

  17. Image for Jill Jill

    Thanks for letting us ride shotgun on your way to town. Love your letter. I've been walking around my house looking where I could put one discreetly since my husband is anti-alphabet! The only letters I can manage on the walls in my house are in Chinese or ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. Your wreath is stunning. Since I am a new recruit, I couldn't find how to make it when I scoured past entries of your blog. Is it something you made? Thanks for your joke! I shared it with my math teacher friends and my nieces for when the Greats get off the bus this afternoon! Most of all thanks for brightening everyone's day!

  18. Image for Lauren Lauren

    I just love this. I have yet to make anything with pallets but I do have a nice stockpile of old, weathered wood and fence boards I use for projects. Thanks for the great tutorial!

  19. Image for Sandy Sandy

    KariAnne, thanks for your brother's Etsy account info.....for those of us that aren't quite so handy. I just placed my order with him! I ordered 2! I know I'd have to share with my daughter (in law), so figured I'd just get her one. Love your blog!!!!! Take care, and God bless!

  20. Image for Doreen@househoneys Doreen@househoneys

    Is there no limit to your creativity Karianne?? And it looks like it runs in the family ;). Our weekend home is about 20-30 minutes from anywhere, so I can relate. I think my blood pressure drops around 20 points when I'm there. I'm not sure how I would feel if I was there 24/7...guess I'm a 'country mouse/city mouse' kinda gal, but I also always feel like one should 'bloom where planted'.

  21. Image for Amanda@Cultivate Create Amanda@Cultivate Create

    LOVE the wood letter! I can't wait to get my husband to help me make one. (Although, after the two projects he helped me with today, I might have to give him some time to recuperate.) By the way, looking forward to meeting at the Chapel Market next month!

  22. Image for Debbie Debbie

    I love your letter! I want one, but our initial is B and the round part of it might be tricky...but I can show Larry this and hope he gets the hint...maybe? Great tutorial, Karianne! I've pinned it. Debbie :)

  23. Image for Lauren @ The Thinking Closet Lauren @ The Thinking Closet

    Mark and I are pallet obsessed, so of course I had to call him over to my lappy to see this brilliance. Adding it to our pallet TO DO list! And off to pin and tweet and share it all over kingdom come. Thanks for the inspiration, yet again, Karianne!

  24. Image for Angie @ Angie's Roost Angie @ Angie's Roost

    Oh my goodness I love this! Like in a LOVE this love this kind of way! It turned out so beautifully! Now I need a pallet...good thing I work in distribution and have easy access. Thanks so much for the inspiration to play with pallets!

  25. Image for Feral Turtle Feral Turtle

    This is just gorgeous! I am definitely making one of these. Maybe I will make each of my sisters one for Christmas. Thank you for such an inspiring idea! Cheers.

  26. Image for Becca Becca

    Woza- isn't she a beaut? I am not surprised I saw this baby all over Pinterest before I could even check out blog posts for the week- who could keep her a secret!! I adore it! xo Becca

  27. Image for 6 Hollow Legs 6 Hollow Legs

    I LOVE the look of this and really wanted to try it out, but neither Arial or Impact fonts would work for the letter 'S' since they are so round. I searched quite a while before finding one that worked great for 'S'. Check out the font called Freshman if you are needing an C, G, J, O, R, S, U, etc. I just thought I'd share in case it might help someone!

  28. Image for Rhoni T Rhoni T

    I really like your big "W", thinking about the possibilities on a smaller scale, for entry shelf. New to your blog and now knowing why I can relate, I live in the middle of nowhere Oklahoma. 15 mins from town, which consist of a bank, a $ store, and 2 convenience stores (which sit side-by-side and are the same brand) - (odd). 40 mins from the nearest Wal-Mart, and a hour and 45 mins from the city (aka: Oklahoma City). I live in the second house on a two mile dead-end dirt road. And I have the run of 20 acres, love my little ranch life. My husband and I bought this place the end of May this year, we have spent the better part of our summer cleaning up fence lines, the pond and barn in prep for the winter. Now that it has started to cool off we have moved our attention inside, I now have no more popcorn ceilings, no ugly industry strength glued down tiles (except for the two baths and laundry closet - crap that's a lot) and no more ugly pink and blue or purple carpet. I DO have tapped and mudded ceilings and clean concrete floors. There is so much work to still be done to this 1990s built home that has decor from the 80s, but I am finding inspiration in your blog and your projects, so "Thank You" keep up the good work!!

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