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.
Don’t you love pallet wood?
But today we’re making a pallet wood letter.
(PLEASE NOTE: IF YOU PREFER, YOU CAN SKIP TO THE VIDEO AT THE END OF THE POST.)
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.
How To Make Wooden Letters
- pallet boards or reclaimed lumber
- wood glue
- nails (or you can use a nail gun
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.
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.)
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.
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.
Step 6: Frame the cut-out letter
Frame out your wood letter with pallet pieces.
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.
Character is perfect for a pallet wood 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.