Saturday, August 25, 2012

DIY pallet & wedding gift

I am SO happy with how this project turned out! Here's how it all came about...

A couple of weeks ago I was brainstorming ideas for a wedding gift to give to my friend, Kirby, who was about to get married. I'm not sure how this idea came about in my head, but it started taking form and I had something specific in my mind.

First, I enlisted the help of my father-in-law who has a workshop in the basement of their house (thanks, Joe!). Since Matt and I were heading back to Michigan the following weekend for another wedding, I asked him if he'd be willing to purchase and cut the wood to the size I needed. He loves working in his workshop and I don't blame him! I'd be down there using those tools all the time, too!

By the time we had arrived in Michigan, my FIL had cut the wood so that I could make a 12x12 square pallet. Next, I arranged the pieces of wood in the order that I wanted for each pallet (I made two) taking into account the grain and characteristics of the wood.

Each piece of wood was 12 inches wide and just under 2.5 inches tall. I used 5 pallets to make an almost 12 x 12 inch square.

Using one of the extra pallets that was cut, we lined it up in the center on the backside. I used about 10 nails to hold it all together.

Next, I used part of an old white t-shirt to rub on the stain. I didn't want anything too dark since I was going to be using navy blue paint later. I also wanted it to resemble an actual pallet so I chose fruitwood. I made sure to wear gloves for this portion, especially since I was heading to a wedding shortly. The stain was dry after about 2-3 hours, but it was another 2 days until I did anything else to these pallets.

We headed back to Chicago where I finished up the project. I enlarged and printed off the two graphics that I wanted to use - a beard and hair. This was sort of a theme of the wedding. Joshua has a nice, bushy beard and Kirby has beautiful, wild, curly hair. See?

These were the graphics that were on their wedding invite, wedding website, and throughout the wedding reception.

I then traced and cut (I used scissors, but an exacto knife would probably be best) out the graphics onto contact paper which is sticky on one side. I placed that sticky side onto the wood, covered the parts I didn't want to be painted with newspaper, and sprayed away. It took me about 3-4 coats to get the coverage I wanted.

It was reeeeally hard to wait patiently for this to dry. I couldn't wait to see what it looked like. Finally, I was able to remove the newspaper and contact paper.

I loved it! But I wasn't finished yet. I nailed a hook to the back so that it can hang on a wall.

Finally, I wanted these two pieces to have a more distressed look so I grabbed some sandpaper and went to town. However, I was careful to only rub the paint area as I did not want to take off much of the stain.

Here is the end result. I LOVE how it turned out and I can't wait to give this to the newleyweds. Hopefully they don't see this before then!


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