I’ve been wanting to do some kind of project that required working with a pallet. It’s all the rage and I wanted on that bandwagon. So, I hit up our local nursery and asked for a beat up piece they didn’t need or wouldn’t be able to sell back. Enter, Pete. Pete the Pallet. That’s the name I gave him. On the way home I said, “Hey, Pete! So glad you’re coming home with me. I have no big plans for you, but just you wait! You’re gonna be awesome and they’re gonna be sorry they threw you in the trash pile!” Is it weird that I talk to inanimate wood and nails? I didn’t think so.
Now that I had Pete home, it was time to think about his transformation. I started to think of all the spaces in my home where something made from a pallet could live. Foyer could use a fun welcome sign. Maybe an outdoor piece for the patio? But then I remembered I wanted to do something that was more wide than it was tall in the area where my dog beds are. A cute conversation starter that would define the area where my doggies nap in luxury.
Pete! Man’s Best Friend’s Friend
Step 1: Carefully remove the boards you need from the pallet. I needed three and used my trusty hammer and rubber mallet to start Pete’s makeover. The nails are tricky. On Pete, they were pretty embedded so I had to bang on them from the pointy side first and then wiggle them out carefully with the hammer on the head side. Take your time so you don’t split the wood.
Step 2: Sandy sanderson time. I love my little Ryobi hand sander. I used a fine grit grade so that it would just remove the yuckies from the wood and make it a nice smooth surface. Going with the grain is the usual rule of thumb.
Step 3: Wipe away all the dust from your board with a clean cloth and then get your favorite stain out. With a clean rag, I started applying it lightly and rubbing it into the wood. This created a nice dark finish that would make my message pop.
Step 4: Attach these bad boys together. I just looked for some scrap wood around the garage and got the power drill out and started affixing. Easy peasy. Make sure your scraps are of the same depth so it sits even against the wall.
Time for some lettering. I gotta tell you the truth. I got all the brushes out, the paint, the stencils and still had no idea what I was going to letter on Pete. Yeah, I’m kinda fly-by-the-seat-of-my-brushes like that. Living DIY dangerously. Some options were:
1. Woof (boring)
3. Hi, I’m Pete (not really)
4. Tails Wag Here (yick)I opted to go with a very simple and direct message — DOG. Partly ironic and, well, mostly true. I just thought it would make for a clean design without trying to be inspirational or over the top witty. It works for me.
Step 5: I decided to make the words on the board pop out from the dark wood. So I lightly penciled in my letters and then painted a very thin white-wash over the rest of the board. Just put a bit of paint in a cup with a good amount of water and brushed it across the board until I got the weathered finish I wanted.
And I ended up with this! Pete looks pawsitively awesome!A couple long screws into the wall and there you have it. Pete. Meet Pepper and Gracie. Pepper and Gracie. Meet, Pete. A once barren space above the dog bed area, now has some personality. Who goes by the name of Pete. I mean, LOOK at the excitement in my dogs’ eyes. They are over the moon. They are SO impressed. Oh, and I bet you’re wondering why I went with singular and not plural. Because. That’s all. Just because. I liked the three letters on the board and, well, ’cause.
Have you named a pallet and given he or she a new lease on life? What did you make? There are so many options, but this sign really was fun to make. I liked not knowing what it would be until I actually just started creating. I still have some Pete parts left (sounds so Frankensteiny), so maybe he’ll make an appearance in a future project. Stay tuned.