A Tale of Two Pallets

pallet board frameMany, many, moons ago, I mentioned how we may have grabbed a pallet (more like two…) from the construction zone that is our neighborhood… We’re such rebels, we even asked for permission to snag the pallets first! And I had such big, grand plans to use it with some vintage license plates that once belonged to my great-grandfather, remember? Yeah, totally hasn’t happened yet, still at the drawing board for that one.

On the other hand, I did think of something just as awesome to do with all that free lumber we suddenly acquired.



Mostly because we bought an awesome map when we were on vacation. And boy, was I excited! Another map! But it’s an awesome map so my hoarding collecting isn’t completely out of hand yet…




I may have celebrated the entire way home from vacation with my spoils new awesome map… just maybe… I’m sure you’re all thinking “man, this girl is nutso!” But before I spill the beans about our map, we needed to take apart those darn pallets…

At first, we thought, “hey, this shouldn’t be all that hard to do it’s just a few nails in some wood, no biggie” and boy were we wrong! Taking these seemingly innocent looking pallets are possibly the hardest thing to deconstruct that we have come across.

Those deceitful little buggers. We tried to take them apart the old fashioned way, with a hammer and a pry bar with no luck.

We tried to cut the nails with our handy dandy multi-tool to no avail.


And then we brought out the big guns. The Saw-Zaw. Or as my loving father affectionately refers to it, The Home-wrecker. And it was magical. This piece of machinery made us feel like fools. Cutting through the pallets like butter. Did I say it was magical? Because it totally was.

DSC_0440And yes, you know I got in on some of that power tool action with the saw-zaw, it was great! Definitely feel the vibrations after though, so be prepared for that! Such a rush!

DSC_0445We only ended up taking off six planks from the pallet, just enough to cover any mistakes that might be made along the way. Saving the rest for later creations. AKA, I’m still stumped as to what to do with it… and cutting those boards off is a bit of a work out!


A day or so later, I got around to cutting the angles for the frame. After marking where the cut would need to go with a pencil, I was ready to go!

DSC_0459We picked up this handy dandy miter box on my first experience to Harbor Freight Tools. And oh-my-goodness! It was like candy land for us DIY-ers. On a side note, next big painting project we have- you can find me there stocking up on painting supplies. No joke. Any way, back to the story… I plopped that sucker into the miter box, lined it up with my markings, secured it with a clamp, and started sawing a way. The planks aren’t too thick so it was just fine to do with a hand saw.

DSC_0462Not bad for being cut by hand! I repeated this step for all four boards, each with two cuts on the end, paying attention to which way the angles needed to be cut.

DSC_0464Now, to hold all of those gorgeous boards together, we picked up a package of wood joiners for a couple of bucks. These just get hammered into place, with what else, a hammer! We put two on each joint, after checking a million times that the angles were correct with our speed square.

DSC_0467For our frame backing, we just picked up a piece of thin particle board (about $6 at Home Depot) that we cut to size with our multi-tool… (we can’t find the power cord to our circular saw….)

DSC_0479After lining up our map just the way that we wanted it, we attached the backing with a staple gun. We actually used painters tape to keep the map from moving while doing this.

DSC_0478Levi was there to supervise… of course… He didn’t like waiting in the house for all the cutting, sawing, and general noise making to be over with.

DSC_0481Then we took off upstairs, to hang our new artwork in the guest room! We I picked this type of hanging device for our massive frame. I think I was expecting it to be a bit heavier…. dope!

Either way, after fumbling around a bit, trying to get everything level, we had ourselves a new piece of art and a new map to display in our house!

michNot too bad for first timers, eh?! Now our guests won’t have a big blank wall to stare at while they’re staying with us! It’s the perfect size for the big blank wall in there, like it was meant to be or something “strange” like that!

DSC_0492Right now, I’m loving the look of the exposed wood right now. We left the nail heads in the board too, which I super love. Although I think if I ever grow tired of the wood, I might white wash it something fun… too soon to tell though!

michAnd yes, for those of you eagle eyes out there, the map is of the Traverse City area! We love that area, it’s where we vacation every year and even where we were engaged! It’s always a good time to take a peak at the map and see all the places we’ve been… It’s just such a special area for us!

DSC_0493 Oh Lake Michigan, we love you!

I’m so glad that we were able to pick up this map while on vacation, it’s a perfect addition to our other maps in the room, and this one’s so much easier to read! We were able to do this entire project for about $30 and half of that was the price of the print! Not too shabby if you ask me!

And after looking at the pictures of the room above, I might repaint this room… maybe a nice calming blue? The sandy-yellow doesn’t really do it for me anymore… Or maybe it’s just that the lighting was terrible since it was so cloudy when I took these photos…

What have you guys been trying out lately? Experimenting with wood pallets anyone? I can wait to figure out what to make with the rest of our pallets!

8 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Pallets

  1. Oooh I love that map! So fab! I wish we could find a map like that for our favorite places!

    Good job pulling apart that pallet! Looks rough! Can’t wait to see what you two come up with next!

  2. Lovin’ these GIFs, first of all. Second of all, way to conquer those pallets! Saw-zaw to the rescue! Mark swears by it now; not quite sure how we managed before it. I haven’t yet operated it myself, so props to you for going for it, Audra! We actually want to create a pallet frame for a huge print we were just gifted – – great minds! Love how your map looks all dolled up now.

    • We definitely need to invest in a saw zaw of our own after this project! You should totally get in on the fun and try it next time- a little jiggly, but fun at the same time! It’s a rush!

      I can’t wait to see this print of yours with its very own pallet frame! Amazing how a little free lumber can go such a long way!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s