Welcome back everyone! As you know if you’ve read my other posts, I recently got married! We knew we wanted to do a few different and creative things to celebrate our big day, and this post is about one of those ideas–the Pallet Wedding Guest Book.
Every wedding has a guest book. They are great ways to remember who could join you and your special day and give your guests a way to personalize a message for you. We love the idea but wanted something a little different. While looking around online, I found a print that looked like wood slats painted with a leaved tree and a couple birds representing the happy couple. The idea is each guest signs a leaf instead of a page in a book.
Since I’m a little crazy for pallets and have a garage overflowing with them, I asked the fiance if he would try building this idea instead of buying a printed version. Here’s how he built and painted it.
First choose your pallet. We had one that sat out in the rain and sun for a year. I thought that might ruin it but after a quick wipe down to clean of the dirt, it ended up having the perfect rustic look.
Now that you have your pallet, plan out your design. My pallet slats measured about 40 inches long by 3.5 inches wide. I decided to use 8 slats to create a finished product that would be roughly 28 in by 40 in.
Next you’ll want to disassemble the pallet. I like to use a flat crowbar and hammer to really get under the nails. I find the easiest method is to get between the main beams and the slats by hammering down your crowbar, prying the slat up about and inch, then gently hammer the slat back down. This should leave the nails sticking up from the slat about and inch. Get the hammer under the nail head and pull it out. Most pallets have multiple slats held together by three main supports. Each slat is held to each support by at least two nails so expect to repeat this step about six times per slat.
Now that you have your slats prepared you’ll need supports to hold those slat together. I elected to use some scrap wood we had lying around. These will be pretty much hidden behind the slats so don’t worry to much if they don’t match. Lay your slats together spaced the way you like them and measure the height. While your here, number each slat so you know how they fit together later (start with your bottom slat as number 1). Like I said earlier, ours was about 28 in tall. Now cut your supports a little shorter than that (I chose about 2 inches shorter) so they won’t stick out the top or bottom. Now place your supports on the ground or workbench 20 in apart and parallel.
Mark your bottom plank (number 1) 10 in from each end (adjust if your slats are longer or shorter than 40 in). Line up the marks on your slats with the inside of your supports. Ensure your supports are still parallel and nail your bottom slat to your supports using 2 nails per support.
Congrats, that was the hardest slat! Now continue nailing each slat to the supports according to how you lined them up earlier. You can sand your piece if you want but I liked it rough and weathered.
Before I tried to draw out my pattern on the piece, I drew out a practice sample on a printer paper. Now is a good time to figure out how many leaves you’ll want. We planned on about 100 guest so I figured out space for 100 leaves. You can do the math and figure out how big each leaf should roughly be to fit on your pallet like a nerd [which is what I did =)], or you can wing it!
Now it’s time to translate that masterpiece to the pallet. The branches are easiest done free hand. I free handed the leaves as well to get a good idea of how to fit them.
For the branches and leaves, I used white acrylic. For the birds, I used a house paint we found on the reject shelf at Lowes for 75 cents.
Start by painting your branches with a large brush, slowly decreasing the size of your brush as your branches get thinner. Next are you leaves. You can try this free hand but I found the edges of the leaves tend to be fuzzy due to the wood. After a few failed attempts, I decided to create some stencils out of a thin sheet of cardboard. Make sure to use multiple shapes to mix tings up and fit more leaves.
You’ll likely have to complete two coats to get the proper coverage.
Paint your birds and choose someone with good handwriting for the names and dates.
Take your completed guestbook to your wedding and enjoy all the compliments on this creative way to make memories last!
Check out my other wedding posts:
Hope you enjoy and thanks for stopping by!