How To Make Pallet Art For A Nursery | The Interior Frugalista: How To Make Pallet Art For A Nursery
How To Make Pallet Art For A Nursery | The Interior Frugalista

May 19, 2015

How To Make Pallet Art For A Nursery

Hi everyone! As promised in the One Power Tool Challenge last Thursday, today I am sharing How To Make Pallet Art For A Nursery. You can get the instructions for assembling the pallets here in my post Nursery Pallet Art .

DIY Nursery Pallet Art Trio

Pallet Art Number 1 - With Photo Transfer



Photo Transfer Nursery Pallet Art

Before I get into the tutorial, I am going to let you in on a little project fail secret. If you look closely at the photo above you will see that the tattoo on Daddy's arm is backwards. Yup, totally backwards! I was paying so much attention to getting a good image transfer that I completely forgot the fact that the tattoo is text and therefore needed to be printed in a mirror image.

Tip:  If you have any text on your image, as obscure as it may seem, print the image in reverse! 


Step 1: Aging The Wood

I aged the wood on all three pieces first. To do this you simply put apple cider vinegar in a container with a piece of super fine grade #0000 steel wool. Let it soak up the vinegar over night as the iron in the steel reacts to the oxygen around it and gives you nice rusty water. Rub the steel wool over the wood and wipe off the excess with a paper towel. Repeat this process until you have the aged patina you like and let it dry completely before going to the next step.

Step 2: Painting the Wood

I thinned Annie Sloan Antibes Green chalk paint with water to the consistency of milk. Apply the paint with a brush and remove some of it with a swipe of a paper towel. Dampen a kitchen sponge and remove more of the paint to reveal some of the wood peeking through, especially in the areas where there are knots in the wood. Let it dry and if needed distress the wood some more using a fine grit sanding sponge.

Step 3: Image Transfer onto Wood

Print a photograph on your printer using these settings:
Size Paper: Letter
Paper Orientation:  Portrait
Paper Orientation for images with text: Reverse Transfer/Rotate 180 Degrees
Paper Type: Bond
Quality: Best
Color Mode: Color


Transferring an image onto wood


  • Using a sponge brush apply an even coat of Country Chic Paint Image Transfer Medium or Mod Podge Photo Transfer Medium over the image. It is important that you generously cover the entire surface of the picture.
  • Place image side down onto the center of your pallet. I premeasured and marked the corners lightly with a pencil.
  • Using your fingers or a credit card gently smooth out the air bubbles and wrinkles. Caution: try not to move the image or it could smudge.
  • Let it dry for a minimum of 3 hours before proceeding to the next step.


Transferring a photo onto wood

Step 4: Removing the Layers of Paper 

Lightly spray water over the image so it is damp. Using your fingertips or a damp cloth and lightly rub away the layers of paper and let it dry. Repeat this process until you get down to the ink.

Caution: don't rub too hard or you risk removing some of the image. The image will appear murky after the final layer is removed but you should be able to see it.

Step 5: Distressing Around the Edges

Using fine sandpaper distress around the edges of the photo. With a Q-tip apply Darkened Bronze craft paint or brown glaze (something with some play time) around the edges and wipe off the excess before it dries.

Step 6: Adding a Phrase on the Bottom

In PicMonkey press the Design button followed by the Size 8 x 10.  Press the Add Text button and create a phrase.  I used the Dancing Script font in Text Size 374 and Text Alignment Right.  Print it and tape it to the bottom right corner of your pallet art. Place a sheet of Graphite Paper or carbon paper underneath and simply trace the phrase onto the wood.

Image transfer onto wood using grapite paper

Using a white paint pen go over the phrase until you've got complete coverage.  It's that easy peasy!

Painting over an image transfer onto wood

Step 7: Protecting the Image

Using a foam brush apply two coats of Country Chic Paint Tough Coat or matte Mod Podge over the entire pallet letting it dry between coats.


Pallet Art Number 2 - Monogrammed 

Chevron Striped Monogram Nursery Pallet Art

Step 1: Adding Chevron Stripes

Measure the center point of your pallet and apply a piece of Chevron Frog Tape in a straight line across. From there take two small pieces of tape to use as your guide when applying the next stripe and each one thereafter (as seen in the photo below).


How to add Chevron Stripes onto wood

Step 2: Paint The Stripes

Using a 6" foam roller I applied a coat of Anne Sloan Antibes Green chalk paint over the entire surface. Before the paint dries remove the tape. Once dry distress the stripes lightly with a fine grit sanding sponge. The point is you don't want your stripes to look perfect.

Step 3: Attaching the Wood Letter

I found this sweet Monogram W at Michael's. I went in the store with the intention of buying a galvanized metal letter but they were out of stock. Mr. Frugalista saw this one and I think it's a fabulous alternative. I love the distressed white on one side and galvanized metal on the other. Simply hot glue the letter onto the wood.


Pallet Art Number 3 - Framed Photograph



Framed Photo Nursery Pallet Art

Step 1: Painting the Wood

I used the same technique as Pallet Art #1 (steps 1 & 2).  Paint only the first and third board.

Step 2: Adding Burlap to the back of the Picture Frame

I purchased 6-inch wide burlap ribbon at Michael's but fabric or paper would be nice too. Remove the glass from the frame (which I purchased at the Dollar Store) and hot glue the ribbon onto the good side (the side that will be visible).  Next take some twine and hot glue it onto the back of the board, leaving a little slack in the rope.  I found these cute mini clothespins at Michael's and hung them from the twine.

Step 3: Distressing the Silver Frame

I wanted the silver frame to look like galvanized metal so I simply rubbed Blackened Bronze (the same craft paint I distressed around the edges of the photo in Pallet Art #1) with a cloth and wiped away the excess.

Step 4: Attaching the Frame to the Wood

Reassemble your frame and hang a 4 x 6 photograph from the clothespins. Simply hot glue the frame onto the pallet wood. I like how photos can be switched up whenever you wish.

There you have it, a trio of DIY Nursery Pallet Art!

A trio of DIY Nursery Pallet Art

I can't wait to hang these in my grandson's nursery!  But before I do I had to leave him with a special note on the back.

A special message from Grandma on DIY Nursery Pallet Art


DIY Nursery Pallet Art Trio

These could be made for any room, any gender, and any age.  Have I inspired you to make some for your home?

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