If you’re looking for a unique way to display your photos, look no further! I made a wood pallet picture collage that can be used for parties (bridal shower, graduation party, birthday party, etc) or for just hanging in your own home.
I love this wood pallet picture collage because it gives a little rustic element into whatever space you want to put together. The variety of the picture frames offers a great look from mixing both old and new pieces. I often like this rustic chic style so I fell in love with this idea.
The cost of making this picture collage is inexpensive. See below for a list of materials that you need and my step-by-step instructions! I made a wood pallet picture collage for my cousin’s birthday. I used the letter J, which is the initial for her name Jeanette and displayed photos of all our family’s memories together!
- Natural wood pallet
- You can get this at any arts and crafts store. I got mine at Hobby Lobby – It was $25, but I used their 40% off 1 regular item coupon and paid only $15.
- However, if you could find a free wood pallet from one of the local businesses around you, that is great too! A lot of businesses have extra wood pallets laying around from holding and transporting their items and such.
- Picture frames
- If you have a bunch of extra picture frames laying around in your house, you should definitely use them for this project!
- I, on the other hand, don’t have any picture frames just laying around so I went to the dollar store and bought 6 frames. Obviously the frames from the dollar store aren’t the greatest quality, but you don’t need it to be because you are using it for an arts and crafts project to display your photos.
- Wood stain: Pick whatever wood stain color that you desire. For my project, I picked Sherwin Williams / Wood Classics – Rustic Gray
- Wood letter: Pick a wood letter(s) from any arts and crafts store. As I mentioned above, I used “J” for the name Jeanette. If you are making this for a wedding, I would pick initials for the couple’s names – Example: “S & J” for Sarah and John
- Acrylic paint color for the wood letter
- For this project, I picked white and light blue. I plan to distress this wood letter with sand paper. I found out my “J” isn’t technically real wood so I used white as the base coat and then painted light blue over it. So when I sand it, you can see some white peeking through which still offers that distressed look that I’m going for. Note: Sanding an item that is not real wood won’t show any wood grains. Therefore, I decided to be creative by having it look distressed with the white base coat seeping through after sanding my “J.”
- Sand paper
- 2 paintbrushes (one for wood stain and one for acrylic paint)
- Paint roller & tray
- White rags
- Wood glue
- Stick-on Velcro strips
- Personal photos
- Decorative scrapbook paper
- Printed quote of your choice
PART 1: Wood Staining
- Lay your wood pallet down. I used a large piece of cardboard to put underneath my wood pallet so I don’t have paint going everywhere on my own floor.
- Use your sand paper to sand the entire wood pallet. Sanding this wood pallet enables the wood’s surface to be more rough so that it is able to grab onto the stain color upon application.
- Pour some wood stain into your tray.
- Use your paint roller to pick up some stain and start painting a section of your wood pallet.
- Use one paintbrush to get the little spots in corners where the paint roller can’t reach to.
- Right after you paint a section, use a white rag to rub on the wood so that some of the extra paint comes off to reveal the wood grains on the pallet.
- Continue doing steps 2-3 until you paint the entire front of the wood pallet. Be sure to paint the sides of the wood pallet as well by using again your same paintbrush. Let the front dry for about 4 hours.
- Once the front is dry, do the same thing on the back of the wood pallet. Let the back dry for about 4 hours.
- Once both sides are stained and dried, you now have a beautifully stained wood pallet ready to collage.
PART 2: Painting Your Wood Block Letter(s)
- So because my “J” isn’t technically real wood, I am unable to just sand it, paint it light blue and rub the excess paint off with a rag – There would be no wood grains showing.
- Therefore, I used my 2nd paintbrush to paint my “J” white first. Once dried, I painted over it with light blue. Once dried, I sanded the “J” until you see some areas with white seeping through. Voila! Now I have a distressed looking “J,” which is the look I was going for.
PART 3: Picture Collage
- Lay out your wood letter and picture frames the way you want it to be on your wood pallet.
- Once you figured out a layout, start inserting your photos into the frames.
- Two of my photos were squared-shaped, so I used decorative scrapbook paper as a background in the 4 x 6 picture frames.
- For one of the frames, I decided to put a quote.
- Apply wood glue onto your letter. Then, place it onto the wood pallet. This should take about an hour or two to dry.
- I found that the easiest way to have picture frames stick to the wood pallet is by using Velcro strips.
- First, rip the stands off of the picture frames.
- I placed two pieces of Velcro on the back of each frame. Peel off the protective strips. The best way to do this is to stick Velcro together onto the frame. Then, place the picture frame onto the wood pallet…That way, you don’t have to worry about lining up Velcro strips against the strips on the wood pallet.
Now that your wood letter and all of your picture frames are stuck onto the pallet, you can now use your wood pallet picture collage for your own personal use! CUTE, huh?!