I recently acquired a bunch of wood pallets, and I couldn't wait to get going on a list of projects that I had in mind for them. I had a vision of using them to display family photos, and there was a blank spot in my house that would be a perfect place for it to settle in.
I love love love the end result! The clothespins make it extremely versatile, and I can switch pictures in and out whenever I like. I've clipped our most recent family pictures, but I thought about displaying past photos that were taken during the current season or holiday. It would be so fun to feature old Halloween pictures at Halloween, Christmas pictures at Christmas time, etc.
Where can you find wood pallets? I would suggest checking at some of the larger stores in your area--like Wal-mart, Home Depot, etc. Some stores will give them away if asked. You might even luck out and see some on the side of the road (I always look around on heavy trash day in our area)! I couldn't find any like that, so I checked craigslist in my area, and found someone selling them for $1. That's just about as good as free!
When I went to pick them up, there as a pile to look through, and I was happy about that, because I only wanted the more weathered looking wood. Some pallets are newer, and they don't have the same look.
-2 wood pieces for the back--2-3 inches in width, not quite as tall as your display
-wood screws OR nail gun and nails
-hot glue gun
1. Cut your pallet pieces to the size you want. This will take some work--removing them from the pallet itself, removing or bending down nails, etc. I didn't want my ends to be even, so I cut them accordingly.
2. Lay them out the way you want them to be--good side down. Cut 2 wood pieces to act as stabilizing braces. This can really be any kind of wood, and I just grabbed some from the wood scrap pile. If I was going to hang it on the wall, I would have used thinner, flatter pieces, to make it not quite so heavy, but since this was going to sit on a ledge, it didn't matter. Line them up so they cross all of the boards, then use your nail gun to nail them on. Our nail gun was being used by a friend, so I used wood screws instead--worked just as well.
3. Sand, sand, sand. My pallets were pretty rough, and I didn't want any splintery pieces poking out. I used a rough grit (60) sandpaper, and went over it until those pieces were smooth.4. Spray paint your clothespins--or even cover them with cute scrapbook paper! Once they're dry, lay them out on your planks to see how you want them to be lined up. I clipped pictures on first, so I could see where they would fit best. I wanted to be able to use both 4x6 and 5x7 pictures, and I came up with a layout that would work--even when I switched out pictures. When you're ready, hot glue the clothespins into place.5. Add your vinyl (I used typewriter font), and clip on your pictures!