Make a Pallet and Decoupage a Beautiful Picture to it
I love art in all its forms. It’s in my blood. My mom was an artist and she passed that gene right on down to all my sisters and me. I started as a portrait artist, and I’ll always love the art of people. This last year my career changed directions completely and my lifelong hobby became my career.
The first thing I did in the pursuit of my new career was to produce artwork that could be reproduced and sold over and over again. The people here at Creative Fabrica know a little something about that, and I’ve seen some fantastic work on here. My mom always told me that if you can draw people, you can draw anything. I decided to test her theory, after all, nobody really wanted to buy portraits of my children. So, I needed to produce a few pieces that people would like to buy.
I did it. Now what? I wanted to sell more than limited edition prints and I’m not ready to sell digital artwork quite yet. My solution was to incorporate my artwork into as many crafts as I could produce. Artwork doesn’t have to be behind glass to be considered fine art.
Something new I’m adding to my shows are these pallet boards I make from scrap slats of wood. They’re easy to put together and there are a few ways I like to do them.
If you want to make a similar project, you’ll need a few slats of wood and a canvas that is stretched over a wood frame. Because that’s the easy way.
This idea came to me when I was looking through my crafting stash waiting for creativity to jump out at me. I keep things in my workshop that I have no idea how I’m going to use. It may stay there for quite some time but when an idea comes, chances are I’ll have the materials to complete the project. This was one of those times.
I spotted a canvas on a substantial frame, and I knew I had enough leftover wood slats to make what I had in mind. I took the canvas off the frame by removing the staples. I wasn’t really worried about how the front looked because it wasn’t going to show.
The next step I took was to cut my slats to the height of my frame. I wanted to place my slats across the frame vertically so I figured I would need eight slats since my frame was a little over 16” wide. I placed them an equal distance apart and glued them to the frame. While the glue was drying, I took my brad nailer loaded with ½” brads and put a brad nail on each slat, top, and bottom. My pallet was assembled at this point, and I was ready to add some color.
Michael’s sells a gel stain I love. It’s made by Craft Smart and I found it in several colors in the clearance aisle one day. I used the color Walnut on my pallet by wiping it on with a clean, dry cloth. I wiped off the excess with another cloth and waited for it to dry. Craft Smart also makes a finishing wax that is meant to go over their stain. I love the Gray Barnwood color and it’s so easy to use. Just wipe it on the stain after it has dried then wipe the excess off with a paper towel. I love the authentic barn wood patina this product gives, and I use it for a lot of my projects.
Sometimes I decoupage right onto the pallet and this is the process I use. I print my picture on tissue paper by trimming a piece down just a little smaller than a sheet of regular printer paper. I tape it across the top and it goes through my printer just fine. To trim my image down I apply a little water with a paintbrush then I tear around the image. This gives me a nice, feathered edge. Since I use an inkjet printer, I spray my image with hairspray to keep it from smearing. When it dries, I give my pallet a light coat of mod podge then lay the image down one section at a time. I work out the wrinkles very carefully then I apply another light coat of mod podge on top. I let it dry completely before I do anything to my piece. Sanding or using an X-Acto knife before your mod podge dries will cause tears and ruin all your hard work. To trim the paper from the edges of my pallet I use my sanding sponge to sand away from the edge. Then I use my X-Acto knife to cut between the slats, so my picture is separated where my pallet is separated.
If I don’t decoupage directly onto the pallet I decoupage my picture onto hardwood using almost the same process. I have my picture printed at Office Depot with a laser printer when I’m not going for such a rustic look. If you have your images printed professionally just follow the same decoupage process.
When my image was dry, I mounted the hardboard to my pallet with gorilla glue. To finish this project and give it a frame of sorts I used nautical rope. It played right into my western, rustic theme. I always have some rope on hand because I buy it on a spool from Amazon, but if you just need a few feet, you can buy it at The Dollar Tree. I cut two lengths to fit each side then I bound each pair at both ends with twine. I just wrapped the twine and glued it on the bottom with hot glue. After I glued it, I unraveled the ends of my ropes and I love what that little detail did to this project.
If you’re an artist and a crafter I’m sure you’ll think of your own ways to display your work. I’d love to see what you come up with. Until next time – happy crafting!
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