Is everyone sick of pallet art? Well, I kind of hope not, because I finally got around to making my own, and it's my entry for the American Crafter week 2--Kids. Honestly, I struggled with what to make. My husband said we should just make a kid ;)
I decided to go with my gut and knock out a project that's been on my list for a while. I mean, I've had these pallets sitting outside since November, and it was time to do something with them already!
I realize that pallets aren't exactly original anymore, but I really love how this turned out. And regardless of whether I make it through in the competition or not, I'm so happy that this will finally be hanging on the wall of my son's room.
Here's my breakdown:
1--Pull pallet apart. **Wear gloves (and protective glasses are probably a good idea too)**
Just as people have said, this is hard work--and sometimes the wood starts splitting. It was made slightly easier by using our Wonder Bar.
2--Age the wood. I used the method I've seen a few times online where you soak steel wool in vinegar for a day. Then you make up a cup of tea and brush the tea over the wood. When it's mostly dry, brush the vinegar over the wood. Over a couple of hours it will darken. Mine actually turned nearly black. My tea solution (which I actually don't drink, so I bought super cheap stuff just for this project) was a cup of water with 4 tea bags. My vinegar solution sat for about 3 days and was super dark and gross :)
Weaker mixtures of both may give less black results, I don't know. With the dramatic difference in coloring of my pieces of wood, it was nice that they all ended up pretty evenly stained in the end.
3--Assemble wood piece. I put the wood out how I wanted it, turned each piece over, and screwed extra wood to hold them together.
4--Picture. I found a train image I liked, printed it, and drew one inch grids on it.
I then measured my wood piece and figured that the train would fit best with each square representing 4 inches. Using chalk and a ruler I marked 4 inch lines all across my boards.
5--Transfer image. This is the scariest part, but after a few squares are done it gets really exciting. I started out drawing with pencil first, but it was really difficult to see on the dark wood of course, and would be nearly impossible to remove later. I decided to just go for it with the paint. Matching up a square on the paper to the same one on the wood, I started painting the design with white paint. It felt like it took forever, and by the time I was done, my neck was killing me. (I get why artists use easels!)
6--Step back and let it dry. When I was done painting, I walked away from it, turned around, and thought, "Wow, it totally looks like a train!"