Recycled Pallet Wood Art - Futuristic Wave

Topics being covered

  1. Creating art using recycled materials.
  2. The trial and errors of creating this art.

Supplies/Tools List

  1. Pallet wood or reclaimed lumber
  2. Stain - colors: Kona, American Walnut, Golden Oak  
  3. Wood Glue 
  4. #80 Course Sandpaper 
  5.  Dewalt 1/4 sheet palm sander
  6.  Miter Saw
  7. Dewalt table saw  
  8. Copper plate and Hand stamping kit 

**Click on items above to see description and purchase**


 Recycled Pallet Wood Art - Futuristic Wave

Recycled Pallet Wood Art - Futuristic Wave

Alright, this project was a super fun one! It didn't take whole a lot supplies or tools and really wasn't all that difficult even though there were a few angles to cut. So if you've been looking for that perfect piece of rustic art for your home, why not try building it yourself! Continue reading down below  :)


Recycled Pallet Wood Art - Futuristic Wave

Hello everyone!! I'm back, sort of. I'm really sorry about the long gap in-between projects but I've been super busy this summer. Also, the weather hasn't exactly been the greatest and since I do my projects outside it's been kinda hard to get anything done. I swear, it has pretty much rained at some point during the day just about everyday this summer here in South Florida! Anyway, I finally had a little bit of free time so I decided to do a little art project. I had a lot of fun on my last recycled art project and since then I've had some other ideas floating around in my melon that I've been wanting to try. One of the reasons I like these types of projects is because I can really experiment with some ideas and if it turns out like crap I can just say it's "Art" and that's the way it's suppose to look! LOL :)

The idea I was planning for this project was, of course, some sort of wave design. I planned on using pallet wood as the building material and some wood stain to do a little shading. To get me started I grabbed a piece of scrap plywood that will act as my canvas.
 beachbumlivin art

I can't remember what thickness this is but I do know it's the thinnest plywood you can get at the hardware store. I cut mine down to a 24" X 24" square. Having the plywood 24 inches makes it convenient for a couple of reasons with the main reason being that I planned on using pallet boards that are cut down to 1 1/2 inches wide and with that width, it will all work out perfectly. A little more on that later. The second reason is the hardware stores actually sale pre-cut pieces of plywood in 24" X 24" squares. I know some of you might want to do this project but don't have any scrap plywood laying around, or the means to get a huge piece of plywood home and then cut it down to size. If this is the case, just pick you up one of these pre-cut pieces.

 beachbumlivin art. 

The first thing I needed to do was draw me some reference lines. I wanted my pallet boards to be 1 1/2 inches wide and this is where the 24" inch piece of plywood comes in handy. At 1 1/2 inches I can fit exactly 16 pieces of pallet wood onto the plywood canvas. 

 Beachbumlivin pallet wood art.

So before I do any wood cutting I wanted to layout the design first. Using just paper I did a mockup of the wave design with exact dimensions. For convenience and aesthetics I wanted all the cuts to be at 45 degree angles. Doing the paper design first really helped me see where all the angles were going to be and helped avoid any unnecessary mistakes with cutting the angles the wrong direction later on.

 beachbumlivin art

Here's some of the supplies I needed on this project. I went ahead and selected the pallet wood I was going to use for the project. Luckily I still had some wood left of from a previous project and didn't have to break any pallets down.

 beachbumlivin pallet wood

As you can see there is nothing fancy about the wood I'm using. Just some busted pallets that I saved from the landfill.


I went ahead and cut down the pallet wood into 1 1/2 inch strips.


I decided that I didn't really need or want the full thickness of the pallet wood so I cut each of the wood strips in half.  This doubled the about of wood I now had so I knew I had plenty to complete the project.


Using the individual pieces of paper I had cut as templates, I began cutting the wood into appropriate lengths. This part actually turned out to be way easier than I imagined. I'm not very experienced with cutting angles to match with other angles but on this project having the paper template really made the whole process super easy.


So here's the finished wave design. Can you see how this somewhat resembles a wave looking at it from the side as it curls over? Kind of futuristic with all the angles, right!?


So to really make the wave stand out, compared to the rest of the wood that was going to surround it, I decided to put some stain on it. I chose the color American Walnut which is a dark brown.

 Beachbumlivin recycled pallet wood art - futuristic wave. 
 Beachbumlivin recycled pallet wood art - futuristic wave. 

I finished putting the rest of the pallet wood on and this is where I began to experiment a bit. I really liked how it was looking but I really felt like the whole thing needed a little more 'something.'


I decided to bust out some even darker brown stain, Kona, and a light golden stain, Golden Oak.

 Beachbumlivin recycled pallet wood art - futuristic wave. 

At this point I was sort of liking the way it was looking but I still wasn't sure. 


I decided for the time being to just leave the wave part alone and go ahead and put a frame on it. I used some of the same strips that I was already using and assembled the frame.


I then decided I wanted to add some color so I prepped the art for painting the frame.


I settled on a sky blue color and guess what, it turned out looking like crap. I hated it with the paint on it. It looked so much better when it was all wood toned. I attempted to sand the paint off but decided it be a lot quicker to just rebuild the frame.


I rebuilt the frame and I figured I was done at this point. I really felt that the pallet art would look good with a high gloss finish so I went ahead and put on some Polycrylic in gloss.

 Beachbumlivin recycled pallet wood art - futuristic wave. 

With everything done, finished, complete with clear coat, I took one look at it and I hated it. For some reason I didn't like how everything turned out. It was way too shiny and the stained wood looked like crap. So I took out my power sander loaded with some course #80 sandpaper and went to town. I sanded all the clear coat off and sanded the stained sections as well. Once I did all the additional sanding I felt like the whole thing finally looked great!

 Beachbumlivin recycled pallet wood art - futuristic wave.  Hand stamped copper plate.

As a finishing touch, I added a hand stamped copper plate!

 Beachbumlivin recycled pallet wood art - futuristic wave. 

Finally finished! This project was a lot of fun and I actually learned a lot from all of the trial and error.   

 beachbumlivin fish strip

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