How to Build a DIY Pallet Wood Picture Frame

DIY Reclaimed Wood Frame Sign

A few years back during the winter, our old backyard fence fell due to strong winds. Over the years the 4×4 post gets rotten from rain and moister and eventually falls apart. At that point, the post and the fence need to be replaced. I had to disassemble the old fence before installing the new one, but instead of throwing away the fence, I saved sections of wood that were still in good shape. So using some of this old fence wood I built a DIY Pallet Wood Picture Frame with Wall Flower Sconces.

I didn’t realize how appealing reclaimed wood could look until I finished the project. Especially I like the natural wood texture with all the groves and dents from marinating out in the sun and dirt for many years. I need to find more fence wood for my next projects probably from the fence subcontractor. There’s an old saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”.

The phrase “Choose Positive” means, making positive thinking a habit. Life can throw all sorts of things at us and it’s up to us to have a positive mindset. It’s safe to say that any situation has a positive and a negative side to it. What we choose will greatly affect the outcome of our marriage, health, our friendship, finances, and the list goes on…

You also might be interested in Dining Table Centerpiece and Kitchen Wood Sign projects that I attempted to replicate a reclaimed wood appearance.

DIY Reclaimed Wood Frame Sign

Time to Complete

4 hours

Total Cost


Skill Level


Pallet Wood Picture Frame PDF


This PDF download includes Cut Diagrams, a List of Supplies, and 3D illustrations with detailed steps to build the project. Measurements are in imperial and not metric. Does NOT include SketchUp/CAD files.

The plans are embedded on the webpage for free, but if you would like to support the website, you can pay a small fee to purchase the printable PDFs.

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Pallet Wood Picture Frame

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Material List

Note: Lumber dimensions are listed as nominal size.  See lumber sizes for actual dimensions vs nominal.

Disclosure: Some of the links on this page as well as links in “tools for this project” and “material list” sections are affiliate links. 


DIY Reclaimed Wood Frame Sign dimensions

Step 1 – Cut Front Boards of the Frame

There are many different projects you could build using recycled/reclaimed wood. But for this project, we’re going to build a picture frame that has a short quote in it.

Recycled wood could be retrieved from many different places such as old furniture, barn, deck, pallet, fence… and so on. As I stated earlier, I had a bunch of old 3 1/2″ wide fence boards, so I decided to use those boards on this project.

If you’re using old fence boards, the first thing you need to do is to clean them with a wire brush to remove any dirt or lose pieces. Make sure there are no insects or termites that are eating or destroying the wood, especially if the boards were outside in the weather for some time.

Take 1×4 fence board and cut two boards at 35″ in length and two boards at 27″ in length at 45° miter cut with a miter saw. Set these frame pieces aside and we will come back to it later.

frame dimensions for the DIY Reclaimed Wood Frame Sign
reclaimed wood from an old fance
cleaning the wood boards for DIY Reclaimed Wood Frame Sign
cutting reclaimed wood on the miter saw

Step 2 – Cut Back Diagonal Boards

Instead of a typical picture that people normally place inside the frame, I wanted the inside to be made out of recycled wood with letters on it. Although you could place a picture inside the frame, I decided to simply write a short phrase.

The boards behind the frame will be attached diagonally as 45°. Cut these boards per dimensions provided in the cut list. If you’re making a different size picture frame then you will need to make sure these diagonal boards are long enough to cover the visible area.

backboards for the DIY Reclaimed Wood Frame Sign

Step 3 – Attach Diagonal Boards to the Frame

Now take the frame boards that you’ve cut in step 1 and place them on your workbench face down. The frame needs to be squared on all four corners. So use the corner of your workbench to line up the frame to ensure you have the frame squared. Position the diagonal board over the frame and nail them with 1 1/4″ brad nails using a nail gun.

attaching backboards for the DIY Reclaimed Wood Frame Sign
DIY Reclaimed Wood Frame Sign
back side of the DIY Reclaimed Wood Frame Sign
using nail gun for the DIY Reclaimed Wood Frame Sign

Step 4 – Attach the Perimeter Boards Around the Picture Frame

Take 1×4 board and cut two pieces to 35” in length and two pieces to 28” in length. Then take both of these boards and rip them in half using a table saw. Now you should have four pieces at 1 ¾” in width. Attach these four pieces around the perimeter of the picture frame using 1 ¼” brad nails. You are done building the pallet wood picture frame! Now let’s move on to sconce.

DIY Reclaimed Wood Frame Sign layout
cutting reclaimed wood on the table saw
using nail gun for DIY Reclaimed Wood Frame Sign
DIY Reclaimed Wood Frame Sign

Step 5 – Make Matching Wall Flower Sconce

As an addition to this frame, I decided to make matching wall flower sconces. But instead of flowers, I wanted to use recycled bottles with few twigs in them. I think the twigs are a better match for this frame as opposed to flowers.

Again, take 1×4 fence board and cut two pieces to 22 1/2″ in length and two pieces to 13 1/4″ in length. This will be for the backboard of the sconce. Then cut four pieces to 4″ in length for the horizontal stand. Attach these 4″ long pieces to the backboard at any height you want using 1 1/4″ brad nails.

flower sconces
building flower sconces

Step 6 – Spray Paint the Letters Inside the Picture Frame

There are several different ways to write letters inside the picture frame. You could paint them with a brush or use a wood sharpie to handwrite the letters. But I decided to print and tape the letter inside the picture frame and lightly spray paint them over the letter. After the paper letters are removed, the spray paint leaves a halo effect around the letters.

Download the PDF and scroll down to the last few pages and print 11×17 letter templates. Next, cut out each letter with scissors. Take ScotchBlue painter’s tape and make a loop with the tape and tape it to the backside of the letters. Then place the letters inside the frame on the diagonal boards symmetrically.

Now the inside of the frame needs to be spray painted over the letters. But we don’t want any paint on the frame itself, just the inside where the letters are. So cover the front frame with paper/plastic and tape. Once everything is covered, spray paint lightly over the letters. Try to position the spray paint directly at the letter and not at an angle. Then remove the letters.

printed letter for DIY Reclaimed Wood Frame Sign
taping letter for DIY Reclaimed Wood Frame Sign
taping letter on the DIY Reclaimed Wood Frame Sign
DIY Reclaimed Wood Frame Sign
spray paining the letter for the DIY Reclaimed Wood Frame Sign

Step 7 – Hang Pallet Wood Picture Frame on the Wall

To hang this picture frame on the wall, use a string that is wrapped around two screws.

On the backside of the frame, screw in 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws on the left and right sides. The pocket hole screw has a flat head and will prevent the string from sliding off the screw. Use either a wire or a string to tie both screws together so that you could hang this frame on the wall.

Take a recycled grass bottle from a Fever-Tree Premium Ginger Ale drink and place it on the stand of the sconce. The bottle will need to be secured to the backboard of the sconce with a fishing line. The fishing line is transparent and is not very noticeable.

Drill small holes in the backboards of the sconce and feed the fishing line thru wrapping around the bottle. Tie the fishing line behind the backboard. These sconces are not very heavy so you could use 2″ brad nails to secure them to the drywall. You are done with a DIY pallet wood picture frame.

attaching string to hang the DIY Reclaimed Wood Frame Sign
fever tree premium ginger ale drink for DIY Wooden Table Centerpiece
DIY Reclaimed Wood Frame Sign

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