Friday, December 21, 2012

Pallet Nativity

My oh my the week is finally closing in! I, for one, am extremely thankful. My first big project I took over when my co-worker left is finally getting closer to finished. And at 5pm today I will hang up my hard hat on it till the new year...that my friends is a marvelous feeling. Here's to almost two weeks off! #Perksofworkingatauniversity

Now to what this posts really is about....

A while ago, husband and I decided to pick up some scrap pallets lying by a dumpster on campus. We had a couple ideas in mind for them and were anticipating an unusually warm weekend ahead of us. We grabbed about three pallets, shoved them into the back of my sweet, little santa fe and there they sat till our warm Sunday was upon us.

Now there are a plethora of pallet projects all over pinterest, we've all seen them, but I hadn't come across this one so I thought I'd share it. I feel like I've seen something similar in the past but couldn't figure out where from.

Anyway, our front porch was lacking for Christmas time and I really wanted to put more emphasis on decorating for Christ, as it is CHRISTmas. So, I decided that with a little paint, a new sander and some patience I would make a Pallet Nativity:

- Pallet Wood
- Sander (we used an Orbit Sander...thank you wedding gift cards to walmart!)
- Medium grit sand paper for your sander
- Saw
- Paint (just any small tube acrylic paint will do, You'll need less than you think too!)
- Paintbrushes
- Clear indoor/outdoor spray paint ( I chose the satin finish)

How To:
ONE: Have your handsome hubster or yourself saw the pallets up so you just have the board pieces left.You'll need three individual boards. You could choose to have three different heights for this or you can do them all the same. Mine were all the same, just about.

TWO: Prop the boards up and go to town with your orbit sander. Slowly in circles work your way up and down the board till you have a fairly smooth finish.

THREE: Layout what you're going to paint/draw. This is where I lack patience, I started sketching with a pencil and then just went for it with the paint. My mom always told me, wise words from an artist, you can never mess up something with paint because you can always paint over it and try again (and when working with wood, you can always sand it off and try again). I printed out a picture of a nativity style I liked and just glanced at it as I painted.

FOUR: You'll probably want to go for a second coat on each color. Making sure, you've let it dry in between.

FIVE: Spray paint the finished product with the clear coat to make sure it will endure weather outside.

SIX: Prop up and be reminded of Christ coming to earth as a human baby, growing and teaching, dying on a cross for our sins and ascending into heaven to return again one day for us.

So that's it, what do you think?

Baby Jesus was the hardest part for me, and then I debated on hands for Joseph and Mary but then decided not to...What would you have done?
*Husband worked on his own pallet project but that will be shared at a later date...
I'm taking guesses though! I'll give you a hint.

- My original intention was to give them a rougher look. I had planned on sanding them up a bit, making them look antique I guess you could say, or weathered. I couldn't bring myself to scratch up what I'd worked so hard to paint BUT I bet it'd still look there's that option.
- Don't be afraid to mix paint colors to get what you really want. The only color I didn't mix was the face color.
- You don't need a studio, a wood shop or even a garage for this project. My husband and I worked off the little square patio and grassy area in from of our townhome.
- Be patient with yourself...I'm a free-hander but I grew up with a mom as an artist so I'm less afraid of messing up when it comes to paint and drawing...if you need to scale it out and sketch it out, that's perfectly fine and it'll probably turn out even better! I did though, create a stencil for the star.
-OH! And don't be afraid to get your hands dirty! 


  1. This is sooooo cool! Love it! Very creative my dear!

  2. That is too cute! I absolutely love it!!!

  3. im so doing this, thank you for such a great idea!!! Merry Christmas friend!!!

  4. I LOVE this!!! Pinning now :) Thanks for sharing!

    Hannah ♫
    Sew Lah Tea Dough

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. I'll offer some proof reading at no cost what so ever but first let me say I LOVE this project. In "from" of your house should say in FRONT of your house I think. Cotton gloves while painting makes hand washing so much easier but that's just the 66 year old in me talking. Thanks for posting this

  7. Nice art work, I'm going to use your idea as a template to create something similar. Thanks


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