Jan 5, 2015

Make It Monday! Deer Head Silhouettes on Pallet Wood

I'm going back to our "Make it Monday" posts!  Today I'm sharing the "how to" on our most popular items this year....painted deer head silhouettes on reclaimed pallet wood. We didn't start making these until the Lucketts Holiday Market in early November, but since then, we have been selling them like crazy and filling custom orders.  I've been asked quite a few times about how we do it....well, here you go!

The construction part is done by Dean.  He just cuts the boards off of the pallets with a Sawzall, measure and cut to length and arranges them to where they look good.  This is a total preference.  We sometimes go really rustic or to a more defined style....just depends.  He uses both Liquid Nails adhesive and a nail gun to put them together. 

Another image of the backside.

As far as the stencil, I make my own.  I chose a graphic of a deer head that I liked and uploaded it to Blockposters.com so that it could be blown up to a poster size. This is such a great site!  I used a deer head for these, but there are so many other options out there!

Blockposters is very self-explanatory and once I selected the size I wanted, I saved it in .pdf format and printed it out on cardstock.  Once printed, I taped it all together and cut it out.  Voila!  You have a stencil.  Use it like any other!  When painting, I use a variety of methods.  I first start with a stencil brush and pounce around the edges to get the outside done, then take the brush and sweep the paint in the middle, then from the outside in.  This smooths it out.  After that's dried, I usually take an artist brush and do the fine details.  I'm sure there are many ways to use stencils, this is just how I do it.

It's not beautiful, but it works!  This one is the large size.

We made the natural wood ones for the shows and shop, but we also received a lot of custom orders.  Here are a few variations.  I love them all!

This one was painted using Real Milk Paint Company's Red.  It's a very nice barn red.

See how Dean leaves the old nails in?  As long as they are not falling out, they stay.  I love how it makes the wood look even more rustic.  Placing the stencil can be a challenge.  I can't always get them perfectly centered because I try to fit the nose on a single board rather than splitting it.  Every pallet seems to have different width in boards, but that keeps it interesting. :)

This one was painted brown as requested.  I used two different shades to create a rustic tone.

This custom order included a personal touch!  More possibilities!

I hope I was able to give you some inspiration!  I'm already thinking ahead to Easter and also something special for my new basement space. :)

'til next time!


  1. I like them much better than the real heads or skulls.

    1. Me, too! I think they are a good alternative and no harm to the animals. :)

  2. I like them much better than the real heads or skulls.

  3. I love this - great job!


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