Sunday, January 25, 2015

Pallet Herringbone Heart

I know its been a while.
A few months to be exact.

But September was my first Junk in the Trunk experience.

I was super excited and nervous.

Would my stuff sell?
What is the competition like?
How many pieces are enough?
How am I going to get everything done in time?
Do I have enough wood?

The booth looked amazing! 
{M&J} from Twigs and Twine took a whole lotta
pallet wood and made these walls.
Like 42-ish pallets worth.

The pallets I cut up for the walls were from a Solar Panel company
in Mesa, AZ.  They looked like this, with my sweet and patient
hubby modeling it for me.

They aren't heavy and the wood is more like plywood with layers.
But it is uniform in size, width and length.
If you use pallets with any kind of regularity, that never happens.
Luckily for me I stumbled upon these on Craigslist.
It's always amazes me how that happens.
I need a specific type of pallet wood and a batch
nearly drops in my lap.
It happens again and again.
For that I know I'm extremely blessed.

Anyway back to business.
Since we took apart so many pallets,
we had all the cross pieces left over.
I have a hard time throwing any good wood away,
and I had to think about how to use the leftover wood.
It was easy to cut them apart with a skill saw but
it left me with about 8 inch pieces.
Now what?

I'm a secret Tetris and Dr Mario girl at heart.
Give me anything else and I'm a complete Klutz.
My kids don't let me play because I'll just kill of the character in about 10 seconds.
But give me pieces that have to fit together and I'm all about that.

So these hearts were a natural fit for me.
I love herringbone and chevron shapes.
Why can't I do that with my little pieces of leftover pallet wood?
So I did!

Before Junk in the Trunk opened, they posted this little beauty
on their instagram site.

I was stunned.
My project.
My art.
Honored and humbled to say the least.
{J} said that the woman who bought this piece waited in line for a long time
to be the first one in the show to run and buy it before anyone else could.

Now I know I should have made more.
This one was 3x3 but I also made some that were 2x2.

Here's a few pics of everything that went to the show.
Everything but 2 pieces sold.
I should have made more.
Did I say that before...
Yep. I should have made more.

So now you want to know how I did it?
I cut up the pallets and got a bunch of about 8 inch pieces.
These work well for this heart because they are all the same width and thickness.
It would be hard to do with varying sized wood.
Probably not impossible, but it would be a little more
than my math challenged brain could handle.

After getting the pallets cut up, I used my mitre saw and cut them at
22.5 degrees.  Both sides.
It's Ok that they aren't exactly the same length.
I didn't want the herringbone to be perfect.
Sand and paint the slats.
A little of this, a little of that.

My sweet SIL wanted one with gold so I spray painted some of the pieces
with shiny gold paint and let them dry.

Once the pieces are ready, I need a back.
I buy a thin-ish piece of plywood from Lowe's or HomeDepot
and have them cut it for me.  It needs to be sturdy but not too heavy.
I can get 2 3x3's and 2 2x2's plus some extra
for arrows out of one 4x8 sheet.

I used my jigsaw to cut out the shape.
You can sand the edges at this point, but I usually don't 
because I give the whole thing a good sanding when it's done.

I usually try to start with one side cut straight and start arranging the pieces
alternating colors.
Once it's all covered,
I start gluing, one line of slats at a time.
Be careful to press them into place and keep everything even
and as straight as possible.

I love this part because it really is like a giant game of tetris.
It's ok if the curved part of the heart has pieces hanging over.
You will cut them off when the glue is dry.

I lay whatever I have that is heavy on the slats and let it dry overnight.
Usually it's horseshoes and hand weights. 

Once the glue is dry, flip the heart over, check for any pieces that may have not stuck.  
Re-glue if necessary, then and use a jigsaw to cut around the edge.

I come out about 1/4 inch from the plywood.

Once it's cut, give both sides a good sanding around the edges
and anywhere else you think might need it.
You can add a spray of polyurethane to seal it,
but I don't always do that.
Add hanging hardware and it's done!

My Herringbone Heart!
Love it!


  1. There are a lot of wooden hearts floating around out there in the blogosphere right now, but yours is my absolute favorite. It's stunning.

  2. Love them--they are real works of "heart"! Thanks for linking up to the Vintage Inspiration Party!

  3. How amazing! I sure would like to see them up close! Love the heart! WOW!


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