#15 Pallet Wood Picture Frame – Travel Inspired

A rough and rustic pallet wood picture frame


In this guide I show how I made my travel inspired Pallet Wood picture frame.

I wanted a frame to hold different notes and coins for countries I have visited with my wife. We thought this would be a cool way to remember different trips around the world. I will continue to add more and more money as time goes on, and already have to add more since making this! The idea can be adapted for any theme I just wanted to make it travel inspired.

For this project you will need;

Step 1: Cut Down Wood

I started with some pallet wood. I originally wanted to make these into mitred corners but had lost the adjustment knob off my mitre saw. So I just went with a butt joint, in the end I actually prefer this as it looks more rustic. I made my measurements based around the A3 sheet of plexiglass I had, and the width of the pallet boards I had. I cut 2 x 48cm and 2 x 35.5cm.

I spent some time figuring out which layout looked the best. Then I put some wood glue on the edges and used a staple gun to hold them together. This is an incredibly easy and quick way to hold a frame together. I would never use this technique for something I would sell or give to someone. But for something just my own house I am happy to live with it.

This next step would be much easier if I had a router, but I don’t. So I worked around it. I took some thin strips of wood to build up a smaller inner frame to hold the plexiglass and backing. I didn’t really measure this precisely just cut it down to match around the plexiglass. I then glued and stapled this down as well.

Step 2: Sand

I then sanded the frame down. I started on 60 grit to take off the worst of the dirt and muck, then went up to 120 grit. I didn’t want to go any higher than that as I wanted to keep a rough and rustic look.

Step 3: Ink & Burn

I wanted to add a bit of interest to the frame so added a picture of a paper plane, and a compass. I used the same technique from my Pallet Wood Sound Wave Art project to transfer these pictures onto the wood. To do this I found some images on google and mirrored them in photoshop so they were backwards. Taking some label paper I used the backing sheet which is super glossy. Ink from an inkjet printer doesn’t actually dry on this so you can use it to print onto wood.

I decided that I wanted to make it stand out a little more so I took an old soldering iron and used the hot end burn into the wood. Just by tracing along the lines really slow it burns the wood.

Step 4: Homemade Beeswax Polish

I used my homemade natural beeswax polish from my last instructables / video to finish the wood. If you haven’t already seen this make sure to check it out! I took a rag and worked this into the wood. Then using a clean rag buffed it in.

Step 5: Frame Up, Hand Up

After removing the protective film from the plexiglass and placed it into the frame. I took some a3 off white / yellowish card and laid out some of the notes I had. I used a tiny square of double sided tape to help hold the coins in place. The aim is to eventually one day fill this and keep adding more for all the places we plan to visit.

I laid this on top of the plexiglass and put a piece of foam board I had also cut down to size to hold it all in place. I also put some gaffa tape around the edges. As I said I want to be able to add more money to this so it needs to be easy to adjust.

Then I fitted a simple hanging hook and it was all done.