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Show your state pride and check out this easy-to-make DIY wood pallet sign with state decal tutorial. [post contains affiliate links, which means we make a small commission, at NO additional cost to you, if a purchase is made. thanks for supporting north country nest!]

This Minnesota Love sign was not our intended goal, but sometimes the outcome is better than what you expected.

wood pallet sign with minnesota state decal

On our most recent trips to Hobby Lobby, Brett and I found this wooden sign with a deer decal on it. After much deliberation, we decided not to purchase because we could probably make our own for a fraction of the cost.

That evening, Brett went up to my parents’ house and put together a sign from scrap wood they had laying around the garage. It ended up being about three times the size of the original deer sign, but hey, that’s alright. The best thing about making your own version is that you get to have it the way you want. And it always ends up with little quirks and personal touches that you cannot get from a store-bought version.

The deer sign was stained a dark walnut color, but trying to be cost effective, we used a stain I had gotten for free from my job. Although the color said Cabernet, it turned out a bit more red than we anticipated. Fortunately, we both really liked it and decided to charge ahead. We wanted the color to be dark and rich, so we put on a heavy three coats.

varathane wood stain in cabernet

After the staining, Brett had the idea to do a Minnesota decal instead of a deer. The red was very similar to the maroon Golden Gopher color and we never want to pass up a chance to show our Minnesota pride! Now the hard part – finding a large enough decal. I tried printing an outline of the state on three 11×17 sheets of paper at work, but it was still too small.

Brett suggested getting a projector from work and we could trace the outline that way. So, projector it was. Unfortunately, the weekend Brett was able to come home I forgot the one item on my list – the projector. Then I thought, what about a folded car map? We could cut out the state and trace it on the sign that way. It became apparent that GPS and cell phones have almost made car maps non-existent. We went to several stores looking for a folded map and came up empty. It wasn’t until we got back home that Brett realized he had one on hand after all. We held it up to the sign and luck was on our side – it would be a perfect fit!

map of minnesota on pallet sign

After cutting out the state, I traced around the map with a pencil. Then, I got to painting. We decided on a creamy, off-white color. I used a large paint brush to get a majority of the inside and a small brush to do the edges. We decided one coat was enough because we wanted some of the graininess to show through.

chalk painted minnesota decal on wood pallet sign
The finishing touch was the word ‘home’ in the lower right corner. We found that stencil at Michael’s for $1! I quickly painted it the same color and used hot glue to stick it on.

wood pallet sign with minnesota decal

This sign was such an easy DIY project. We completed it in about a day with the majority of time spent waiting for the stain or paint to dry.

Our takeaways:

  • When you start a project, be prepared to change directions
  • Cabernet is a very red stain, regardless of what the picture looks like on the can
  • Michael’s is the place to go for cheap stencils
  • Folded car maps are hard to come by these days


All our best,




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wood pallet sign with state decal

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