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My Rustic Christmas Mantel & A DIY Pallet Project

Pallet Mantle Backdrop

It was about this time last year that I received a Ballard Design catalog in the mail which inspired my Rustic Mantel DIY. It was the photo below found on the front cover to be exact!

Inspiration photo for Pallet Project


I loved the cozy cabin feel and wanted to create a similar ambiance in my family room for the Holidays! But, how??

The idea came to use a pallet. I had seen loads of pallet projects and had always loved the idea of doing one given the “free” nature of pallets.

Here are the results!

Christmas Pallet DIY Idea


Christmas Pallet Decor


Christmas Rustic Mantle DIY


Christmas Mantle Pallet DIY


Christmas Pallet Project--Rustic Mantle Decor


This pallet project is fairly easy (the hardest part is probably locating a pallet). I found my pallet behind a strip of stores. It was leaned up against a dumpster 100 feet f rom the back door of the store. It was obviously being thrown away.


There is almost always a back alley behind stores where the trucks go to deliver new products. When I drive back there I often see pallets discarded behind stores. Just be sure to ask first before taking one!

Craigslist is also a great place to look for free pallets. Under the “for sale” category there is a “free” section with a search box. When I entered the word “pallets” seven options came up.

Once you secure your pallet you can simply deconstruct the pallet with a saw. I used my $40 jig saw that has come in handy for lots of projects but you could also use a hand saw.

use jigsaw to cut pallet_edited-1

Another method is using a back of a hammer or a pry bar to pry the pallet apart.

Once apart simply line the boards up (like below).  I then used two 1×3 pieces of wood that I had in my scrap pile. You can purchase a 8ft. pine 1×2 or 1×3 for under $4. Then cut the 8ft  1×2 (or 1×3) into two pieces that are long enough to touch all of the boards in the row.

How to Build a Pallet Decor Backdrop

Apply a long line of wood glue or Liquid Nails to both pieces of pine and turn them over onto the pallet boards. Leave untouched to dry and harden for 24 hours.

Now your rustic backdrop is done! Before putting it up on the mantel I hung a wreath from some thick decorative ribbon and nailed it to the back of the pallet backdrop.

Christmas Pallet DIY 2


Lastly, I placed the rustic pallet decor up on the mantel.  You may need a second set of hands if you make a large one because it can be pretty heavy.  Mine ended up being about 45 1/2 inches tall and 31 1/2 inches wide and I barely got it up there by myself (and I’m really strong):-).

DIY Christmas Pallet Decor


I’m looking forward to putting this rustic ensemble up again this year.  It exudes a cozy winter cabin vibe and makes me happy.  I hope you enjoyed this DIY!  As always let me know if you have any questions!!:-)


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