Valentine’s Paint Stick Pallet Art

I wanted to make a little something for my sweetie that would have meaning on multiple levels. Since we’ve done so much DIY renos together, I was inspired by a pallet. In keeping with our mission to lead a more sustainable life, and keep things from landfill, I repurposed paint sticks and 1″x2″ lumber to make a miniature version of the pallet that hubs could easily display in his office. It turned out to be a great way to use up old paint sticks amassed over years of painting and renovating past (and present) homes.

I started by designing an 8 1/2″ x  11″ picture using the charicature we had done for our wedding. I superimposed it into a ‘puzzle piece heart’ I drew with the words ‘you complete me’ – the perfect sentiment for any soul mate!

Of course, if you choose to make your own Paint Stick Pallet, you’ll use your own personal artwork to make it unique to you! Watch the quick two-minute video below to see how easy it is (and subscribe to our YouTube Channel while you’re at it!)

Let’s Get Started

I first determined how many paint sticks I would need. Ten was the perfect number for an 8 1/2″ x 11″ piece of paper. I printed it out on my colour printer using regular paper.

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I could have gone for a more straight-laced picture from our wedding like the one below, but given the choice between serious and humour, I’ll choose humour every time!

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I took packing tape and applied three strips across the back of the paint sticks to keep them all together and flipped it over.

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Then I mixed up a ratio of 50:50 glue to water. I had some leftover glue from the hardwood we recently installed in my craft studio, so I just used that (glue only has a shelf life of about one year).

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I used a foam brush to lay down a thin layer of the glue mixture on the paint sticks. The trick to keeping paper from bubbling when you decoupage is to keep the application of glue thin and let it dry a bit until tacky. Then you can lay down the paper and smooth it out.


To disguise the white boarder of the paper, I outlined around the edges with a marker in a coordinating colour after the glue was dry.

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I applied a coat of water based varnish, let it dry overnight and then applied a second coat to seal and protect it.

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Once the varnish was dry, I cut around the edges of the picture on my bandsaw. I removed the packing tape on the back of the paint sticks, then I cut each individual piece apart.

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I assembled my paint sticks and added in spacers in between (using another paint stick on it’s side) so I could measure for the length of the 1″x2’s”.


I cut three pieces of 1″ x 2″ and turned them on their sides. I glued the paint sticks on top leaving a gap in between until they were all glued onto the lumber.


I added some scrap paint sticks on top and weighed the whole thing down with my vintage irons as the glue dried.


Once it had time to dry, I measured and cut 4 more paint sticks to apply underneath the ‘skid’  with finishing nails. I was going to add the finishing nails onto the face of the skid too, but I couldn’t bear to detract from the picture. As an option, if you want the look of nails on the surface of the boards, you could take a silver sharpie and add two little dots to each one to mimick the nail heads.

On the back, I added picture hanging wire between two screw eyes to hang it up. I can’t wait for Valentines day to arrive so I can give it to hubs; I hope he likes it!

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Paint Stick Pallet

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With the paint stick pallet complete, I guess we’ve got a real ‘paint’ theme going on at Birdz of a Feather craft! Most recently, we just completed this paint bucket water feature:


And remember this paint chip portrait I did of hubs?


For another fun craft idea that isn’t paint-related, check out my blue jean planter 🙂


Check out some other great Valentine’s Day ideas at DIYIdeaCenter.

If you love upcycling as much as we do, you’ll love my newest creation made of humble tuna cans! It’s a storage tower that swings out to reveal your office supplies, jewellery or you can even use it as a coffee/tea station! Check out my SwingOut Catchall.

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