Wisconsin Pallet Cutout

It turns out I’m a bit of a liar. In my post about the abstract nightstand I said I only managed to squeeze in one project in May, but I actually completed a second project. One of the four weddings I attended was in Madison – yay for not having to travel! My friends had a beautiful, intimate, and down to earth ceremony. They said they didn’t want any gifts, but not one to always follow the rules I decided to make them a gift anyway.

They are both finishing their studies in Madison and will be moving within the next few months, so I figured a smaller gift would be better. I wanted to make them something that reminded them of their time in Wisconsin. I decided that a small cutout of Wisconsin would be perfect for them. First I printed out an outline of Wisconsin and then traced it onto a sanded piece of pallet wood.

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Traced and ready to be cut out

Unfortunately, I seem to have a hard time remembering that you should always cut from the underside of the project in order to have a smoother cut on the top. I should have traced the state onto the bottom of the project. Luckily I was using a scroll blade so the cut wasn’t too jagged so it only took a little bit of sanding to even it out. After I sanded down the edges I used my handy dandy wood burning tool to burn in a heart where Madison is located, and the date of their wedding.

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My wood burning technique still needs some work – a little bumpy

I decided to go with a lighter stain for this project, I wanted the wood burning to be visible. Once that dried I used my go to finishing product – polycrylic! I really love that stuff; it’s easy to apply, easy to clean up, and provides a nice protectant.

After the stain, before the polycrylic
After the stain, before the polycrylic

The last thing I did was slap a hanger on the back and it was done! It was a quick and easy project and it was fun to work on my jigsaw skills. The smaller cuts can be challenging to figure out, but it was rewarding once I did. When I was working on this gift, I also made a sign for my lawn. The people who mow my lawn have to use a weedwacker on it because the bigger lawnmower won’t fit. Unfortunately they weedwack my lawn too short and by late August my lawn dies and I’m left with just dirt. I made a sign asking them not to mow it. I have a small manual push mower that I’ve been using and so far so good. The sign only took a few minutes to make because it was made from scraps I had lying around.

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It turned out pretty cute

I hope that my friends enjoy their gift, I had a lot of fun making it. I might make some more Wisconsin cutouts soon for my friends who have moved away; I’ve been wanting to use my jigsaw again. My mom is coming to visit this weekend and I’m really excited! We will be doing a lot of sightseeing, but I also might enlist her help for a project. This project may or may not involve wrapping me in tape (again) – you’ll just have to come back and see!

What do you think? Let me know!