Using a circular saw (make sure to use safety glasses!) cut the pallet between the nailed down areas (mine was nailed in three areas). I used an older pallet so I could not remove the nails. Choose the best looking boards for your project.
Using an electric hand saw (I purchased mine for $60 over a year ago and have used it on many projects), sand away some of the top layers until you have a nice rustic look to the wood and the grain. Sand until you achieve your desired look for the boards. I did not stain the boards.
As you sand the boards, arrange them in your desired pattern to see how many you will need. The boards will not be perfect-some will be cut taller, some will be shorter. This adds character to the project and I left the imperfections for the top, leveling the bottom.
The pallet boards aren't perfect. Some may be slightly warped, some may have a bend to them. Securing the boards to the stakes with short screws insures your project will remain on the wall! I used to stakes (one near the top, one near the bottom) and two screws per board.
Where are you going to hang your project? In an existing space? Measure before you put your picture hooks on. Depending on the length of your pallet boards when they are screwed on to the stakes, measure for the middle of the top stake. Square off where you will be putting picture hooks to hang your finished product on the wall.
You can purchase a pack of picture hooks at your local hardware store. Use two picture hooks to hang your pallet project to the wall. Depending on how heavy your boards are, you may need to find a stud in the wall on which to hang it.
If you go to your local paint or hardware store you can purchase a 'tester' size for around $5. I used the colours Daffodil, Utah Sky and Acorn-as well as Revival Mahogany (the dark brown 'thanks') by Behr. Use colours that you can utilize for other projects as well.
Using a pack of art paint brushes I purchased for $3 at the hardware store, I carefully measured, squared, and centered, tape the stencils to the board and paint inside the lettering. You may need two coats of paint depending on the colours you've chosen. Side note: Remove the stencils immediately after painting or the paper of the stencil may stick to the pallet boards.
Hang this project in your entrance, kitchen, dining room or living room. You can add antique looking knobs along the bottom and hang your aprons from it, or glue clothespins along the bottom so you can attach photographs.