We LOVE string art. Okay, guys…I’m working on my “need to try” everything approach to crafting. It’s a slow process, a very slow process, which is why I should stay off of Pinterest and Instagram. I see. I buy. I try. Sadly it’s not always a “happily ever after” result, which kinda makes me sad when I blow a wad on crafts that will eventually end up at the local Goodwill. However, today, I found my crafty soul mate…its name is “string art”…and you, my friends, YOU WILL LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER TOO IF YOU TRY STRING ART. It’s so super 70s. Revived & modernized circa a few years ago. Finally discovered by me today because I live under a rock and I’m not cool. Until now. Read on to learn how to be cool and make string art yourself.
- Wood any size, approximately 1/4 inch thick. If you can avoid plywood, do. It’s a bit hard and difficult to nail in to. If you only have plywood lying around and you’re someone who needs instant gratification…I feel you. Use it. Just hit your nail harder. And pray.
- Embroidery Floss (The amount will depend on your design. I used 3 for my project.)
- Sharpie pen
- A simple pattern that fits the size of your wood. Anything too complicated or detailed will look messy if this is your first time stringing. If it’s not…you like wasting time as much as I do!!! Welcome.
- Paint, stain and/or seal your board. You can skip this step if you want to leave your board natural (It’s not uncommon for me to state the obvious). **I intended to keep my board natural then decided to paint it a dark gray after I had already completed a couple of steps, which explains why the board transforms magically before your eyes. I recommend painting/staining/sealing first because the liquid from the aforementioned could plug up some of the holes, making it difficult to follow your pattern.
- Find or draw a pattern that you don’t mind spending some time with. If it’s your first attempt, you might find yourself stringing and un-stringing until you get the hang of it.
- Cut out your pattern and tape it to your wood. I recommend using masking tape to adhere your pattern as it won’t leave any sticky residue.
- With a Sharpie pen, place dots or marks all the way around your pattern approximately 1/4″ apart. You can eyeball it, we don’t need to get technical.
- Take your thumbtack and press firmly into the dots. You are making a dot-to-dot type pattern on the wood that will serve as your guide for nailing your nails once you remove your pattern.
- Once you have finished with the thumbtack, remove your paper.
SIDE NOTE: I’ve seen plenty of tutorials that advise nailing directly into the pattern. I tried this but when I went to remove the pattern, there were little tufts of white paper sticking out from the nails and I had to attempt to dig them out with tweezers. No.
- Using the thumbtack holes as guides, hammer your nails into the tiny holes. Complete until all of the thumbtack holes have nails in them and your pattern looks complete on the wood board.
- Attach the embroidery floss to the first nail and tie a double knot around the nail. You will notice a piece of floss or “tail” hanging off of the nail. That’s okay, when you’re finished, you can trim it.
- Start winding the floss around your next nail. Unless you’re following a string art “pattern” that gives you the actual stringing pattern as well as the outline, you’ll have to decide where to tie (wrap) your next piece of floss. My advice is to go to the next most natural, logical place. I usually try to go straight across or at a slight angle.
- Essentially, you will be “ping-ponging” your way around the pattern until you fill it up. This is where you might find yourself “winding and unwinding.” If you notice that you are spending too much time in one area and your pattern is looking heavy on one side, fix it.
The main things you must remember when stringing:
- always keep your thread tight between the nails
- wrap all the way around each individual nail.
Once you’re satisfied with your masterpiece. Double knot the embroidery floss around the final nail and trim the “tails.”
String art is so fun and relaxing that you might find yourself making them as unwanted gifts for friends and family which is why WE LOVE THIS STUFF!