Sunday, July 10, 2016

String Art Tutorial

I first learned about string art from a friend of mine. I have since made numerous gifts, each for under $5. I invested in a 12 foot board from Home Depot and had them cut the board into various sizes to use as the backdrop for the string art. You can also purchase pre-cut wood from Hobby Lobby-- see my completed project examples at the end of this post. 

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Materials Needed

Step 1

First, take your wooden board or pre-cut design and sand the board until smooth. Once you've sanded the board, wipe away any dust with a towel.  Lay down the newspaper to be a splash guard for anything around the board that you do not want to spray paint. Spray the board evenly with paint. 

This step is optional based on the kind of wood you purchased. Some wood looks really beautiful as is. Since mine was purchased at Home Depot in the lumber section I wanted mine board to have a more finished look.

Step 2

Use a pencil to lightly draw the design you would like to create. You can also print something off the computer and trace the design. I've found it easier to just pick things that I can draw, but either way will work. 

For this project I decided to do the state of Alabama with two hearts for the cities that my cousin and his future wife are from.

Step 3

Now it's time to start nailing. You can purchase the nails at Wal-mart for $1/package. This project used less than one package, but the amount you use will be based on the size of your project and how close together you place the nails.

Grab your hammer and follow your design with the nails. I recommend starting in areas that are going to be closest together, in the case the heart, because it can be tricky to hammer them in if you do the smaller details last.

Step 4

After you have completed the design, tie the string around one of the nails in your design. I usually start with the corner just for ease. Once you have the string secured, begin looping the string around each nail. Keep the string pulled tight so that it does not undo your past work.

I like to trace my design first before beginning to fill the remaining space.

Step 5

Once your design is traced, it's time to start filling in the space. You can do this in a pattern or just pick whichever nail strikes your fancy. I usually randomly select which nail I will go to next. I try to make sure that every nail is used and fill in any blank spots.

Step 6

When your design is complete, tie off your string. I like to go back to where I started and tie the string I had the beginning to the string left over at the end. Cut your string and tie these two threads together. Once they are tied, cut the loose ends as close to the knot as possible.

TADA! Enjoy your finished product!

You can add brackets to the back and hang it like a picture frame or set it on a mantel or piece of furniture for display.

If you aren't feeling confident in your crafting skills, check out these awesome, ready-to-go string art kits:

Other Project Ideas:

I love this design as a wedding gift for people who are from different cities within the same state.

I've also made several of these with different wedding dates as gifts for the happy couple. I personally like the bigger boards because there is more room to create your string art design.

Happy crafting!


  1. These string arts are amazing... i would like to buy 1 or maybe 7 to decorate my new office!!!

  2. I love string art and feel really inspired!

  3. How did you make the one with the birds on the branch? Did you use a template or just go by hand? I want to do that one for a friend of mine who is getting married.