Looking for an easy way to add some unique decor to your home, or a fun project to do with your kids? Try your hand at making string art! I love doing craft projects with my five-year-old daughter Kate, and after seeing a beautiful string art wall hanging selling at a home decor store for $30 I knew we could recreate it for much less. Here’s how we did it!
- Wooden Board
- Paint Brush
- Linoleum Nails (found near regular nails in the hardware store)
- Adhesive Wall Hanging Strips (optional)
To start, we purchased an inexpensive, smooth-finished 12×12” board from a craft store and Kate got to work painting it. This project is a great way to use up leftover paint, so look through your remnants before spending money on something new. Kate wanted her board to be purple so we used paint leftover from when I painted her bedroom dresser purple and it worked perfectly! If you’re doing this project with kids be sure to teach them how to paint in the direction of the wood’s grain. I left Kate do the first coat and then I went back over to smooth it all out with the second coat.
Once your board it thoroughly dried (we let ours dry overnight), print out the design you’d like to create on a piece of copy paper and tape it to your board, being sure to center the image. A single letter is a great choice, but you could also do an animal shape or a word. Just be sure that whatever letter or shape you choose has a good outline you can follow with enough space in between to create your string art.
Next, hammer the nails into the board, using your paper print-out as your guide. You want to go all the way around your letter or shape, outlining it completely in nails. The amount of space you keep between nails is personal preference. We kept ours pretty close together (which made the project more time-consuming) but you could easily space them further apart and still have great results.
Once your design is completely outlined in nails, gently remove the paper template from the board, being sure not to loosen any nails as you do so. If you have any stubborn little pieces of paper that stay stuck close to the nail you can pull them out using a pair of tweezers.
Once your paper is removed you’ll see your design, perfectly outlined in nails on your board:
Now the real fun begins! Tie the end of your string to one nail to secure it, and let your little one go to work! We used pink crochet string for our project, but embroidery floss also works great. Loop your string anyway you’d like in between the nails – there’s truly no wrong way to do it! You can focus on making a pattern, or go “wild and crazy” (according to my daughter) and have fun with random creations. The only rule to make sure your string art design turns out accurately is to make sure you keep the string within the inside of design. A great way to explain this to kids is that the string needs to stay where all the black on your piece of paper was.
The final step – to give your string art more of a finished look – is to outline the entire design in string. Pick a nail and begin weaving your string straight over to the next nail, alternating sides as you go along in a line. Then come back over those same nails, alternating the string on the opposite sides of the nails in an straight line. The end result is a figure 8 pattern of string outlining your entire design, giving it nice definition. When you’re finished, tie your end piece of string to a nail, knotting it to secure, and clip the tail so it is not noticeable.
You can display your new string art decor leaning on a shelf, or use adhesive wall hanging strips to easily secure it to a wall. Here’s a look at our creation hanging in Kate’s bedroom – it goes perfectly with her playful bedroom decor!