1. Find your wood! There are plenty of different wood options for your base. You could use a wood canvas, a piece of plywood, or an old pallet like I did.
For mine I disassembled a pallet and cut the wood down the the size I wanted and then screwed them together on the backside using some scrap pallet wood. It was pretty easy, you can see how I did it in the picture below.
2. Paint your wood! This is totally optional, you may prefer the wood look. I normally love the wood grain of natural wood, but I didn’t like the dark color (too gloomy!) of this wood so I painted it.
3. Next you’ll want to decide on a quote and place letters on to your wood, spacing your letters equally and leaving about half an inch or so in between each letter.
Now you could print out and cut out paper letters to use as a guide, but I actually used Hazel and Ruby stencil masks and they were *perfect* for this.
(You can see in the photo below, I only had 1 W stencil so I used an M while placing my stencils, but when it was time to nail, I switched it to the other W.)
4. With your stencils placed, Take your hammer and nails and start nailing! You want to put nails in each corner of your letter, and then place them in between those nails as well, outlining your letter.
5. Repeat step 4 until you’ve done your entire quote.
I recommend leaving the stencils in place until you’re ready to string the letter and then removing it. That way you can see your words and not just a bunch of nails.
6. Time for some string! Start by tying one end of your string into a know on to any nail on your first letter.
7. Next you just want to wrap your string around that letter until you have it covered. You can go around the entire outline of the letter first and then going back and filling the inside in or just randomly wrapping it. Just make sure you have the outline done!
Once you’ve finished a letter, knot off your string and repeat steps 6 and 7 with the next letter!
Some tips from a first time string art artist:
- Buy enough nails! I had originally only bought 1 pack (4oz) of wire nails to do this and only got about 1 third of the way done.
- The more nails the better when wrapping! Especially on curved letters, the more nails you use to outline the letter, the better it will look and the more places you’ll have to wrap your string.
- Take breaks! As I mentioned in the first tip, I underestimated the amount of nails I’d need. I also underestimated just how much hammering was involved. I had to take some breaks before I got a hand cramp!
- String: I actually used embroidery floss for my string. On a practice piece of wood I used yarn- which while it produces a fuller/bolder look (than the thin embroidery floss) and is a little easier to see, I didn’t like how it was fuzzy. So it’s all up to you and what you like.
The Hazel and Ruby masks were perfect for using as a guide for where to place my nail! I’d definitely recommend them if you want nicely shaped letters!
Have you done string art before? Any tips you would share?