Welcome to the first week of our fall string art series!
What you’ll need:
- Wood. You can used reclaimed, unfinished, or stained wood. We purchase unfinished 3/4″ x 12″ x 36″ wood from Lowe’s for $6.73. (If you cut it into four 9-in x 12-in pieces, you’ll be able to have wood for all four fall string art projects we’ll be doing in this series!)
- Nails. These are the nails we use for all our string art projects. They have a great finish and the nail heads are small so they don’t visually compete with your string design. You can find them at Lowe’s, and the 1 lb box for $3.47 should last you multiple projects.
- Hammer. Any will do, but you’ll want one heavy enough to get the nail in, yet light enough that your hand won’t get tired holding it!
- String. You can use a variety of string (like embroidery floss), but we suggest using at least a medium weight yarn. Using a string that’s on the thicker side will ensure that your design stands out, and that you’ll only have to string the design once, instead of multiple passes. Here are some examples of yarn you can use.
- Automatic Center Punch. This tool is a game changer! It’s going to punch holes into the wood through your template to mark where all your nails are going. We purchased ours from Harbor Freight for only $3.99!
- Artwork. First in this series of fall string art is “thankful” in a great cursive font.
- Download and print the graphic to get started. It’s formatted to print on regular 8.5″ x 11″ printer paper.
If you are staining the wood prior to making your string art, you’ll also need:
- Stain. We HIGHLY recommend Shabby Paints Gelato Gel Stain. It’s a stain and sealer all-in-one, completely non-toxic, odorless, and easy to use. You can purchase it online from our favorite store, or find a local retailer.
- Applicator. Use what is recommended on the instructions for the stain you choose.
- After you’ve stained your wood (and let it fully cure, of course!), place the artwork onto it. We recommend taping it so that it doesn’t move while you’re punching the holes. Painter’s tape is great because it won’t damage the wood stain, or your template (making it reusable).
- Use the automatic center punch to mark where each of your nails are going. Push down on the center punch at each of the dots on your template. Make sure you push down enough so that you feel it punch a hole!
- Carefully pull away the template to avoid ripping the paper. The first time you use the center punch on the template, there may be tiny pieces of the paper deposited into the holes. Most of it will be pushed down into the wood once you start hammering the nails in. If it’s a larger piece of paper, you can just use the point of a nail to get it out of the hole.
- Hammer a nail into each hole you made with the center punch. You don’t have to go too deep, but enough that the nail can’t move or be easily pulled out.
- At any point, before or after putting the string on your artwork, it looks like a nail is slightly out of place, you can use pliers to gently bend it to a better position.
- If you used the nails we recommended, you’ll want to wash your hands before stringing. It’s likely they have some of the nail finish on them, and you don’t want to transfer it onto your string!
- Begin stringing your nails by tying a knot around your first nail. Cut off the excess string.
- Here’s the basic pattern we use when stringing in a line, or going around borders.
- Use the template you downloaded as a guide to map your stringing route to avoid confusion and errors. However, there are no absolute rules in string art! These are suggestions, but it’s still YOUR art. Have fun and be creative stringing it how you like.
- When you get to a stopping point, or finish stringing your design, be sure to tie your string in a knot. Cut off the excess string, and try to tuck the end into your project.
That’s the basic knowledge to make your own string art!
We hope this tutorial was helpful. Join us in the weeks to come as we continue our fall string art series with more free printable templates. Click the Follow icon below to get notifications when we post a new tutorial!
We’d love to see your finished projects too! Post your pictures and tag us for a chance to be featured.