This little lovely was created for my friend Nicole. Earlier this year Nicole and husband Scott were visiting, and Scott noticed the string art hanging in our office. Not long after their visit we began talking about a commissioned piece for Nicole’s birthday.  I made some preliminary sketches for how I wanted it to look, but first I needed to find a piece of wood so I knew the dimensions of my canvas. I found this piece at our local salvage store. After a little trim, wood glue, and sanding, it was ready. Then I began finalizing my design. I admit I was glad when Scott chose a small word :) Though string art is lot of fun, it is also a lot of work. I remember after doing it before, I didn’t think I would do this kind of project again. But who knows, when I look back at this, it makes me want to do another!


When we began our string art for Easter earlier this year, my friend gave me a couple of tips and I’ve added some of my own: First, create a guide for the distance you want between nails. For me, this was a piece of paper with a few drawn dots. You aren’t using this for every nail you pound in, but it is helpful to hold it up to your nails every so often to make sure you are still on target. Secondly, use pointed-nose pliers to hold your nail in place. I used small nails (5/8″ on my first pieces and 3/4″ on this one). You can use different length nails depending on the thickness of your piece of wood, but regardless, they are small. Next, outline the letters first and last. Wrap the string around the letter (or image) before you fill it in. Outlining at the completion of a letter/color will give it a crisp look. As you wrap the nails, you need to put a lot of tension on the string so it doesn’t unravel behind you. You could use a small screw-driver to hold the string down, or I preferred to use both hands and keep a finger on it. You can also play with how you wrap a nail. You may wrap inside or outside depending on the line you wish to achieve. I find this especially helpful on interior or exterior corners. Lastly, SUPER GLUE! Super glue your knots before trimming the string.

If any of you have made string art projects of your own, I would love to see them!

35 thoughts on “STRING ART

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  2. This is so beautiful! I love the way you blended the colors. I have been wanting to try something like this for a long time and yours is by far the best one I’ve seen while searching for inspiration. Great job!

    • Oh, wow! Thank you so much! I know my friend Nicole, who it was made for, is still loving it even a few years later :)

  3. Beautiful! I would love to try this as a summer project for my dorm next year. Would you consider posting the template of the word on here for us to use?

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  6. Hey there! I absolutely love this and am going to try my first one! In what design did you wrap the nails? I’ve seen zigzag done but its just one layer of zigzag, yours is much thicker and I love that! Also any tips on how you did the over lapping part of the “y”?

    • Hi Kalyn,

      Thanks so much! I didn’t use any kind of pattern when wrapping the nails. I just focused on filling in as much negative space as I wanted. I played around with wrapping inside or outside of the nails to make sure it had the shape I wanted on the edges. As for the 3d effect on the “y”, I did the tail of it as though I was writing it. I went a little light on the bottom layer of color knowing I would pass back over it, then focused on building it up with the second pass. I also think finishing it up with the outline (I did this for the whole word) really helps it pop. Good luck to you! It’s fun!

    • Hi Cindy,

      At the beginning and end of each string, you’ll tie a knot around one of the nails. I recommend using super glue (the thin liquidy kind) to keep them secure before trimming the ends of the string. It will dry very hard pretty quickly and keep that knot in place. If any of the knots loosen it will likely unravel your work. I hope that helps :)

  7. Hi Mariah, I love it!! I’m planning to make one for a friend’s son birthday, but on one color to start. I’ll show you how it ends, wish me good luck! By the way, thanks for the tips!

  8. I love the dimension and colors, so well done! Just curious why you consider it a lot of work? Is it time consuming? How long did this actually take you?

  9. Gorgeous! Would you be willing to share a printable template for the word Joy as you drew it? My moms group wants to make this for a moms night in project and it would help SO much to have something we would print and make copies of for the group.

    • Thank you, Esther! I’m late to the game here clearly but thought I would answer for anyone in the future. It’s been several years since I made this (at least 5!) so I don’t believe I have the template anymore. I hope you had fun creating some art of your own!

  10. Oh my goodness this is STUNNING!!!!! I was scrolling through pinterest and my mouth just dropped open and I couldn’t move for several seconds. WOW! What a beautiful job you did! I love this idea, I love the colors, I love the execution…. I just love it. I hope it’s found a prominent place in your home!

    • Aw, thank you so much, Jenn! You made my day! This was purchased and gifted to a friend of mine from her husband. Even after several years, they are still enjoying it :)

  11. Could you plz put a printable template on your web page so that people such as my self can print it and make one of their own JOY sting art pieces. :)

  12. Great tips! Especially about the needle nose pliers and super glue. I was wondering a silly question, Do you just randomly string around the nails or is there a certain pattern I should follow? My daughter and I want to so a sunflower. Thank you.

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