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I remember doing string art activities when I was a kid. They definitely weren’t as complex as today’s designs but nonetheless still fun. Do you remember Spirographs? Those were the coolest and really remind me of all the cool string art designs I’ve seen. Today I’ve got a simple DIY string art tutorial for you that can be completed in an afternoon. It’s a piece of the decor that I made for my son’s nursery.
I made a pallet-type board for the background, but you can always just use a solid piece of wood if you’d prefer or buy a pre-made pallet like these.
Here are the supplies that you’ll need for your 24 inch x 20 inch DIY string art:
- (2) 1×4 pine boards 8 ft long
- 1×2 pine board 8 ft long
- any type of saw to cut wood
- wood stain (the color that is my absolute fave and the one I used is Jacobean)
- brad nailer (I love the Ryobi One+ because it’s cordless and so easy to use)
- large size print of the design
- 5/8 inch 18 gauge wire nails
- yarn or string (I used this variegated yarn that also comes in several other color combos)
Cut (5) 24 inch pieces from the 1×4 boards and (2) 24 inch pieces from the 1×2 board.
Then cut (2) 18 inch pieces from the 1×2 board for the back braces.
Lay out your boards in whatever pattern you choose and sandwich them together side-by-side. I placed the 1×2 pieces after the top 1×4 and before the bottom 1×4.
Then place the 18 inch brace pieces across the boards and use the brad nailer to tack everything together. The Ryobi One+ brad nailer really does make this project go together fast.
Since I wanted the rustic look, I didn’t sand anything. So, next it’s time to break out the stain. I always put on disposable rubber gloves to stain, so that it doesn’t get all over my hands. I also use scrap t-shirt pieces to apply the stain instead of brushes for an easy clean up. I feel that I can get my projects done faster, and I don’t have a brush to wash at the end.
Apply your stain with the grain of the wood and thicker than you think. You can always wipe off the excess. I stained the edges and a few inches onto the back. I didn’t feel the need to stain the entire back, since it will be hanging on the wall.
Oh how I love the deep brown of the Minwax Jacobean stain. >>>
I think my favorite part of this whole process was choosing the design I wanted to incorporate into my son’s nursery. He already had a piece of decor with a bear on it, so I decided that a geometric bear design would be perfect. I did a simple Google search for my design and found the perfect shape. It was almost identical to the bear already in his room. Want the same image I used? Click the button below to get it for FREE.
The next step was to enlarge the design to print like a poster over several sheets. First, I saved the JPG as a PDF so that I could use Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is free. Then, I opened the file in Acrobat Reader and selected print from the file menu. Once in the print dialog box, I selected poster under “Page sizing and Handling” and increased the scale to about 200%. In the image preview, you should be able to see dotted lines that show you how many pages the image will print across.
Once you are happy with the sizing, print out your design and tape it together.
Center your design on your stained pallet board and use a couple pushpins in the corners to keep the image from shifting.
Now is the tedious but not difficult part of nailing in all your wire nails. Since I used a geometric design, there were already points that I could use. So, I just got busy and nailed them in one at a time. If your design doesn’t have points already done for you, I would space out the nails at 1/2 inch increments along your design.
Then, the oh so satisfying part of ripping paper. Just tear your design off the board, and no nails should come loose as long as you hammered them in far enough the first time.
String time! Choose a starting nail and tie the end of the yarn around it with a knot. I found it best to loop around each nail once before moving onto the next nail. It’s also best to go around each nail in the outline of your design first to ensure that you don’t leave any gaps.
Also, beware whatever you do, DO NOT let go of the string. All your hard work will essentially unravel. I am definitely speaking from experience.
Then, I just randomly crisscrossed back and forth throughout the interior of the design until I felt it was filled proportionately. Remembering to wrap the yarn around each nail before moving to the next.
Once the design is complete, find a nail close by to attach a knot and finish off the yarn.
Last and final step is to attach hanging hardware to the braces in the back. You can either use saw-tooth hangers or 2 D-rings. I have found that using 2 D-rings with picture wire strung between them allows me to hang something straight without having to be as meticulous with measuring.
Super, simple DIY string art! I love how it turned out.
Let me know in the comments if you try out the tutorial. I’d love to see your work.