Artists and DIYers have been creating art with string and nails for decades. With only a few simple tools and materials, you can design just about anything you can imagine.
If you’ve been thinking about getting started with string art, or want a new creative outlet for your kids, look no further. No special skills are required. We’re bringing you string art for beginners, with 33 tips and tutorials to help get you started.
What Is String Art?
Also known as pin-and-thread art, string art is when colored thread or yarn is strung between hammered nails, forming designs and geometric patterns. Suddenly a plank of wood becomes a work of art! It’s great for home decor, or as a unique and thoughtful gift for birthdays, anniversaries, or anyone special in your life.
String art’s origins go back to the 19th century, when Englishwoman Mary Everest Boole used it to teach young children about mathematics. Then, in the 1960’s, it became a popular decorative craft in a variety of books and kits. Today, it’s enjoyed by crafters of all ages and abilities, with endless creative ways to express yourself.
6 String Art Essentials to Invest In
- Embroidery thread – Embroidery thread is so easy to find and comes in more colors than you could possibly count.
- Wood plaque – Just about any type of wood will work. There are plenty of different options in the wood section of your local craft store. You can also find different sizes and shapes of wood plaques online.
- Sandpaper – You’ll find rough edges on just about any type of wood you use, so it’s a smart idea to have sandpaper on hand to smooth them down and avoid any unnecessary splinters.
- Small nails – Wire nails or carpet tacks are best because the nail head has enough space so that the string stays on without slipping. A great nail size to use is 18 gauge by ¾ inches.
- Small hammer – A small, lightweight hammer makes hammering nails quick and easy. It’s great for small hands and the claw allows you to remove any misplaced nails.
- Craft scissors – It’s important to use a good pair of sharp scissors when cutting your embroidery thread to avoid any unnecessary shredding. A pair of craft scissors will make quick work of things and are helpful to have on hand for just about any project.
String Art for Beginners: 8 Tips & Tutorials
Prepare your wood – If you are using a raw piece of wood, or the wood you’ve bought has some rough edges, make sure to sand it down first. A smooth surface will also allow you to paint or stain the wood before you begin to add your nails.
Print an image of your design – If you have a certain idea in mind, you can simply google image outlines to find your favorite and print it out on a blank piece of paper. Find something fun that speaks to you. Beginners should start with simple designs like a heart, fish, star, or flower. Always print an extra copy of your design to use as a guide later, similar to the photo on a puzzle box that helps you visualize what you’re doing.
Secure your design – Once you have your design, you want to secure it to your board. Start by taping your paper down, ensuring that the image is centered. Now it won’t move around while you’re creating your design, and your image will stay right where you want it.
Work through the curves – For those images with curved edges, you’ll want to place your nails a little differently than on a straight edge. Place them closer together so that you can see the curves in the string.
Avoid paper mishaps – Sometimes when you’re removing your paper outline, small pieces of paper can get stuck under the nails. A pair of tweezers can help you pull out any stubborn paper pieces quickly and easily.
Don’t be afraid of color – Think outside the box and don’t be afraid to use color in your design. The more string colors you use in your design, the more depth and visual interest you’ll get. For kids, this usually isn’t a problem – the more colors the better!
String Art for Beginners – This super simple tutorial by AmyFamily DIY will teach you how to create a heart and learn how to master curves in your design.
Simple String Art for Beginners – This tutorial by Welcome to Nana’s has everything you need to make string art, with helpful ideas and must-have tips.
25 String Art Projects for Beginners
- Heart String Art | Sugar Bee Crafts
- Snowflake String Art | Erin Spain
- Shamrock String Art | The Kim Six Fix
- Home String Art | Six Clever Sisters
- Skull String Art | A Beautiful Mess
- Letter String Art | Instructables
- DIY String Map Art | Goods Home Design
- Rainbow String Art | Sunshine & Munchkins
- Corkboard String Art | Tatertots and Jello
- Fall String Art Ideas | Sugar Bee Crafts
- String Art Ornaments | A Beautiful Mess
- Rustic Arrow String Art | Dwelling in Happiness
- Christmas Tree String Art | Girl, Just DIY
- Pineapple String Art | Crafting Chicks
- Tree String Art | Erin Spain
- Antler String Art | Messes to Memories
- Mason Jar String Art | Sugar Bee Crafts
- Bird String Art | Slap Dash Mom
- Cactus String Art | Make and Takes
- String Easter Bunny, Carrot, & Egg | Surviving a Teacher’s Salary
- Elephant String Art | A Crafted Passion
- Jack-o-Lantern String Art | Eighteen25
- 3 Star String Art | Making of a Mom
- Dandelion String Art | Diys.com
- Bakers Twine Heart String Art | Home Edit
It’s string art for beginners made easy. Now you can have your very own string art creation with these 33 tips and tutorials.
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