I've started seeing these string artworks around a lot recently and wanted to try my hand at it! This is my first attempt so it's a little rough around the edges (literally). The whole project took me a couple hours and cost about $30.
Step 1: What You'll Need....
-Thick cork board (or wood)
-String/yarn/embroidery floss (I used kite string)
-Thin, short nails or tacks (I used 1" long nails)
-Spray glue (optional)
I decided to use cork when I realized how much time it would take to cut wood to size and then hammer in each nail. I couldn't find thick enough cork at the craft store so I bought a set of four 1/4" thick cork boards and spray glued two together for this project.
When choosing a picture to use, try to find something with a fairly simple outline. The more small bits you have to wrap string around the messier the whole project gets. You should also make sure that if you are using an image that isn't already a silhouette, you make sure that it will still be recognizable as one. I originally was going to do a T-Rex head but after cutting out the image I realized it wouldn't be easily recognizable and switched to a blue whale instead.
Step 2: Cut Out Your Pattern
Make sure the patter you cut out is a good size for your board and has enough detail to be recognizable but not so much that it's impossible to wrap the string around. Once you've positioned your pattern on your board you may want to tape it down so it doesn't slide too much while you push in your nails.
Step 3: Doing the Outline
Start pushing in your nails! I just worked my way around pushing in nails about every 1/6", I wasn't worried about the spacing being perfectly even. Make sure you push your nails/pins in deep enough they don't wiggle too much but try not to punch through the other side.
When you get to places that you want to be a little sharper (like where the fins meet the body at at the end of the points on the tail) make sure you put a nail at the apex to keep it really crisp.
Once you've finished your pins, remove the pattern and straighten up any nails that are a little crooked.
Step 4: Painting
This step is optional but I wanted a good contrast between my base and my string so I decided to spray paint the cork and nails white. The cork could easily be painted before adding the nails for a nice effect as well. I did one thick coat and let it dry for about an hour, a second coat would've been a good idea but it was starting to rain and I didn't want to wait until the next day to finish it.
Step 5: Weaving
I started by tying one end of my string to a point on the tail and then I just started weaving around the nails at random. I made sure to wind around the outside of every nail and its neighbor to give my whale a solid outline but apart from that I tried not to think too much about where my string was going. After I had completed my outline I wove the string back to my starting point and tied it off. After cutting the excess strings I applied glue to the ends to keep them from fraying.
Step 6: Finishing Touches
All finished! I'm pretty proud of this first attempt, and hope this instructable will be able to help you make your own, unique string artwork!