Nail String Art




Introduction: Nail String Art

I love crafts and a friend's birthday was coming up so I searched the web and finally settled on string art. It's relatively easy to make but the results look amazing and make awesome decor. I decided to make a rose as the subject and completed the project in around 3 days(mainly because I could only devote 3 hours per day max). Now let's get started should we?

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Step 1: Designing:

It's hard to settle on one design as all of them look so good on the internet but as I was gifting this to a female friend, I thought it would be appropriate to pick a yellow rose so I did. But you can choose anything, birds, signs, shapes etc. You just have to see how intricate it is as the nailing is the hart part(as I later realised).

I cut out a paper according to the size of the wood I had and made a space for the picture to go. Then I started drawing the design. After drawing it, I marked the position of the nails as I wanted them, making sure they were equidistant from each other.

I thought a postcard sized picture would be appropriate for the frame so I printed a 3.5'x5' sized photograph.

Step 2: Materials Required:

i didn't click the picture of the wood at the starting but as I had chosen a frame, I thought a size of 12'x8' would be perfect but I got a 12'x7.5' so I settled at it. So the list went as follows:

1. Wood plank: size has to be according to your design but I used a 12'x7.5' for my project [It didn't cost me anything as I got it from a local furniture shop. They were probably gonna throw it anyway.]

2. Nails: The number of nails will also vary according to your design. In my case, it was just around 300 nails. I got them from my local hardware shop for ₹15 or $0.25. they were just more than an inch in length.

3. Hammer: I hope you've got one

4: Paint: I used acrylic colours as I thought it would be suitable for wood. Black for the background and white for the border.

5: Brushes: get a wide one as you just have to paint the wood surface with one or two colours with no details. I got a brush numbered 12 by the manufacturer.

Step 3: Prepare Your Wood

i started by putting tape around the edge of the wood surface leaving around a quarter inch on all sides. Then I painted this outer border white. Now remove the tape to get a clean line on all sides.

Then do the opposite. Cover the white border with tape and colour the rest black. Now on removing the tape finally, you'll get a clean white border on all sides of a black surface.

Ofcourse it goes without saying that you have to wait 3-4 hours between each coat before you start working on a new one. I painted mine with 2 coats and it was enough.

Step 4: Position and Hit It!

Now that you have your design and your wood ready, you can start the positioning and nailing process.

Place your design and a paper equivalent of the to-be photograph on the wood and position them so that they are far enough from the edges so that you're not nailing on the border. You may want to cut the design roughly out of the paper so that you can see where it is going in reference to the wood.

Start the nailing process by nailing down three extreme corners to stabilize the picture. Then work your way through the design and I have shown in the pictures below.

As you can see, I kept tearing the paper up in the regions in was done nailing. Sometimes small bits of paper will remain attached to the nails. You can use a pair of tweezers to remove them.

Step 5: Attach the Frame Hanging Thingie

After I had hammered all the nails in place, I remembered that it was supposed to be a frame and was supposed to hang. Since I didn't have a drill to make a hole in the frame, I chose to buy a "hook thingie" for 4 rupees from the hardware store. Pretty cheap and durable.

But be sure you use screws in this and not nails as they will be responsible for taking the weight of the whole frame. I first used the nails which were thinner than the screws to make a pilot hole. Then I just used a screwdriver to screw the "hook hanger" in place. The screws are pretty tight and are not going to come off anytime soon.

Step 6: Start Stringing

I had seen many videos on YouTube but ended experimenting with the types of stringing to find the one which looked good on my design. I did the petals of the rose with different sections of yellow thread which were cut after stringing and the green part was all done in a single thread. It was a lot of stringing.

You have to make sure your string is taught so that it doesn't slip over the nail and come off. But you don't even have to pull so hard as to tug on the nails themselves.

Step 7: Attach a Photo Sleeve

As I made the thing, I was wondering that they might want to change the pictures in the frame so sticking the photo permanently wouldn't be that good of an idea. So I decided to make a photo sleeve.

I had some acetate sheets lying around so I decided I'll make it using them. But first I made one out of paper to a be sure of the shape I wanted. I made a sleeve according to the photo and made a cutout at the top so that it would be easier to grab the photo to take it out. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of the sleeve alone but I hope you'll figure it out. There's no wrong way but be sure you made the edges wide enough so that they stick properly. I cut a line across the edges because I wanted to attach the sleeve with normal glue and I thought making a cut would let it grab the sleeve better by reaching the other side.

Also I cut the corners so that they aren't sharp and hurt people.

Step 8: The Finished Product

I am quite happy with it. It hasn't been presented to the giftee yet but I hope she'll like it too. I hope you enjoyed reading this article. If you learned anything of value from this article, please care to click the vote button as it'll help me win the fibre arts contest. Thank you :)

I hope you are successful in making a string art. If you have any questions, feel free to comment down below and I'll answer as soon as possible :)

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    4 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Yoo Akash! This one is really really impressive. You're a very talented boy. Proud of you bud! Keep this up!


    Reply 2 years ago



    2 years ago

    That looks pretty! I like the pattern you made in the leaves :)


    Reply 2 years ago

    Thank you :) I hope you voted :D it would help me a lot. Thanks again