String art is a popular decoration for homes that is easy to make and has a great final result. I decided to attempt creating one and felt it was a success. At first I explored the internet and mixed a bunch of different methods to get a good idea what works and what doesn't work.
For this project I will show you how to create string art and how you can alter the project to make it your own.
- Wood (12 in. x 12 in.)
- Colored Yarn
- Wood Stain
I already owned and the tools and bought the plywood, yarn and wood stain all for around $10. I had a lot of extra materials after making the first one and still have enough to create five more making this project cost around $2.
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Step 1: Cutting and Sanding
If you do not have access to a 12 in. x 12 in. piece of plywood you can easily cut your self a piece like I did. Once the piece is cut start by sanding the four thin sides of the wood. I usually start here because this part is usually the most rough. Following that I do the surfaces and then round off the edges using the medium sandpaper. It may be helpful to tape your sandpaper around a sponge to get a better grip when working.
Step 2: Staining the Wood
This Step is Optional:
Staining is a easy, but time consuming task. I set my wood on a clean plastic bucket and surrounded the area with paper towels because things will get dirty. I recommend wearing latex gloves if you are a beginner. I opened the wood stain with a flat head screwdriver and applied it to the wood using the foam brush. A little stain goes a long way so only dip the tip of the foam brush in the wood stain. When staining the wood remember to go with the grain. After everything was complete I let the wood dry in an area with the least amount of dust. Drying can take anywhere from 5 to 24 hours. You will know the stain is dry when it isn't sticky and is almost completely dry.
Step 3: Preparing the Artwork
Print out any black and white image on a piece of 8.5 in. x 11 in. piece of printer paper. After that trim off part of the paper leaving about 1/4 in. uniform border around the image. Fold the paper two time son each opposite side to find the middle of the image. These fold marks will be used to help select locations for the nails.
Step 4: Adding the Nails
Now, found the center in the plywood and nail down the art. Add as many nails as you like around every black edge. Every corner should have a nail. Once you are satisfied with your nail placement add eight more nails surrounding the artwork. Four nails in each corner and four on each side closer to the artwork than the corner nails. I recommend taking a picture of the top and draw lines using a online photo editor like pixlr.com/editor so you know what the nails shape turns out to be. Once that is all complete start to tear off the paper. This part is pretty easy, but if some paper gets stuck a box cutter and a screwdriver can rip out the extra paper easily without damaging the wood.
Step 5: Adding the String
This step is quite hard to explain, but the images explain a lot on what you should do. I start all the string portions with the four corners and sides. I tie a double knot around the starting nail and start wrapping it around a few of the closest exterior nails and then back to the corner/side nail. Instead of knotting it the second time around I like to use hot glue. Repeat this process for all the corners and sides. When wrapping the string around the exterior nails start with the furthest nail and then make your way to the closest one. For the interior nails I simply weave the yarn around until I get a shape I like. Once again, I start on one nail with a double knot and end on the same nail by using some hot glue to secure the other end of the string. If the glue happens to be too obvious or thick I like to use a tooth pick when its dry to try to pick away part of the thick part. Once you completed these two parts define all the edges by warping yarn around all the edges about two to three times. This part is the most open ended part because there is no true right way to do this.
Step 6: Finishing Touches
I got a bottle of can air to blow away all the extra wood, string and glue from the piece. I also added some painting wire on the back so I can easily hand this in my room.
Some changes you can easily make to this project is remove the four corner and four side nails. These nails were added to change the art a little while it still being obvious what it is. I did it without the four side and corner nails and it still turned out extremely well. You can also change the size of the wood. I personally feel that this size is the "sweet spot," but you can easily make the size wider if you want to use letters or taller for a more vertical piece of art. The final thing you can do to change it is try experimenting with some of the steps. Maybe during step 5 you don't tie any knots and just use hot glue instead. In the end, this whole project can easily be changed to suit your needs.
Thank you for viewing my Instructable and good luck making your own string art!