Hi Nutty Friends!
This week, as promised I am sharing some of my string art with you all! I love doing string art as a hobby and for gifts! It is a craft that I get to focus all of my attention on and usually doesn’t take me very long. That being said, I am not a professional and I do not sell my it is not perfect, I know! 😊 I did my first string art for myself so I could walk you through my steps! Check out my picture gallery on the home page for more of the string art that I have done!
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First is the selection of the wood to use. The very first one I did, I used a slatted board. This did not work out well because it never failed where I needed to place a tack, there was a space in the slats. Then I found this type of board. It is joined as one solid piece and is made of pine. It is a soft wood that is easy to stain or paint as well as to get the tacks into! I use a pair a needle nose pliers and just push the tacks down into the wood- no loud hammering needed! Side note- since no hammering is needed, this is a great craft to do while the kids are napping! The board that I choose for this project is oval and about $12 from Michaels Craft Store! Usually I have a coupon and get 40-50% off. You can also look in the clearance isle. Sometimes there are some with dents in them and they mark them 75% off! You can easily use ones with dents or dings because you can cover it with string and no one will know!You can also find a good selection from Amazon and even buy in bulk if you will be doing a few projects! Here are can get a 6 pack of 5″x 7″ boards for a little of $12 and it is PRIME!
Next is to decide if you want to paint or stain the wood- I have done both and love both! For this one I painted it a fun vibrant coral color to go with my newly (soon to be finished) remodeled office! The paint tends to dry quicker because it is not soaking into the wood as deep. If you decide to stain your wood I recommend trying a few different ones on the back or on a different piece, so you can make sure you get the right color. I usually go with a darker red oak stain. Once the stain or paint is dry, usually a day for the stain and only a few hours for the paint- you can start your design.
When determining your design, be sure you have the ideal size- there is no right or wrong size. This will be a personal preference depending on how big you want it and the size of board you have. I like mine to be bigger because I think they are easier to work the string around. You may have to print several sizes out to see which one you like better. Placement will also play a role in the size you decided on. Take your time to figure it out- if you’re not sure ask for opinions. Once you start placing the tacks, it’s not as easy to change your mind if you want to go smaller! For my images, I just search Google. For example- for this project I searched “squirrel template string art”, and then found an image that I liked. There are several options on google, sometimes you may have to just play around with how you word your search to get the best results. Again, when printing your image, make sure you have determined the size you need. Sometimes it takes me a few tries to get the image to print the right size. To be honest, I usually make my husband do this part! He is a great helper!
Once you decided on the placement, being placing the tacks. I like to use wire nails because they are small and easy to work with. They also look clean with the finished artwork. You can use any type of small nail or tack as long as it has a flat head on it to catch the sting. Otherwise the string will slide right off and not stay in place. Try to evenly space the tacks on your image, it they are not perfect, that is ok too! I try to place my tacks about a pinky nail width apart- yes, it is my formal measuring tool! There will be times when you have turns or direction changes in the image that you may have some tacks closer or further apart than others, again this is ok! I have used my pinky and a ruler to determine the perfect placement- there is none! Just go with what looks good to you- that is what makes it unique anyway! Once you have the image tacked on to the board, tear the paper off- for the most part it will come off easily. Sometimes you will get a little piece of paper stuck on a tight spot and may have to use the pliers to pull it out. You will then be left with the tacks as the out line of your image and anything else in the center that you added!
Now we get to do the fun part- the STRING! When picking your string, you will want a string that is tight- I do not recommend yarn. I use crochet string or a twine. I did a horse string art over Christmas that I used burlap twine for, and loved it, so I decided to do that again for this one! I really recommend the crochet string because it holds up well and is easy to work around the tacks. Since it is thinner you can also layer it for more coverage without worrying if it will stay on the tack or not! Once you have your string picked out you will start in one spot by tying the sting in a knot around the tack. I like to outline my image with the string to enhance the outline, but this is optional! Weave the string in and out of the tacks until you get back to the original starting point. This is there you will determine the pattern for the rest of it. I like to zig-zag the string through it. It takes a few times starting it to determine what I like best. Again, there is no right or wrong way to do this part either. Play around with it and see what you like. I have literally got to the finishing point and took it apart because I didn’t like it. When you finally get to the finishing point, you will make another knot around the last tack. I always try to end in a spot where I can tuck the end under or where it will look ok if I don’t. Once you make the last knot, cut the ends as close as you can tuck them in and you are done!
Hope you all enjoyed this and are inspired to try your own! If you do, please share with me! I would love to see your creativity!
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