Thursday, 28 February 2013

String Art

And guess what! I did it! Working alongside others and telling the world that you will do something before you do it is very motivational. Even if I was a day late.

I decided to attempt the very popular string art. I read a bunch of tutorials from Pinterest on this project but ultimately it was Dina at Honey and Fitz who gave the best tips.

Didn't hers turn out so gorge?! I love that she didn't end up nailing it directly to the wall. I don't know if I can commit to something that permanent. And the cork she used is much lighter and easier to work with than wood.

Here's my complete list of materials and supplies that I used for this project.
          - 2 rolls of cork, 2' x 4'
          - glue gun
          - paint
          - roller
          - white duct tape
          - nails, 3/4"
          - hammer
          - some cardboard scrap
          - white yarn
          - 3M adhesives

The cork is super duper curly when taken out of the packaging. I let it sit flattened out under textbooks for 3 days and it was still pretty rolled up. One roll of cork is definitely not thick enough for even the smallest nails (3/4" are the smallest I could find) so I bought two rolls and glued them together with a hot glue gun. I used leftover paint from my living room accent wall (SW Gleeful) to achieve the green background (it looks oddly yellow in a few of the photos).

And let me tell you, that cork was thirsty!! It took 3 coats before it was patchless. So far, these two steps (uncurling, painting and drying) took the most time. Everything from here on was a breeze.

Next I taped the edges with white duct tape from the dollar store to get cleaner lines. Hubs was integral in this for measuring and ensuring I didn't get tangled up in tape. I suggest you do this step with a partner if your canvas is as large as mine.

The next step was to create a template for the image. I used Bart Handschrift from (free, woo!). I typed in a huge (bold, outlined) F (for our family name) in Microsoft Publisher, printed it out on several sheets, cut it out, and taped it together. I used a screenshot of the print screen to help me piece it together. I didn't want to spend hours (or anything more than 3 minutes) doing a puzzle.

At this point, I put the adhesives on the back because doing it after it becomes 3-D would be difficult. And no one likes difficult. I made sure to cover as much area as possible to make sure this sucker stays up. My nails were pretty thick so I knew this would be on the heavier side despite not using wood. In hindsight, maybe Velcro command strips would have been even better? So far there have been no reports of any falling.

Next come the nails. I wish I counted how many I used. There were a lot! But luckily I had enough for the whole outline and didn't have to ask Hubs to come with me to get more. Given how thick my nails were, I found it difficult to push them in by hand. I used a hammer to give few gentle taps on each. I stuck an old piece of cardboard underneath in case any of them went to far (and into my dining room table). Instead of calculating the space between each, I used the tried-and-true finger spacing method and hoped for the best.

See how I didn't go directly on top of the paper? This way will make it much easier to take the paper out later. A billion nails and a metal-smelling finger later, my outline was complete.

Fiiiiiiiiiiiiinally, it was time to string it all together. I had great fun with this. I tied one end of the string to a random nail. And then weave away! I didn't use a specific technique other than slow and steady. I agree with Dina that this is very therapeutic. The only thing I struggled with was when to stop. Eventually, each nail was yarn-ed about 3-4 times and the Big Brother Canada series premiere was starting so I stopped and called it a day.

Hubs and I spent quite a while deciding on the ideal spot for our huge F (lol). Eventually he went up on the upstairs hallway wall.

He turned out great and he's perfect and I love him! I feel seriously proud of myself for actually following through on something that I didn't think I would ever start. And isn't it so much better to look at something you DIYed rather than bought?

xoxo, E


  1. Very cool! Love it! I didn't think about using yarn. Great idea. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I thought a huge ball of yarn would be cheaper than the floss used in other projects. $3.99 at Michaels with a 50% off coupon!
      Thanks for visiting!

  2. This looks fantastic! So happy I could inspire your project. I love that you did one big letter. Bravo!

    1. Thanks for taking a peek at my project, Dina! your tutorial helped a TON!

  3. Your project turned out great! This is actually my first time seeing string art and it's really cool! I love the size you chose to make it.

    1. Thanks for visiting Laura! It was a lot of fun to make :)

  4. This turned out great! Love how big it is. I pinned one of these projects; I may need to make it now!

    1. Go for it, Justine! And if you do, post your link so we can see! Good luck :)