It’s Mother’s Day on the 11th of March, and what better present is there than to make something for the woman who made you. String art is becoming increasingly popular, and is a fun way to make an art piece, whether you’re an artistic expert, or you just want to have a little creative fun. Using string, twine or yarn and nails, this is a little different from painting or drawing (and very forgiving). If you’re looking for Mother’s Day gift ideas that are fun, personalised and thoughtful, you’ve come to the right place.
Tools and materials
- Wood or cork
- String or twine
- Hanging strips (if using cork)
- Varnish or stain (optional)
Cost, time and difficulty
This DIY can totally be done by beginners. It also lends itself to customisation depending on your level of DIY/how much time you can invest in the project (see the end for more details!) In terms of time, it should take a few hours, depending on how you decide to make your piece, as well as its size. In terms of cost, it should be around £30 (much less if you use pallet boards, and a little more perhaps if you use a sheet of wood).
Nail and string art, step by step
We’ll go through how to do this thread art DIY with wood, nails and a hammer, and go through the customisation afterwards!
1 – Prepare your wood
Firstly, prepare your wood. Decide how large you want your piece to be, and cut your wood to size. If you’re using pallets, you can line up the pieces and attach them with a few longer, perpendicular pieces at the back. Once you have the right size, sand down the edges to clean them up, and varnish or stain your wood (this is totally optional!)
2 – Get your stencil
Decide on what you want to go on your wood piece. You can either draw something to size or print out your design. If you have a projector, you could also use this to project your design onto your board, wrapping it first in paper, and tracing it with your pencil. When choosing your design, be sure it is something that will work in string. Smaller lettering for example, may be difficult to make clear using this technique. It’s best to go with a bold, clear stencil to get the best effect.
Once you have your shape drawn on, it’s a good idea to put points evenly around your design, where you want your nails to go. Figure out the distance you’ll want between each nail, and ensure this is even across the design.
If you’re in need of inspiration, we’ve put together some ideas:
A single shape
This is probably the simplest to trace out and fill in – you can’t really go wrong!
Words, quotes or letters
Although a little more complicated, this can have a lovely effect, and you can pick any word that could hold meaning for your mum.
These are all built up from only a few shapes, keeping the design and creation of the piece relatively simple. You could do something your mum likes (for example cats, or the city she grew up in), or hand prints of the family.
3 – Hammer time
Hammer in a nail at each point along your design. Remove your stencil once finished.
4 – String it along
Take string, thread, twine or yarn and use this to build up your design. You can switch out the colours along the way, just make sure the end of each string is tied tightly around a nail. If you decide you don’t like any part of the string, remember you can just loosen it, and start it over.
You should have a finished piece of art!
Now, we promised to tell you some ways to make your life easier…
To save yourself some time hammering, you can use a thick piece of cork (or layer thinner cork boards) and simply push your nails into it. Use hanging strips or command hooks to attach this to the wall, and you’re finished! To make this even easier, you could use push pins instead of nails. Be aware this will mean the ‘nails’ become a much bigger part of the design, due to the area at the top of push pins.
We hope you give this a go, we’re sure it’ll make an amazing Mother’s Day gift. For more ideas, be sure not to miss out on these articles: