I love the rustic look of string art and the 3-D texture it creates. This sign not only makes a statement by itself, but would also compliment a gallery wall nicely. Exciting news- this project only takes a few hours to complete once all of the materials are together! (I made this sign as a wedding gift, so it is resting against my mantle in these pictures. I do apologize that I do not have pretty pictures of the sign neatly hung.)
Wood (mine was a 1 x 8 x 48 board from Lowes)
Finishing Saw (if needed)
Black Spray Paint
White Spray Paint
Fancy Fonts (optional)
Tape (Scotch, Painters, etc)
1/16 Drill Bit
Nails (~ 1.25” long)
DIY STRING ART SIGN:
Start by cutting the wood to the desired size using a finishing saw and sand the freshly cut edges. My original board was about 48 inches, so I cut my board roughly in half.
Antique the wood by first spray painting the wood black. After the black paint has dried, spray paint the wood with a couple of coats of white spray paint (allow paint to dry between coats). Then using a fine grit sandpaper, sand the edges of the wood and softly run the sandpaper over the top of the sign. You should start to see some of the black paint showing where you sanded. Antique the wood to your liking!
Choose a font and size for the desired script. (Free fonts can be downloaded from this site.) I have a regular inkjet printer and only had 8.5 x 11” printer paper on-hand, so I printed my script, Clifford, over three pieces of paper and then taped them together. This process can also be completed using an outline of a state, shape, letter, number, etc. The sky is the limit!
Align the printed script over the ‘antiqued’ wood and tape it where desired.
If you have super strength or a soft wood, you can simply hammer in the nails. Be sure to include a nail on every major ‘joint’ and edge of the lettering. The more nails you place, the more legible the sign. If you are weak like me, I would advice drilling in starter holes everywhere you want to place a nail; be careful not to drill all the way thru the board. Try to drill your starter holes straight down into the wood, not at an angle. As you can see in my photos, I placed an old red rug (that I only use for projects such as this) underneath of my sign to protect my table. Don’t mind my messy work-space…no judging…
Peel off the printed script that you had taped to the wood, and begin hammering in your nails in each drilled hole. Ensure that the nails are all nice and snug! (This is another reason why it is better to drill the holes first, then you don’t have to tear the paper away from all of the nooks-and-crannies once the nails are in.)
Once all of the nails are placed, it is time to begin twining! Triple knot the twine as tight as possible directly under the head of a nail on the first letter (or last in my case!). Then you get to be creative! You can string the twine any way you’d like, just try to keep the density of string consistent across the lettering and keep the twine up and under the nail heads. You may want to plan some time to ensure you can complete the ‘twining’ in one sitting as the string needs to be pulled taught throughout this process.
When the twine portion is completed (or you come to a break in your script), again triple knot the twine as tight as possible directly under the nail head. This was actually the hardest part for me as it started to hurt my fingers after a bit, maybe wearing some gloves would make this portion easier?
Hint: The lettering can be confusing when you can only see the nails, so use the original printer-page script as a reference when you are placing the twine. True story- I was watching the Gilmore Girls ‘knit-a-thon’ episode whilst stringing my twine.
Admire your lovely work for a minute, then grab a buddy. Its time to install the hanging hardware! Since the string is so taught, I was worried that by loosening (or displacing) one nail, I could ruin an entire section of my ‘twining’. Therefore, I didn’t trust turning the sign over on itself to install the hanging hardware. Therefore I suggest grabbing a buddy and having them hold the sign up so that you can install the hanging hardware on the back (being extremely careful not to hammer your helpers fingers!)
I have a few more ideas bobbing around in my head for string art signs, so keep posted!