I’m a big fan of string art, beautiful images made by stringing thread or yarn around nails arranged in a pattern. Typically those nails are put straight into the wall, but I wanted to do something that was a little more substantial. Something I could bring with me if we ever move. Once I found these round plaques to serve as my base, I knew the image I’d be making out of string would have to call back to my childhood playing with a Spirograph.
Decorate the wood however you’d like. I just painted mine with acrylic paint that matched my bedroom, but you could do anything here including using fabric, patterned paper, or even a photo collage.
If you’re going to add a picture hanger to your string art, do it here. You want to make sure you know what end will be facing up and you don’t want to crush your art by putting it on last. I used a super strong glue to adhere mine since I didn’t want the nails to get in the way of what I’ll be nailing through the front.
Nail your nails in around the perimeter of your circle, leaving them sticking up about 1/4″, although the measurements really don’t matter. How you space your nails around will affect your final product in really interesting ways, so I like to change it up each time. Sometimes my nails were mathematical, sometimes I just stuck them on randomly, sometimes they were even, and sometimes they were odd. Mixing it up creates infinite possibilities for your string art masterpiece.
Stretch the thread across the circle and wrap it around one of the nails, then stretch it across in a new direction. You can choose which nails you wrap randomly to create a scribble pattern, or you can use math to figure out a pattern for your string art. If you’re consistently skipping four nails or five nails, for example, it will create a geometric pattern just like our old Spirograph toys.
I think these look best in a grouping, to really show off the variety you get by something as simple as skipping six nails instead of four. I made six string art wall medallions to hang together above my bed, and using the two different colors of thread really highlights how distinct each pattern turned out to be.
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Tresa is a writer, craft designer, and award winning activist whose work has been featured in publications as diverse as Better Homes and Gardens and Bitch Magazine. Tresa makes videos guiding you through projects and life at youtube.com/reesedixon, and blogs daily at her creative living blog, ReeseDixon.com, where she sets out to prove that creativity is powerful enough to make your life what you want it to be.