Make your own Funky Nail and String Artwork

September 4, 2018

 

 

I always love to try to make my own art for the walls in our house - I am no artist so I draw the line (boom boom) at trying a landscape oil painting, but so much art is easy to create yourself!

Here I'm going to show you a piece of fun nail and string art I created from stuff I already had around the house.

First I found a canvas to work on - two pieces of wood that I sanded and stained first to give my string art a nice background. It depends on the look you want - you could white wash, paint, stencil or cover with material. But you do need wood in order to have something to hammer your nails into! You must prepare your wood before you do any nailing! 

 


Once the wood was stained I drew out a pattern on a piece of paper that was about the same size as my wood - you can find a picture or pattern online and print it out if you prefer. I stuck this to my wood with some masking tape - you don't want to draw directly onto your surface as the nail and string won't hide the pencil lines and it would be difficult to rub them out afterwards.

Now's the time to start hammering in your nails. You need to use small nails and it's better to use nails with heads than finishing nails - a) because they look more prominent and they are part of the art! and b) the string can't pop off over the heads as easily.
 


You must work out the spacing as you want your nails evenly spaced along any lines. Now is a good time to mention that unless you're using tiny pin nails and an enormous amount of string doing intricate weaves, you won't be able to get great detail, so keep your design simple! Geometric patterns for example are good 👍

Of you go... Hammertime...! (Am I going to get done for copyright!?!) Don't hammer the nails in too far, just enough so they don't wobble about, too far and you'll find it harder to weave and get the nice raised look you want. I didn't have gold nails so I just used plain ones and painted a dab of gold spray paint on the heads to finished them off nicely.

Once you've added all your nails you can rip off the paper and see your nail design properly!

I used thick embroidery string as cotton is too fine for the less detailed pattern I used. I used just two colours for the main design so the finished piece looked tidy and modern. I started by tying the string onto a corner nail, adding a dab of glue then cutting off the excess string later. I went for a hap hazard inner pattern (👍!) but you can be more methodical about it which creates a great effect, and I did the inside first with 1 round of string. I then followed the outline of the shape with 2 rounds of string to make it bold and stand out more. I did the same thing to finish but tying off the string and adding a dab of glue before cutting when dry.  



And there you have it! I made sure to pull all the string to the head of the nails to give it as raised a look as possible and so that the pattern had an even surface.

I attached the two panels together (I simply painted some words on the one panel but I think I'll carve the letters out at a later date) with some chain and hung on the wall. My very own string and nail wall art :)
 


It's quite therapeutic to do this one, lots of tapping and weaving and makes very little mess 👍
 


So what do you think?  My nails are wonky and the weaving is haphazard but I'm super happy at how this has turned out! Give it a go yourself and let me know what you come up with 😊 

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