DIY String Art Projects Make Awesome Gifts

Last week was my husband Eric’s birthday. I know everyone always complains about how their spouse is “soo hard to buy for!” but seriously, anytime Eric wants something, he goes on Amazon and orders it himself. Sometimes he tells me, sometime he lets it be a surprise and I just find packages sitting at our doorstep. Usually, it’s the latter.

Lately, though, these impromptu arrivals have had a theme, and that theme is: Deck Out the Man Cave.

Yes, I called it the MAN CAVE. Sigh…He’s won. Whatever.

Luckily, I keep a running Pinterest board of ideas for gifts to give people, especially gifts for Eric. I was inspired by the nail and string art by this shop on Etsy, and it reminded me of a glorified version of an art project we used to do in elementary school. So I figured it couldn’t be that hard, and thought I’d give it a try myself.

First I picked up one of the 2”x2” pre-cut boards they have at Menards and painted it white.

diy string art
After coming up with my Cincinnati Reds design (see above MAN CAVE theme), I printed it out and taped it to my board so I knew where to nail my nails. I tried to evenly space them about a half inch apart, and keep their heights consistent.

diy string art

diy string art

Hammering nails is strangely therapeutic.

Once my outline was complete, I tied some red string to one of the nails and simply started wrapping it around haphazardly.

diy string artdiy string art


There really wasn’t a rhyme or reason as to how I wrapped the string, I just tried to evenly cover the space and make sure I used every nail.

diy string art

And here is the final result!

I love that this easy technique has seemingly endless possibilities how it could be applied. Below are a few examples I found online of different string art applications:

diy string art

How adorable is this version of the state design! I like how the two different colors of string give more variation, and kind of blend together where the states overlap. (source)

diy string art

I’m not even sure if this piece uses string at all, but it totally doesn’t need it. The nails are so close together they create an incredible line for the type. This would be stunning at a wedding. (source)

diy string art

This use of the negative space is fantastic. The geometric pattern the string creates is so edgy and modern. (source)

diy string art

And speaking of negative space! Can you even FATHOM how long this took!!?? Makes me dizzy just thinking about it. Such an incredible statement. If you have the patience to complete this, I bow down to you. (source)

When I gifted my husband his present, he thought I’d ordered it online! Then when I told him it was handmade by his lovely wife, his next question was “Wait…how?”

Pshh, like this woman couldn’t handle some lumber and a bit of hammering. 🙂

What’s your favorite gift to DIY? Or your favorite handmade gift you’ve received? Tell us and/or link to pictures in the comments!


About Bethany W

Graphic Designer by day, self proclaimed decorator and creator of things by night!
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