String Art

I wanted to get creative and make my friend’s birthday present this year.
Browsing online for inspiration, I found string art! 

String art, also known as pin and thread art, is basically where thread or string is strung between certain points, creating a geometric pattern. 

As this was my first time trying it, I adopted a, um, sort of  'try anything a hope for the best' method...

How To: String Art


What Will You Need?

There are many different ways and styles to do string art ...

- Wood and nails - with the nails outlining the shape
- Cork board and pins - the pins outlining the shape
- Styrofoam and toothpicks - the toothpicks outlining the shape

... but fundamentally, you need a board or base thick enough and strong enough to hold whichever type of pin you choose.

- I used Cut Tacks and a 12 inch Cake Board.

These were the best materials I could obtain on a budget plus I wanted a circular shape, and after having chosen the cake board, I needed pins of some sort that wouldn't go straight through the board and that were strong enough for the board to hold.

It is also possible to do string art with no pins at all;
- Paper, needle and thread - poke holes through the paper to outline the shape and thread the string through different holes to create a pattern

So, You Will Need

 - A base of your choice - or paper
 - Pins (or nails or toothpicks) or a needle and thread
 - Thread - as many different colours as you'd like
 - Paper, card or photo-paper (If you are including photos)
 - A laminator (If available)

 - Paper, pencil, ruler 

* To draw a grid. This is just to make it easier when putting in the pins, and making sure everything is aligned. You can of course skip this step if you don’t feel it will be necessary for you.

*(Optional Grid)
- Draw around the base onto some paper; if you need more than one sheet, just stick them together. If your base is circular, don’t worry if there is a slight gap at the bottom.

- Draw on a grid; lines spaced 3.5cm apart horizontally and vertically. Mark which side is the top.


Of course you need a design! Whatever you want - let your imagination run wild! Anything from a simple heart shape to a complex geometric pattern, a word or a quote.
I decided on a song lyric; 'Once upon a younger year', a song my friend and I both love, and I envisioned having three or four photos placed around the words. I also wanted to have some flower shapes or patterns too.

You'll also need to decide whether you want your shape or words to be filled in - the string filling in the letters, or outlined - the string all around the letter.

  - Print out whatever shape you want, and cut around it

  - Type out your words in a Word document
 - Choose an appropriate font; The more words you have, the smaller it'll need to be to fit it all in
                                                        The smaller the words are, the thicker the letters need to be
                          (so that they will still be clear and easy to read when the pins and string is added)
- Print out your words and cut rectangles around each word - easier than cutting around each individual letter

It may be a little trial and error to get it exactly right; when I went to put the tacks around the letters, I found that the text still wouldn't be thick enough to show the letters clearly. So I drew on a thicker outline and went by that instead. Also, I changed the 'E' to a lower case 'e' as there wasn't enough space to include the three prongs without making the letter so much bigger than the rest - it's a good idea to check this before starting properly to avoid random holes in your board!

  - Choose your photos and print them out on normal paper first - to gauge the size and shape of them
(edit as you see fit)


- Place your grid (if using) on top of your base and arrange your shapes, words, photos on top of that, using the lines as guidelines. It is also a good idea to mark around the shapes in case they move.

Before Adding your Pins/Tacks

I found it very useful to draw dots of where I was to put them - especially seeing as I would be putting a lot in.
- I drew a dot at the top and the bottom of the grid, then equally spaced around the rest of the edge of the circle.
- Around the letters
- Around the photos - one at each corner - not drawn on the actual photo, but on the grid
- If you have shapes, simply outline the shape with equally spaced dots
- Then, because I wanted a flowers or some sort of pattern in the middle, I added dots in a way I'd hoped could make a good pattern, like I said 'try anything and hope for the best'
- Also, I dotted each time the grid lines crossed, missing out those that were too close to the letters or where the photos would go.

Start Pinning!

 - Put a pin in each dot - excluding where your photos are to go, so just around the grid, text and any shapes. But only push the pins in about half way.

 You can use some sort of hammer or if the base is softer, you can just push the pins in like I did ... though that did result in sore thumbs around the 100 pin mark...

 Because I had quite a lot of tacks left, I also added one in the middle of each square on the grid.

- Once you've finished pinning, carefully rip off the paper.


 - I didn't have any photo-paper so I printed the ones I'd resized onto card, then laminated them individually - to protect them from getting damaged.
 - Place them where you planned to and pin each corner.

Start Threading

(Are you getting how excited I was from the exclamation marks? That last one was the excitement of giving my thumbs a break - I'm serious, there was a circle printed on them for almost two days!) 

 - Start by tying the thread around a pin at the top

There are different geometric patterns you can do
or you can follow my method of trying anything and hoping for the best!

... as neat or as messy as you'd like...

 - I filled in the spaced around the photos and words with black thread, going around each letter at least 3 times.
 - Then I outlined each letter in a dark purple thread to add some subtle colour.
 - I looped some maroon coloured thread around the tacks in a sort of geometric star/flower attempt kind of pattern. I didn't just do it in the middle as I'd planned though, I thought the whole thing could do with some colour...
 - Next I went over where I had thread the maroon, but instead of looping, I did a criss-cross shape between the tacks - with pink thread.
 - I decided to add a hint of gold too, so I threaded some gold thread in a random, subtle way, over the black and the star shapes.




  1. I have never tried it before, I'm actually not too creative when it comes to things like that, but it looks really cool and awesome! Good job.

    xx - Naomi in Wonderland

  2. This looks so funky and fun! Homemade gifts are the best, I love making gifts for my friends and family. I've never tried string art before but I would definitely like to try. You did a great job, Vanisha :) x

    ♥.•*¨ Amanda Says ¨*•.♥

    1. Aw thank you Amanda! Totally agree, nothing beats something homemade :)x