I’m sure I’m the last person to jump on this train. The truth is I have been a little intimidated to try it. It just looks so technical. I mean check out this amazing art at Honey & Fitz.

{Honey & Ftiz}

It wasn’t until I was looking for a handmade gift idea for a friend of mine that I actually considered trying it. Then I put it off, for about a week and a half. Avoidance: classic crafting technique. Seriously, I can’t be the only one. But remember, it did take me an entire year to take my sewing machine out of the box. So really a week is an improvement, don’t you think?

Here’s what I used:

  • A piece of wood (about 1″ thick)
  • Linoleum nails (5 packs)
  • Embroidery floss
  • D-ring hanging hardware
  • Hammer
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Tacky glue
  • Thread scissors

First things first, I grabbed a piece of wood from the basement that happened to be the perfect size. Jackpot!

scrap wood


I sanded it a little, then stained it with some Old Masters gel stain.

sanded and stained

Before I jumped into nailing, I remembered something I forget about 50% of the time: put the hanging hardware on first!

adding hanging hardware

Then it was time to get started (for real). I was still really hesitant at this point. I kept thinking I’d spend a billion years hammering in all these nails and wrapping string and the project would be a total fail in the end. But there’s only one way to find out! I had already printed out the image I wanted to “string up” so I taped it on. Now don’t judge me, this is a gift…remember?

taping on the paper

Then I began with the nails. These little guys. A lot of them.

linoleum nails for string art

I started by marking spots about 1/2″ apart, but quickly abandoned that idea except in small areas where I really wanted to make sure I got the spacing right.

adding nails

I also decided there was one important tool left out of nearly every tutorial I read: pliers. It was so much easier to hold the nails with the pliers than with my fingers- plus there was less risk of injury.

using pliers

Once I got the hang of it, it wasn’t too bad actually-despite the fact that this was admittedly a very ambitious image to start with.

nails in place

Phew! I carefully tore the paper from under the nails (seriously, be careful). The pliers came in handy for this job as well.

tearing the paper off

Looks pretty neat, but decidedly unfinished. So then I got out the string. All 6 colors. Yes, 6! It obviously wouldn’t be the best Phish string art ever if it wasn’t multicolored!

I started by tying a knot on one nail, then wrapping the string around until I thought it looked good. Turns out this is not as technical as I originally thought. Make sure you outline the shapes/areas in addition to filling in the middle. To tie off the end, I trimmed the string to about an inch, dabbed some glue along the length, then wrapped it around the nail several times. Once it was dry, I clipped off the end. Because of all the colors and detail, I had to do this a lot.

diy string art tutorial

On and on I went, referencing a hard copy of the logo when necessary (the nails kind of blur together after awhile…)

string artAnd finally,

diy string art phish

I’m totally inspired to make something for myself now using this technique. Have you ever tried this??





6 Responses

  1. Maxine

    What a wonderful idea! So creative. I will be trying some of these art projects in the new year. I am actually in the process of decorating my house now. Great timing.

  2. Omo

    One word…..WOW. This is so awesome. Might have to get my hands on this on after the holidays. Will share when I do. Great work


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