Hello Sewing Rabbit readers! Tara from Girl Like The Sea back with a fun holiday-friendly decor DIY that involves hammers and nails! If you have any pent up anxiety or nerves over the holidays approaching, this project is for you. After some banging, and cathartic thread wrapping, you’ll have a fun and positive decoration.
Unless your kids keep putting their cute little hands under your hammer as you’re trying to put in the nails. Then you might just end up feeling more frazzled. Ask me how I know….
Thankful String Art DIY.
I brought some friends to help me show you my string art. These little guys are perched atop a sign that will hopefully help me stop and remember to be thankful for all the blessings in my life as we head into Thanksgiving and Christmas, and ultimately the New Year when I realize I didn’t get any of last year’s resolutions taken care of and I decide my life is a disaster. Lol. Right? I feel like I experience a miniature version of that every Monday when I head into the week with hopes and dreams, and then realize how few of last week’s hopes and dreams worked out. Maybe that’s just a normal thing for parents of small kids.
Have you ever heard of string art? I’ve been wanting to do my own for quite some time now and feel so good now that I’ve finally done it! There are leftover nails from this one too, so I guess I should be plotting my next design. I started simple here, and have a few tips for you to get started on your own.
I chose the word “thankful” but partway through nailing and wrapping it, I was beginning to think I would be thankful if I’d chosen a less lengthy word. Hahaha. What’s wrong with JOY?
My one year old is obsessed with minifigs, and was utterly tormented by these guys sitting out of his reach on the sign. Poor little man.
This project is relatively straightforward, and I think you could figure it out just by looking at an inspiration piece, but I do have a few tips for you (read: you get to hear about my mistakes) to get you started if you want to make your own.
Piece of wood sturdy enough to handle being nailed into. I used plywood leftovers from another project. MDF board would probably work really well. Any scrap wood you have could be a potential victim. I’m looking at the hardwood flooring scraps we have here with a new eye.
Paint. If you don’t want to have raw wood showing, paint it! I used leftovers from a bathroom I painted in our house. Yes, it’s black. And yes, it’s amazing.
String or yarn. I used crochet string with gold metallic threads mixed in. Bakers twine (the thin stuff) could work. Embroidery thread is also really pretty. I just wanted a metallic element and the embroidery thread can get spendy when you buy the specialty a lot of them. I also vastly overbought the string for this project. Oops. Guess I need to get the crochet hook out and make some doilies.
Linoleum Nails. Do you see the box of nails in the upper right corner of my photo? That’s what I started with because I didn’t want to go out and get linoleum nails. They would have worked ok, but they were just too long for the thickness of board I was working with. And FYI the people at home depot or lowes probably will have no clue what you’re talking about when you ask for linoleum nails. They do exist though, and they come in the little box on the bottom left of my photo. USE THEM. They’re awesome and pretty and work really well.
A small hammer. I started by trying to use the friggin awesome framing hammer my old boss gave me when I was a teenager working construction and remodeling. It’s great for swinging at big nails. Not so much for tiny little nails on an art project. Use a smaller one. Your fingers will thank you.
Paper or template letters. My preference would have been to print off big letters in a nice font and just hammer into them, but our computer was broken when I did this. So I was forced to hand letter my stuff, and I kinda like it. It’s wonky like my real hand writing. I like wonky. It’s a lot easier and faster if you just find a font and size that works well for your board and print off your words to use as a template though. Or you could do an outline of your state, or just a shape or picture etc.
Stick template on to your board and hammer nails around the edges of the letters
I taped my letter template down to my board with some masking tape and began hammering the original long nails down with my beastly stiletto hammer. Then I wised up and switched to a smaller hammer and the linoleum nails.
You just keep hammering and hammering them around the edges till you’re satisfied. I thought I needed more densely packed nails at first than I really did, so my spacing is pretty wonk throughout. I think after this one I’ll have an easier time gauging it.
Tie end of string to a nail and wrap wrap wrap. Snip the end that connects to the ball when you’re done with one letter and double knot it to a nail.
This is easy/hard. It’s really fun figuring out geometric shapes to create, but you have to keep good tension or it’ll pop off several nails if you don’t hold on tight enough. Or if you have to put your string down every time the baby climbs onto the dining room table and starts playing with scissors etc. Your string can get pretty messed up. But it’s easy to get it back on. The hardest part is probably tying the last bit of the string off to finish a letter.
And that’s it! I just hammered a couple of nails and used the crochet string to make a hanger for my board and hung it up on the wall. Command strips would be a good option though. I thought I had some, but it turns out no.
Do you have any favorite decor projects for the holidays? My kids and I just made some coffee filter snowflakes, and I’m excited about my new pom pom maker for stringing them all over the house.
I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving if you celebrate it this month!