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Large DIY Word String Art Idea Tutorial

Rainbow word art idea made for under $20

Yet again, I am starting a post with one DIY project led to another. This is true with this large DIY string art project. We have been working on changing a small room in our basement into a homeschool and craft room for our children. Once our DIY pegboards and floating desk were completed, we knew we wanted a large word art on the wall. 

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Homeschool room with imagine string art floating desk and pegboard

How to a create large DIY word art?

Should we do DIY poof ball letters, letter paintings, or even add some sort of painted letters straight on the accent wall? However, finally, we decided on a string art idea. I believe string art was a popular craft in the ’70s. We love retro craft ideas and think we were able to bring them into the future and create a modern large word string art that will inspire.

Imagine that… (pun intended once you see the final string art project) and make sure to check out the printable instructions at the end of the post as well.

What supplies are needed for string art?

Embroidery string is awesome to create string art. Remember those friendship bracelets you made as a kid? You can use the same string for these. Our word string art is 4 ft. by 15 inches with large letters. Each of our letters used two skeins (or less) of thread.

Best string art string

Here is the multi-colored string pack we ordered for our art. I have tons of colors leftover. Other string options include using thread or yarn. However, depending on your design or size you will really want to consider if those will work.

What is a skein of string?

Skein refers to the bundle of string. We used two different colors of embroidery string for each letter to give our words a little more dimensionality.

Other string art supplies

Nails

Hammer

Piece of wood or surface to work on 

Embroidery String in a variety of colors

Copy Paper

What nails are best for string art?

When researching for our large string art, we found that small linoleum nails worked the bests. We used two whole packs to create our project. I was skeptical at first that these small nails (¾”)  would work, but they were sturdy enough without taking away from the design.

How much does it cost ot make a string art?

We were able to create this large string art for under $20 with leftover string to use for future projects.A lot of the cost depends on the base you use If you have leftover scrap wood, then this could be done for even cheaper. Embroidery string and linoleum nails are relatively inexpensive. Our piece of wood was leftover from our desk project and therefore we already had those supplies.

How to make string art

1. Prep your hard surface. For us, this included cutting a large piece of birch plywood (15” x 48”), staining and using poly.

And you know we used our favorite stain color!!!

Board for large string art

If you don’t believe us, check out all of the other DIY projects we have done using this color. Since we had the nicer plywood, we wanted our board to be stained to match the floating desk the word art would go above. 

2. Once the board is prepped, ready and dry you will need to plan out your design. 

3. Print or draw your letters or image. Simpler and clean lines will work better. I tried to print letters out to use.

Since our wood was so large, I ended up just sketching out the letters on my own. In order to make your design work, try to keep the width of your letters consistent in most spots. 

Planning out letters for large DIY string art

4. Use painter’s tape to lightly tack your drawing down. Make sure that your word is straight and equally spaced from the sides and bottom.  Triple-check this! The last thing you want is to look at a crooked word after you have worked so hard.

5. Lightly tap nails around the edges. At first, I was placing my nails to close together. I realized I did not have to do that. I aimed to tap them in about 1/2″. Don’t worry about measuring, just go with it. 

Using hammer and nails to make string art

6. Once all of your nails are securely in, you can carefully remove the paper. Some paper may be stuck in around the nails and you will just have to carefully pick it out.

removing paper template from large word art

7. Plan out your colors of embroidery string.

Nails on string art before wrapping with string

8. Tie your string in the color and begin carefully tracing the outside of your letters of design.

Embroidery string used to make large DIY word art

9. When you get to a corner, you need to wrap it around and change direction. We tried to outline each letter on the inside of the nail and the outside.

10. Once your design is outlined, start randomly wrapping the string around to.

How to end string art in the corner

11. When done, tie off the string. We found that it worked to end near where you started. You can tie the tails together to try to hide them. We were nervous to cut the tails after just one knot. So we tried to tie them twice before trimming excess string.

12. Add extra colors following the above steps. In our rainbow string art design, we used two different tones of the main color. 

finished large word string art

13. Add hanging hardware to the back of your board.

14. Hang in a special spot to have your large word inspire all!

How to hang large word art?

Supplies

  • Sawtooth brackets
  • Hammer
  • Stud Finder
  • Pencil
  • Measuring Tape
Large sawtooth hangers
  1. Measure the total length of your artwork. Find the middle of your work. We wanted our large string art to be hung in studs, so we added two sawtooth hangers 32″ apart. 16″ from the middle on both sides and 4″ down from the top of the string art.

measuring tape showing how to hang large artwork

2. Attached saw tooth hangers on the marked spots.

sawtooth hanger on large wood artwork

3. Find studs using a stud finder. If you want the artwork to be hung in a different location than studs, you can use drywall anchors if your artwork is heavy.

stud finder on blue wall with screw in stud

4. Place screws in the studs. Hang artwork.

rainbow word sting art on wood panel on wall

Final Large Word Art

I love the finished string art. However, like most DIY projects, this one is not for the faint of heart. After using the small nails on the first letter, I told my husband we should have done a smaller word. Once the nails are done, the stringing does go rather quickly. 

large word string art

If you love the idea of string art, you may just not want to make your board 4 feet long. A smaller string art project can probably be done in an hour if you choose a simpler design. I would say our large one was more of a weekend project!

Will I be making another large string art anytime soon? Probably not, but…

Check out the whole finished homeschool room and craft closet!

Yield: Large Word String Art

How To Make String Art

Homeschool room with imagine string art floating desk and pegboard

Learn how to make a large word art out of string. This rainbow string art is an awesome way to add inspiration to your walls.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Active Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost under $20

Materials

Tools

  • Hammer
  • Ruler
  • Pencil

Instructions

    1. Prep your hard surface. For us, this included cutting a large piece of birch plywood (15” x 48”), staining and using poly. Plan out your design once board is dry. Board for large string art
    2. Create a template or print text on copy paper. You can also just sketch the letters out to be the customize size you want.
    3. Use painter's tape to attach template to wood. Make sure that your word is straight by measuring the bottom of the letters and end of the wood in several spots. hand measuring template for large string art
    4. Lightly tap nails around the edges. At first, I was placing my nails to close together. I realized I did not have to do that. I aimed to tap them in about 1/2". hand tapping nails for string art
    5. Once all of your nails are securely in, you can carefully remove the paper. Some paper may be stuck in around the nails and you will just have to carefully pick it out. paper template being pulled out from large word art
    6. Tie a knot in the corner of your first letter. and start wrapping Leave a little leftover to make to easier. You will just hide the tail when you are done. hand wrapping red string on word art
    7. Go around the perimeter of the letter first and then criss-cross in a random pattern afterwords. red organe and yellow sting art idea
    8. If doing a rainbow word, repeat above step to add a lighter color on top. string art in progress saying Imagine
    9. Hide tails of extra strings when finished and hang your art by adding a bracket to the back in two equidistant spots. supplies used to hang large artwork with brackets

Notes

See above for more instructions on how to hang large word art in the post.

Recommended Products

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I do love how this large wall word art turned out!

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