11 Magical Nail and String Art – Guide and Ideas

by craftmin | December 23, 2017

Nail and string art dates to the days of our loom-weaving ancestors but although modern conveniences made handheld looms almost obsolete in the household, we retain our love for handmade weaving and for simple but beautiful art.

Check the step-by-step tutorial and be inspired by this short list of creative nail and string art ideas you can make in the comfort of your home. Give them as anniversary gifts or for a housewarming, and check these diy gift ideas to go with the beautiful nail and string art you will be making.

Nail and string art basic materials

  • Cork rolls or cork board
  • Wooden boards – optional
  • Linoleum nails – the number depends on the project
  • Embroidery threads – various colors
  • Hanging tape
  • Hot glue gun and sticks (depending on the project)
  • Acrylic paint and mini styrofoam roller (depending on the project)

Basic step by step nail and string art

1. First, gather your materials.

nail and string art

For this sample project, we will be using three cork rolls measuring 2′ x 4′ x  1/32″.

2. Unroll and flatten the boards.

nail and string art

Stack them and place them under heavy books, then glue them together and place them again under the same heavy books.

3. Choose your word template and print it out.

nail and string art

You might need to print out one word on several pieces of paper to get the right size. You might need to cut out the letters and then put the template together as one word. 

4. Lay out your word on the cork board.

nail and string art

a. Cut the cork roll to size using a pair of heavy-duty crafting scissors. The cork will fall apart under a knife.

b. Now, put your hanging strips or mounting tape on the worse looking side. Do this now so you will just need to mount the finished nail and string art later.

nail and string art

c. Paint your cork roll with leftover white latex paint. However, if you are fine with the natural color and texture of the cork, you can skip this step.

5. Finally we are getting to the art part.

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a. Start outlining your word using the linoleum nails, making sure that you space the nails evenly apart. You need not measure – eyeballing it is fine. It is quite easy to adjust the nails which may take some time, but do this correctly for a beautiful string and nail art later on.

b. Remove your template, making sure you don’t leave bits of paper behind. Work slowly so your nails stay put.

6. Now for the fun part.

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 Finally we can start stringing our way. Just weave your way through the word and go with the flow.  A lot of people enjoy this part for its therapeutic and calming value, one reason why people enjoy doing nail and string art.

This is a rainbow-colored word, so you can overlap the colors while you are weaving.

Lastly, frame the cork roll.

nail and string art nail and string art

nail and string art

White duct tape was used here but you can also use leftover wallpaper or any other trimmings or leftover scrap to beautifully frame the nail and string art.

Source: Nail and String Art Tutorial

Nail and String Art Ideas

(1) Pallet Wood Monogrammed Upcycle

nail and string art


Use scrap wood or pallet boards. Nail them together to make one big board. Instead of linoleum tacks, use finishing nails or ordinary nails for a rustic touch.  You can also use colored string or twine, though if you are using twine its better to use thinner strings to make the monogram.

Source: Monogram Nail and String Art

(2) Even Cuteness

nail and string art

A lot of children and teenagers enjoy cute nail and string art – it is even part of grade school art class in some states.  Let your teen enjoy this cute baby elephant.

Source:  Baby Elephant Nail and String Art

(3) Natural-Inspired Collection

nail and string art

Be inspired by the simple beauty of nature with this imagery collage. Use wooden scraps or a leftover wooden board from a diy woodworking project.

Source: DIY Nature and Board

(4) Naturally Living Art

nail and string art

This is a living artwork which is a great inspiring work combining nature and art perfectly. Use simple nail and string art to frame the ultimate true beauty – Mother Nature herself. Use colored string rather than embroidery thread for this project and break out the hammer too. You could also use naturally-found wood for the perfect natural touch.

Source: Air Plants and Nail and String Art

(5) Colorful Statement

nail and string art

This is a wonderful piece of wall art you might consider for your own craft room. DIY blogger Amanda cut the wooden boards into letters and used glue to secure the nails.

Source: CRAFT Wall Art

(6) Sign of the Times

nail and string art

Another take on nail and string art, which is a very addictive habit because of its therapeutic appeal. The difference is that the nails are placed so close together that it’s really a tight squeeze.  You must also use a million nails (just kidding!) The too-close nails and the different weaving detail used gives a solid look to this nail and string art project. You can also pick from these diy framing ideas in case you want to frame your signboard.

Source: Live Creatively!

(7) A Star for All Seasons

nail and string art

A simple star with all the right touches.

Source: DIY Nail and String Art Star

(8) Heart  ??? You!

nail and string art

With styrofoam and red fabric, this heart nail and string art is beautiful. Change the styling by simply changing your string and your weaving.

Source: Valentine’s Day Heart Art

(9) Black and White

This is a beautifully striking nail and string art with a very simple tree design. With the starkness of the white strong on the black wood, the evocative simple barebones design of the tree lifts it into something even more sublime.

Source: bhg

(10) Owl Outstanding

nail and string art

Check and download this owl clipart online. Print out and follow our basic nail and art step-by-step, marking the colors in your template to guide you.

Source: Adorable Owl Nail and String Art