therustymom - DIY State String Art

How to Make Your Own State String Art

As a native North Carolinian, I may be biased but isn’t this NC string art fabulous?  If you love that ‘rustic’ look like I do,  hammer some nails into a piece of wood (bonus points for salvaging and reusing older nails), wrap some string or twine around them and you’ve got yourself a decor piece fit for the magazines!  It really is that simple, y’all!  Of course, you can make any state or shape that you like but for now, I’ll stick with my home, Tar Heel state.

Let’s start with materials.  You will need:

  • Template of your chosen shape
  • Tape to attach your template
  • Wood.  I used 3 weathered pallet boards and 2 scrap pieces for attachment that my husband picked up at work fo’ FREE.  What can I say?  He knows junk is the way to my heart. Note: make sure your scrap boards are long enough vertically to accommodate the front boards.
  • Stain/Paint/Finish (optional)
  • Hammer & Nails
  • String/Twine

Now on to the fun part!  Gather all of your materials and let’s get crafty, mamas!


Space out your back pieces just enough to fit inside the length of your boards on either end.  This will be how your boards attach and will allow your sign to sit off the wall a bit, depending on the thickness of your back pieces.  Easy peasy.


Next, lay your boards together on top of the back pieces and nail into place.  BAM! You have a sign.  Give yourself a pat on the back.


Now place your template on the sign in the area that you like best. Use tape to keep it in place.  TIP: If you’re making a smaller sign, you can just print out your image on regular paper and cut it out.  Because I was making a larger sign, I drew my outline out on a poster board and cut it out. Voila, you now have a template for future signs!


Grab your nails!  I had smaller tack nails on-hand and they worked perfectly.  Larger nails may split your wood.  Now, you’re going to want to tap your nails into the boards along the edge of your template.  Try to hammer them in evenly and not too hard.  You want these nails to stick up high enough to wrap your string around.  Remove the template when the nailed-in outline is complete.


Choose a spot within the outline to hammer in a few nails.  This will be where you begin weaving your string, from the middle nails to the outer.  You can do 3 or 4 nails gathered in the center but I find it’s better (and cuter!) to use a few more in a shape.  The heart on my finished sign is placed where our first home is.  “Home is where the heart is!” See what I did there?

You have fewer nails in the center so the string will be wrapped around them a lot more times than the ones in the outline.  If you only have 1 or 2 nails in the center, you will find that they fill up with string pretty fast and you may not be able to weave all the way around.


Last step!  Tie a good knot around one of your center nails and begin working your way back and forth from nail to nail.  Around a center nail, then an outer nail, then center, then outer…you get the idea.  Do this until you’ve wrapped the string at least once around every outer nail.  For a fuller look, go around the outline 2 or 3 times.  When you are satisfied with the look of your sign, tie a knot around the last nail you went around and you’re done!  Hang up that DIY dazzler and be proud of your craftiness!


These signs can most definitely be customized to suit your style.  I like the ‘rustic’ look but that’s me!  How cute would this be with distressed white chalk paint?  Want bolder string art? Use thin, vibrant ribbon!  Do you go for a sleeker look?  New finished boards can be bought from your local hardware/lumber store.  Paint on a thin layer of polyurethane and you’re ready to hammer those nails!  Whatever your preference, this string art is definitely a unique piece of decor perfect for a conversation piece.  Let me know how yours turns out!




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Hi, there! I'm Danya, a 20-something mother of 2. We all know that everything in marriage and parenthood isn't perfect. Sometimes, we're all a little rusty. I'm so glad you're here! XOXO

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