Typographic “Free Love” String Art

I came across this tutorial and just HAD to try it! As a graphic designer I am a sucker for typography. Anything with letters really excites me so I was looking forward to making this all week!

Before I get started, I should warn you that this requires a lot of hammering, so make sure you don’t start at 10 pm (or else the neighbors won’t be very happy with you). And if you’re clumsy like me, bring a couple of bandaids :)

To start, I gathered all my materials which include the following:

1. Hammer

2. String (I used Nylon Rainbow string from Hobby Lobby)

3. 1-2 cases of 1- 1/2 in nails (I bought mine from Target)

4. Wooden plank/board

5. Masking tape

I had some extra pieces of wood lying around the house. The board I used was 36×5, but you can use whichever dimension you prefer. Just make sure the plank is thick enough to where the nails won’t pierce through. You may also paint the wood. I didn’t want to because I was too impatient to wait for it to dry :) I can’t help it, I was excited to get started!

Step 1: Print your saying. I chose “Free Love.” I used inDesign to type my words, but Microsoft Word will do just fine. Make sure you use a thicker, san serif typeface like Arial or Helvetica to make it easer to wrap.

Step 2: Tape your saying on to the board.

Step 3: Begin hammering your nails in to the board. Give about a fingers worth of space in between each nail. Make sure you place them closer together on the curve of letters (like “o”). This will make it look curvy once you wrap the nails with the string. Once you are done hammering all of the letters, go ahead and rip off the paper. If you prefer to keep the paper until the end, that’s fine. Just know that it may be a bit more difficult to take off the paper if you do :)

Step 4: With your string, tie a knot at the top left corner of the letter. It’s recommended to tie a butcher’s knot but I had no clue how to do that! I just tied a regular knot and it worked out just fine.

Step 5: Now it’s time to outline the letters. Start at the top and work your way all the way around the letter, placing the string on the outer left of the nail and wrapping it around and then down to the next nail.

Step 6: When filling the inner portion, you can place as many layers, and go in any pattern/direction you’d like. Only suggestion is to keep the string close together!

Step 7: After you’ve finished the letter, give yourself some room at the end of the string and snip it. Tie another knot to hold it together. I burned the edges of my string. By doing so, the outer layer melted and acted like a glue. I stuck the end of the string to another piece of string to keep it from fraying.

Step 8: Repeat this for every letter. When you’re done, you have a beautiful, funky piece of wall art!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If you do end up making this, send us a photo so we can see what you went with! Happy Crafting!