I think it's safe to say that if your planning a wedding, you're using Pinterest. It's a great site to find inspiration and tutorials for various projects. One of the projects I found was this initial string art project. I thought it would be perfect for reception decor if I created it using Nick's and my soon-to-be last initial – H.
On this particular project/site, they used a cork board tile with nails. However, I decided I wanted to use wood – more like this project:
I ended up combining these two projects. I liked the wood and nails from the second picture and the more haphazard look of the string from the first project. So here is the tutorial for what I created:
Initially (no pun intended!), I planned to cut my own piece of wood, but when I was in Michael's one day, I remembered that they often have wood plaques and that I might be able to find the perfect size already cut for my project. So, I grabbed one of these plaques for my basket. It was $6.99, but using my Michael's app on my phone, I was able to use a 50% off coupon – so the plaque was only $3.50. Here is my supplies list:
- Wood (you pick the size and adjust accordingly your other supplies) – $3.50
- Minwax Dark Walnut stain – already had – $0.00
- Brush to apply stain – already had – $0.00
- 320 grit sandpaper (the Minwax directions call for 220, but I had 320 on hand, so that is what I used) – $0.00
- Nails (I purchased Wire Nails from Lowe's, they were 1 1/4″ long) – $1.40
- Hammer – already had – $0.00
- Embroidery floss in your choice of color (I chose Avocado) – $0.35
- Paper with letter printed on it in appropriate size – $0.00Project Total: $5.25
I already had some Minwax Dark Walnut stain at home from staining my stair rail and I really like the color. I stained the wood following the directions on the can and used a paper towel to remove the excess (since I didn't have any lint free cloths). I stained the back first to make sure the color came out the way I wanted and then stained the front using the same timing (approximately 10 minutes). I ended up with this:
While letting the stain dry, I sized my letter and picked my font. With my letter, I had trouble getting it to be long enough but not too wide, so I ended up lengthening the letter and increasing the width of the middle bar of the H. My printer isn't working, so I used paper and outlined it from my computer screen after measuring my work space (which was 9.5″high and 7.5″ wide). Once I had outlined, I started marking where I would put the nails. However, I realized afterward that I only had about 60 nails. I ended up throwing out my initial markings, I decided to pick the points I HAD to have to create the outline and then eyeballed the rest.
I then taped the paper to my board to get ready to nail on my markings. I started in those key areas that would create the outline of the H, and then filled in the nails and worked on spacing and even-ness.
Once I had all my nails in, I gently ripped the paper off of the board leaving just the nails. I got a little worried because you could barely see the letter anymore – was this going to work??
Then I grabbed my embroidery floss and tied it on the nail in the bottom left corner. I started by wrapping it around each nail and creating the outline of the H so I could then fill in (sorry there is no photo of that step!). After I created the outline, I filled in by wrapping the floss in a random pattern and criss-crossing to create a different pattern. I found that because my nail heads were not very big, I needed to tie it around a nail every once and while to keep it taut and from having to start all over!
I kept wrapping until I felt like it was “evenly” filled in, I used one thing of embroidery floss with about 16″ left over. I ended by tying it to the same corner on 2 different nails. Then I double knotted and burned off the excess (I've found burning the end creates a bit of a seal). The string burned faster than I expected – so beware of that!
Here is the final product. I'm really happy with how it turned out. Not only can we use it as decor at our wedding, but we can also display it in our house post-wedding! I think for a project that cost $5.25, it turned out better than I thought it might! Nick says it looks like something you would purchase from Etsy or maybe even Anthropologie (that might be a stretch, but I appreciated the compliment).