8.20.2014

Classroom Decor: DIY String Art

For those of you who don't know, the husband is a teacher/football coach when he isn't moonlighting as a carpenter, electrician, plumber and handyman extraordinaire.

For the first time in his career, he has his own classroom. His school just built a gorgeous, brand new 9th grade campus because of overcrowding, so he is moving over to that campus and is the proud owner of a shiny white classroom.

For the first time ever, we need to decorate a classroom. Of course I'm very excited about this new project!

Since we are decorating with our own money, whatever we chose for wall decor needed to be very affordable. The husband specifically requested "something cool and unique." Though he is a math teacher, he didn't want anything on the walls that relates to math. "Nothing cheesy!" was his only other requirement.

I mulled it over for a while before I came up with the idea to try some string art. I thought the geometric pattern would be really interesting (and a little math-related, although don't tell him that). String + nails + wood = masculine classroom art for a super cool high school math teacher and football coach. It's perfect, right?

I've never done string art before, but I think it turned out pretty well. This "FM" is his school logo, which seems appropriate for decorating a classroom. (Please ignore the dog hair on the floor... That's a constant at our house!)


I'm not going to lie and say this was a simple, easy project. It was a little more than I bargained for!

My first mistake was choosing to do his school logo, which is fairly involved and specific. Just drawing that logo onto the wood was pretty challenging because I did it freehand. It would be so much easier to try this project with a simple design, like a heart. Just keep that in mind if you want t try it yourself!

I used a peach colored pencil to draw it on so that the lines wouldn't be that noticeable. There is no erasing dark pencil from wood, so that wasn't an option. It was actually really hard to see if the logo was looking OK because the peach colored pencil blended in so well, so I decided to lay my tiny nails on top of my outline to make sure I was on track with my FM. Just laying those nails on top of the wood was a bit tedious, so I started to realize this project was going to be a pain.


At that point I felt a lot better about it, so I decided the next step was to make small dots along my outline to guide where each nail should go. I got my gold paint pen, which also blended in well with the cedar. You can see my little gold dots in this close up below.


For materials, we used 11/16 inch linoleum nails. We liked them because they were golden and had rounded heads, so they were more visually appealing than a lot of the other nails. For the string, we bought twisted mason twine. Both were purchased at Home Depot.


I honestly didn't look at any tutorials before starting this, so I was winging it. Once the nails were in place (oh my word, that took forever), I tied the string on to a starter nail and just haphazardly started looping it around other nails.

Back and forth, back and forth, on and on and on... My goal was just to fill in the FM so that you can clearly see the logo. Once I felt like it was visible, I tied a knot on the final nail and called it a day!


Luckily for me, the husband thinks it is really cool and is very excited to put it up in his classroom. I'll ask him to take photos once he has it up!

So that's the random project I've been working on. Does this make you want to try some string art? Take my advice and do a simple shape– it's so much easier that way!

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