If you haven’t heard of string art, it’s a simple art form that everyone can make with a little bit of patience. It’s a fun project that you can even customize and personalize to create a one-of-a-kind artwork that you can proudly display in your home as your own.
String art is also a relatively inexpensive hobby. You don’t need a big investment to create eye-catching and unique artworks.
Still, depending on what you decide to make, choosing quality materials that work best for your project will make the process much more enjoyable.
So what are the best nails for string art? The best nails to use for string art are sturdy hardware or crafting nails with a round, flat head and smooth shank. Nails for string art are typically silver, have a head diameter of 0.05 to 0.1″ and are 0.5 to 1″ long, depending on the intricacy and design of the project.
Making good string art takes time, patience, and knowledge of what tools to use so your masterpiece won’t fall apart. Choosing the right nails is one of the deciding factors that will give your art piece the desired look.
So in this article, we’ll walk you through how to select the right nails for string art to help you get started.
What is String Art and How Do I Make It?
String art is created by wrapping colored threads around pins or nails to create shapes, patterns, or even words. When looking at string art online, you can find amazing, intricate artworks that are made from layering threads to create depth and patterns.
However, string art is also super easy to get into, and it doesn’t take much effort to create customized artwork.
Many beginners start with a template that you can easily find online. For personalized artworks, you can print out letters or simple shapes (for example, an outline of your home state) and trace the shape on a piece of wood.
To start, you can hammer down nails evenly around this shape, which will act as anchors for the threads so you can “fill in” the shape with the colored thread of your choice. You can choose to layer the threads or just use one layer of thread to create a minimalist artwork.
For thread, you can use any type of thin thread that you already have in your DIY supply closet. The most common options are embroidery floss or crochet thread, which you can find in most craft stores.
These threads are strong and durable, so you won’t have any problem wrapping them around the nails and layering them to create the desired effect.
Crochet thread is usually a bit more forgiving if you made any mistakes and need to undo the wrapping. We don’t recommend using thinner threads (like sewing threads) because they tend to break easily, and you will need to wrap them quite a few times to create any visible pattern.
We have a full guide to the best string for string art in case you have more thread questions!
A Guide To String Art Nail Sizes
It’s no wonder that using the right nail size will decide how your project will look after you are finished.
But when searching for nails in a hardware store or online, you can be overwhelmed because of how many sizes, head styles, shank styles, and materials there are. If you’re not familiar with hardware products, it can be difficult to tell what will work best with a project.
If you are a complete beginner, you may want to use a nail color that matches your board or your thread. The most common choice is using silver nails with white threads because this minimalist color is quite versatile and can make every beginner project look instantly chic.
Then, there’s a matter of head style. You will want to use nails with a round, flat head to prevent the threads from slipping off while you work. However, the head shouldn’t be too big so that it wouldn’t take the attention away from the thread.
You should select nails with a smooth shank because that will allow the thread to be wrapped and adjusted more easily while you work. A smooth shank will also sink more easily into wood, so you won’t have any problems nailing them in place during the first step of string art.
Depending on the size of your work and how many times you want to wrap the thread around a piece of nail, you can select the size of the nails to fit.
More intricate designs that require wrapping the thread around the nail numerous times will require longer nails with bigger heads to hold the thread in place.
Nails for string art usually range from 0.5” to 1” in length.
For smaller projects, you don’t really need to buy long, industrial nails that will end up looking awkward when you finish your design. On the other hand, if you plan on making a bigger artwork, buying nails that are 1” or 1.25” in length will give you space to wrap the thread several times.
Flathead nails that have a head diameter of 0.05” to 0.1” will also be enough to hold the threads in place and create a structure for your design. If the head is any bigger, it can look obstructive on your final design.
Keep in mind that the bigger your nail, the more space that you should allow between the nails so that the final result won’t look too cramped.
Depending on the size of your project and the size of your thread, you should allow a 0.2” to 0.4” space between the nails to achieve the best result. If the nails are too close together, your final artwork will look quite busy and tight.
Below are some of our recommendations for the best nails to use for string art.
The Best Nails For String Art
If you’re itching to get started on your first string art project, here are our top choices for nails:
|1.||BLUELEC Tiny Nails||Nickle-plated iron, 0.5"|
|2.||uxcell Hardware Nails||Carbon steel, 1"|
|3.||National Hardware Wire Nails||Steel wire, finished, 1.25"|
We also have a full review on each below. So keep reading for more on the best nails for string art and happy stringing!
1. BLUELEC Tiny Nails
These nails come in a variety of lengths and colors, which is amazing for you to mix and match with the thread and wooden board you’ve chosen for your project. We recommend using the 0.5” or 1” options since they are the most popular options for string art and will allow you to comfortably wrap the string around them several times without any tension.
These nails also come in four colors: black, bronze, gold, and silver, so you’ll be able to match the nails with the design of your project. These nails are made of iron, so they will be super durable for your project. Keep in mind that iron can rust, so it will take some maintenance to make sure that your project stays beautiful over time.
Installing these nails is also quite easy, you can use a rubber hammer to nail them in place. The head diameter is around 0.08”, so it’s comfortable enough to hold your thread without affecting the piece’s aesthetics. There are also tiny details around the nails’ heads to help hold the thread in place as you work.
Overall, we love how versatile these nails are – they give you plenty of options in terms of sizes and colors, so you don’t have to go anywhere else to find the best option for your string art project.
2. uxcell Hardware 1-inch Nails
These matte black steel nails will give your string art project a rugged, put-together look without much effort. The basic information is the nails are 1” in length with a head diameter of 0.2”, which is ideal for string art.
We love the matte black color and the fact that the material is steel, so it’s highly durable and won’t rust over time. Steel is also a very strong material, so these nails have really strong penetrating power and are ideal to hold your thread in place.
Although these nails are more recommended to be used in construction or woodworking, we think that their strength and durability also make them perfect for string art, especially for bigger projects that require longer and stronger nails.
These black nails will blend in perfectly with darker wood and dark threads. They will help you achieve a vintage, rugged look for your string art project. Your final artwork will hold its shape and form for a longer period of time with the assistance of these nails.
3. National Hardware Wire Nails
These steel nails come in a variety of sizes, which would accommodate a wide range of projects from big to small. You can buy nails with sizes from 0.5” to 1.25”, which would suit string art projects as small as A4 and as big as you’d like.
Although these nails are recommended for small projects around the house like hanging up photos, we find that they are also ideal for string art, thanks to their sleek design, strong material, and ease of use.
These nails are beloved by string art enthusiasts because they sink into wood super easily and hold firmly in place. The steel material, while strong and durable, is also easy to maintain and therefore, a wise choice for any craft project.
The only downside to these nails is that depending on the size you get, your package may not come with enough nails for your project. So if you are working on a bigger or more intricate project, you may need to buy multiple packages to finish your project.
Overall, this is still a highly recommended option for string art enthusiasts thanks to the smooth design and beginner-friendliness. It’s definitely worth trying if you are just getting into string art!
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