Hi friends and welcome back to Week 3 of the Deck the Home Blog Hop where over 20 creative bloggers are bringing a new theme each week over a 5 week period. You can see all the posts linked up at the end of this post. This weeks’ theme is Outdoor Decor and at first I considered making a wreath to hang under our house numbers. But I really wanted to tackle something new. Soooooo, I decided to make a String Art Christmas Tree that could work outside on our porch, which is completely sheltered from rain.
But if I used embroidery floss or even hemp twine it could still absorb moisture and ultimately wouldn’t look that great. When I was at the Dollar Tree wandering around looking for inspiration on other projects I happened to notice packs of very shiny wire and the light bulb came on. I was going to do my first every string art project but instead of string I’d use wire 😀
I think part of my inspiration came from My Kitchen My Craft’s project from Week 1 of our Deck the Home Blog Hop.
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Planning a String Art Christmas Tree
I looked at so many String Art Christmas Trees on Pinterest. Ugh there were so many styles. Some tall straight triangles, some super simple, and some with very free flowing “patterns” like they willy nilly pounded in some nails in a sort of tree shape.
I appreciate the artistry and how cool they were, but Friends, I am so not (currently but I aspire to be) the kind of girl who can start a project I’ve never done before and willy nilly anything. Noooo, much thought and math (ok mostly rulers) went into the process before one nail entered the board.
I plotted and erased and plotted some more until I came up with a pattern I liked. See that perfectly straight ruler line up the middle of the paper and the slope of the tree? Yep, proud of that :D. I stopped short of making sure all my dots were exactly so and so apart. There may have been a lot of eyeballing and comparing and some eraser dust before I was truly happy. The wonders of Photoshop let me add colored dots over my original pencil swirls in case you want to try this yourself.
Yellow represents the star and trunk, and green is the tree, obviously. LOL
String Art Christmas Tree Supplies
- 15″ x 16″ x 3/4″ Pine or plywood board painted or stained
- 60-70 1-1/2″ Underlayment Nails with Ring Shank
- Floral Wire in 6′ Coils: Red (1 coil), Gold (2 coils), Green (4 coils), Purple (1 coil)
- One 75′ .88mm Spool of Plastic Coated Steel Wire in Green
- I bought mine a long time ago and can’t find anything similar online to show you. Alternatively increase Green to 8 coils or 48′ total feet.
- Jewelry Pliers
- Wire Cutters
- Craft Paper
- 6′ 3/8″ x 1-1/4″ Round Edge Stop Molding for Frame (similar to this but unprimed)
- Sanding Sponge
- Dark Walnut Stain
- Old Rags
- Latex Gloves
- Cordless Drill
- Miter Box or Miter Saw
- Wood Glue
- Brad Nailer
- Draw the pattern onto 12″ craft paper the height of your board being careful that the pattern is straight.
- Tape the craft paper to your painted (or raw if you like) wood board.
- Insert a drill bit into your cordless drill that’s just smaller than the nail. This will ensure the nails go in straight and it will be easier to nail in.
- Place a piece of tape on the drill bit 5/8″ from the tip. This will keep you from drilling too deep (through the board).
- Drill all your holes holding the craft paper down near the drill bit with a paint or craft stick.
- Start from the top and nail in all the underlayment nails. The ring shank on the nails will keep them from coming loose.
- I found stacking four paint stir sticks against the nail kept them a uniform height.
After all the nails are in it’s time to bring the string art Christmas Tree to life. You’ll do 4 passes on the tree from top to bottom. Read all remaining steps before you begin so you are sure of the process.
- Use the jewelry pliers to bend the end of the wire into a hook and secure it around the top nail on the Christmas tree.
- Wrap it around the nail just below it on the left. Then go to the right but skip a nail. You’ll do an every other nail pattern all the way to the bottom nail.
- NOTE: I don’t have a picture of how to do the tree trunk because I had to do a bit of undoing and redoing to get it right. Here’s how you should do it. Before you start the 2nd pass wrap the trunk with wire 4 or 5 times (put an X in the middle if you want).
- End the 1st and 3rd passes on the corner nail. When you do passes 2 and 4 those two will loop under the nails at the bottom of the tree, just over the gold trunk and then back under the nails on the left side of the trunk. Secure them the nail in the bottom left corner with the wires from passes 1 and 3.
If you are using the 6′ coils from Dollar Tree it won’t reach all the way to the bottom so you’ll have to attach the end to a nail and start a new coil. Or you could join two coils with a little hook on either end and pinch. It won’t show when you’re all done.
- Attach the end of the coil around the final nail and cut it with wire cutters. Give it another pinch with pliers to secure it.
- If you have two shades of green use the other shade and work the other side in the same pattern. You’ll alternate Light and Dark then Dark and Light so that you have four (4) layers of green wire.
- If you need to make space on your nail you can use a screwdriver, butter knife, or anything similar to push them down. Only if you need room because I like the extra dimension created with the wires not directly against the board.
It’s looking very cool so far.
- Wrap the star topper 3 or 4 times with gold wire.
Now that the tree is all wrapped it’s time for some really creative crafting. Make little ornaments with the various colored wire to hang from your tree. I made this little star by bending the wire at approximately 1″ intervals. The star was the hardest but I had it down after trying a few times. This was fun but it made my finger tips kind of sore after I made 10.
Well it’s all done but it really felt like it was missing something. It needed a frame so I hunted in the garage stash and couldn’t find anything that would work so off to the store I went and picked up the stop molding.
- Cut the molding to size with the miter saw or miter box.
- Measure the width of your board, that is where the mitered edge starts (flares out).
- Measure twice and cut once…..all your pieces and dry fit.
- If you’re using a miter saw it’s easy to shave a little off it’s too long. This might not be so easy using a miter box and manual saw, you’d likely need a clamp to hold the wood in place if you’re trying to shave a little off.
- When all your pieces are cut give them a light sanding and stain them the shade of your choice.
- Wipe off excess after a few minutes and stand them on end (on the back) to dry over night.
- Run a small bead of wood glue along the bottom edge of the trim.
- Line it up against the board and dry fit the other two pieces against it to center properly. Use clamps if you have them.
- Attach the trip with a brad nailer on either end and one in the middle of each side.
I sure wish I’d remembered this little nailer that goes with our compressor when I did the makeover on my desk chair. That would have saved me a lot of electric stapler work.
More Projects using Brad Nailer
Creative Craft Paint Storage
And, you’re done!! 😍 Hang your little ornaments to decorate your beautiful and shiny String Art Christmas Tree. I know I made this for outdoor decor but honestly I love this so much I might hang it in the house instead. You’ll want to be sure to use the proper weight rated hooks and wires if you’re hanging it on a wall.
Ahh, I love the two tone of the wire, and those ornaments! They really make the whole thing.
I can’t get enough looks.
It’s right at home next to the little flocked tree.
PIN IT FOR LATER!!
Now it’s time to check out all the other lovely projects that were created by my blog hop cohorts. Go on over and give them some love.