Best Threads for Everlasting String Art Signs?

Ready to embark on your first string art project? You’ve got the wooden base, you’ve got the nails, but there’s one crucial element left to complete your masterpiece: the perfect string. With so many options available, choosing the right thread for your string art can be a daunting task. But fear not! In this blog, we’ll guide you through the process of selecting the ideal thread to bring your string art vision to life.

 

A fair warning – In the context of this article, the terms “string” and “thread” are being used interchangeably to refer to the materials used in string art. While there may be technical differences between the two terms in other contexts, for the purposes of this article they can be considered the same.

Strings for string art in ivory

As you may already know, we’re passionate about creating string art patterns (also known as templates). Over the years, many of our buyers have reached out to us, asking about which strings to use for their projects. As a result, we’ve formed an opinion on the matter that we’d like to share with you.

Cotton strings

bee string art sign

If you’re familiar with crocheting thread sizes, we recommend using size 10 or 20 for most string art projects. However, if you have larger areas to cover and longer nails, sizes 3 or 5 may be more suitable. For highly detailed pieces or designs with many layers and small areas, we suggest using crocheting thread in size 40 or even sewing thread.

 

When working on string art projects like the lovely bee sign, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to get hung up on using specific thread sizes or worrying about having an excessive amount of strings. If the color matches and the thread is slightly thicker or thinner, it’s not a deal breaker. However, it’s worth considering that when it comes to the finishing touches on smaller or highly detailed signs, thinner threads can make the process easier. This is especially true if the nails below already have a significant amount of string from previous layers. So, feel free to adapt and adjust your thread choices based on the specific needs of your project.

 

Don’t be afraid to mix different thread sizes in one string art design especially when you are working with large areas to fill! Trust your instincts and experiment to see what works best for your particular project. Sometimes using a mix of thread sizes can add depth and interest to your string art creation. So, go ahead and get creative!

Sometimes using a mix of thread sizes can add depth and interest to your string art creation. So, go ahead and get creative!

French bulldog with flower crown string art sign and text woof

When it comes to creating intricate string art designs, choosing the right thread thickness can make a big difference. Take the Frenchie sign, for example. This design featured many small details in the flowers, which made it necessary to use a thinner thread. By using thread on the thinner side, it was possible to fill in all the areas quite densely, while still leaving space on the nails for adding different colored outlines.

butterflies silhouette string art sign

When working with silhouette designs, opting for a slightly thicker thread is a great choice. This butterfly silhouette sign measures 25×30 cm (10×12 inches) and was created using size 10 crocheting thread.

Nylon or Polyester strings

strings for string art in a drawer

We’ve been experimenting with thinner polyester threads which offer a subtle shine and are perfect for adding a touch of sophistication to pieces with intricate details. The color range available is vast and amazing! However, we have noticed that these threads are extremely slippery and can easily tangle, which can be a downside.

These thinner nylon threads are particularly well-suited for our geometric string art signs and DIY kits due to their uniformity and subtle shine. Additionally, the wide range of available colors makes it possible to create stunning color gradients in your designs.

Polyester threads can be difficult to work with, as they can easily slip and unravel if you don’t hold them tightly enough. This was a nightmare experience,  when making this Easter themed “He is risen” string art sign. Although the finished product looked fantastic, it was a challenge to make. It’s important to choose a thread that’s easy to work with and that will hold its shape well, so that you don’t end up with a project whose knots unravel by themselves, but knots is a blog post on its own. 

NURSERY DECOR SLEEPING FOX STRING ART

Mixing and matching different types of threads can add an interesting and unique touch to your string art projects. For instance, we made this cute sleeping fox string art using a combination of cotton and nylon threads, with cotton for the white parts and nylon for the rest.

 

Try mixing threads with colorful copper wires can add a new dimension to your string art projects, creating a striking contrast between the metallic shine of the wires and the softness of the threads. Our cactus string art sign is a great example of how mixing different materials can elevate your projects and make them stand out. Consider trying it out to add some sparkle and creativity to your designs!

Linen strings

hello string art sign in blue on a reclaimed wood base

As Latvians, we have a deep love for linen, and during a visit to an open-air folk market, I came across 100% linen threads. These threads are slightly thicker than cotton, but not as thick as embroidery thread, and they don’t split as easily. They have a natural look to them that gives finished products a unique and cool vibe. However, due to their 100% linen composition, they don’t have the same smooth feeling as other threads. While it makes for a great natural aesthetic, it can be a bit of a challenge to work with as it requires consistent tension throughout the project and the colors are muted.

The giraffe string art sign we made was created using yellow linen thread on a one-of-a-kind reclaimed wood base. The natural vibe we were going for made linen the perfect choice. Additionally, since the design was a silhouette with larger areas to fill in, using a slightly thicker thread than the average cotton thread we use in most cases just made sense.

 

When working with linen thread, it’s important to be cautious of the nail length you use. If you choose nails that are too short or hammer them in too deeply, you may run out of space on the nails before filling in the area or completing the outline. So, make sure to choose nail lengths that are appropriate for the thickness of the linen thread and the design you have in mind.

Embroidery thread

embroidery floss for string art

Embroidery thread is another option we have used, but it needs to be split as it is too thick for most string art projects. However, the range of colors and color shades available is incredible. If you have a specific color in mind that you must have without compromise, DMC embroidery thread will most likely have it. We often use it for custom orders where the client is very particular about the shade they want and we cannot find it in a cotton thread ball. So, while embroidery thread requires some extra work, it can be a great option for achieving the perfect color for your string art project.

Yarn

Many artists prefer to work with yarn due to its softness and versatility. However, for some, like us, yarn may not be the best option due to its thickness and tendency to attract dust. While I personally stick to other threads for my crafting, there are numerous string artists out there who create stunning pieces using yarn. At the end of the day, it’s all about finding the materials that work best for you and your creative vision. So, if yarn is your cup of tea, go for it and let your imagination run wild!

 

Yarn can also be a great option for introducing kids to string art, as the thickness of the thread can help them stay engaged and interested in the project. Additionally, the soft texture of yarn can make it easier for children to handle and manipulate. By using yarn for their first string art project, kids can develop their creativity and hand-eye coordination while having fun and creating something they can be proud of.

If you have spent some time on social media browsing string art there is a 99% chance you have seen some string art gnomes or feathers made using yarn. These are made by wonderful artist Kaly (String Art by Kaly). Be sure to check her out on social media as her time-lapses always are fun to watch. 

© String Art by Kaly
© String Art by Kaly

Copper wires

Copper wires are becoming an increasingly popular option for creating unique and eye-catching string art pieces. The metallic sheen of copper adds an extra layer of oomph to the finished piece. There is just something magical in string art signs made entirely out of copper wire. Copper wire is durable and long-lasting, making it a great material for creating string art pieces that will stand the test of time and no dust will set on it (well, it will set but cleaning part is easy). Overall, using copper wire can add an exciting and dynamic element to any string art project, making it a worthwhile material to explore.

 

You can also use copper wire to add accent details to your work. We have used it in combination with cotton strings as an accent for outlines or filling in rather small areas we want to stand out.

string art using copper wires

You can also use copper wire to add accent details to your work.

While copper wire can be a fantastic material to use for string art keep in mind that it may be less commonly found in local craft stores.

 

It’s important to note that a finished sign made with copper wire may be heavier than one made with threads. This is something to consider if you plan on hanging your piece, as it may require additional support or hanging hardware. Despite these factors, many artists still find that the unique look and feel of copper wire is well worth the effort and added weight. So, if you’re up for the challenge, using copper wire can be a great way to add an extra element of interest and complexity to your string art projects.

 

My favorite string artist who is working with copper threads is Olesia Kyriacou (String art by Olesia Kyriacou). Her works are a beautiful marriage between sewing threads and copper wires, and sometimes copper wires go solo and also create beautiful masterpieces.

© String art by Olesia Kyriacou
© String art by Olesia Kyriacou
© String art by Olesia Kyriacou

Conclusion

In conclusion, selecting the right string for your string art project can be a bit of experiment at first but don’t be intimidated by it. Whether you’re working with cotton, nylon or polyester, linen thread, or copper wires, it’s important to consider the size and thickness of the string, as well as the color range available, when choosing the right material for your project. 

 

Don’t be afraid to try out with different thread sizes and types to create unique and interesting designs. By following these tips and trusting your instincts, you’ll be able to create stunning string art pieces that showcase your creativity and style. 

 

We’d love your support even more by taking a peek at our Etsy store! Who knows, maybe some of our delightful string art patterns will catch your eye. So swing on by and explore the wonders of our store. We can’t wait to share our string art creations with you!

 

Happy crafting, and may your string art creations bring joy and beauty to your life!

 

Warmest regards,

Renate from GoodStrings and All About String Art

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