When it comes to giving Christmas gifts, sometimes it can be hard to give something personalized and well thought-out without breaking the bank.

String art is absolutely fascinating to me how you can create a stunning piece of art with just some simple wire nails and string. I love how to possibilities are endless!

Last year, I made these personalized family name string art gifts for a few friends of ours. The best part was that they were well thought-out, personalized, looked cool and didn’t cost very much. The only thing to plan for when making these is TIME. It took a few hours to complete each one.


  • 3/4″ MDF Wood Board
  • Gold Wire Nails (#18 x 5/8″)
  • Embroidery Floss (String)
  • Name Template
  • Vinyl, optional
  • Black Paint, optional

Step 1: Prep & Paint Board, optional

I bought a 3/4″ thick MDF board and cut it into the length that I wanted and then lightly sanding the rough edges of the board. Followed with two coats of matte black paint.


Now print off the last name you will be creating into string art. (I used the free font, Lavanderia.)

Tape the template to the board and hammer nails into all the points of the name to help hold the template in place.

Now begin hammering nails along all the lines. This step is quite time consuming. I think it took me more than an hour.

Note: I noticed that if I used a pushpin to poke little holes along an entire area it made hammering the nails in much easier

When hammering the nails make sure to leave the nail poking up about 1/4″.

Step 3: Remove Template

Yay! The nails are all hammered into place. Do a little happy dance!

Now rip off the template. As you begin removing the template you will notice a few little tiny pieces get stuck on the nails and are hard to reach to pull off. No worries! Just grab a dish brush and scrub it’s bristles over all the nails and those little pieces will just come right off. (See my Two State String Art post for detailed pictures.)

Step 4: Embroidery Floss (String)

Time for the fun part!

Note: I only used 3/6 of the Embroidery floss stands for this entire project.

Outlining the name:

Begin by tying your string onto one of the nails with a knot.

Two State String Art

This is a picture from my Two State String Art tutorial.

Then “loop” the string around each nail (make sure that you are always going around the outside of the name) and continue this methods around the entire name.

Filling in the name:

Once fully outlined, take the string and begin looping it around random nails, going at random angles. Just keep looping until it is “filled in” to your liking.

Step 5: Vinyl Established Date, optional

Now, I initially put nails in the established date location, but didn’t like how it looked. So, I removed the nails and just cut some vinyl. If you don’t have access to a vinyl cutter you could easily just paint this on with a little white paint.