My husband’s spirit animal is a bison. He has always been fascinated by them. He secretly would like to retire early and run a hundred head of bison on a hundred acres out in the mountains. So for Christmas I created him this inverted bison string art for his office desk.

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! Check out some of my other string art projects: Fox String Art, Two State String Art, and Family Name String Art.


  • 3/4″ MDF Wood Board
  • Wire Nails (#18 x 5/8″)
  • Embroidery Floss (String)
  • Bison Template, download below
  • Wood Stain, optional

Step 1: Wood Board Prep

I used a 1″ x 12″ board cut to the length of 9 inches final dimensions were 9″ x 11-1/2″.  I lightly sanded the rough edges of the board. Followed with one coat of Early American wood stain.

Step 2: Download/Print Template

The bison template can be downloaded below or you could print off any animal silhouette to use for this project.


Tape the template to the board and hammer nails into all the points of the bison 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.

Two State String Art

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

Step 4: 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 5: Embroidery Floss (String)

Time for the fun part! I only used 3/6 of the Embroidery floss stands for this entire project.

Two State String Art

Do the bison horn first. Just because it is small and you don’t want to forget about doing it at the end.

I wished I would have done the bison outlining like I did my fox string art. I wished I would have took the string and begin looping it around random nails, going at random angles and done the outlining at the end. Check out my fox string art to see how I did the outlining at the end.