No Hammering Faux Wood String Art

I tell ya, it’s amazing when and where inspiration will strike.  I went to our upstairs closet on the hunt for batteries to replace some dead ones in my son’s favorite toy (Why oh why are the noisiest, most annoying ones always their most cherished?!), and while rummaging through the shelves for some good ole AA’s, I stumbled across an item from a Pinterest fail I attempted years ago: some cork tiles.

No Hammering Faux Wood String Art | Where The Smiles Have Been

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I’ve been wanting to make a string art project for quite some time, but I don’t have a spare wood block laying around.  Plus, I’m not really too keen on hammering all. those. nails.….it seems like it would be very time-consuming, and OH! those poor smashed fingers.

Luckily, these extra cork tiles would make the perfect substitute for wood, and a little faux wood contact paper would complete the effect!

 

No Hammering Faux Wood String Art

Supplies

 

Prepping the Cork Tiles

I purchased a four-pack of 12″ x 12″ cork tiles and used two of them in my kitchen command center Pinterest fail.  This was years ago, so loooong before this little blog here was even a thought of mine.  I must have thrown the two tiles from that project away (“I’ll never use these for anything!”) instead of hoarding holding onto everything like I do now.

I had two remaining tiles left, and they would get the job done nicely on their own once cut in half.  I’m sure styrofoam would work just as well, too, as another no-hammer option.

No Hammering Faux Wood String Art | Where The Smiles Have Been

To cut the cork tiles in half, I drew a line down the center and then sliced through the cork with an Xacto knife.  I first tried scissors, but that resulted in some shredding and flaking off of the cork (and a huge mess), but the Xacto knife cut through it like buttah.

Oh, I also made sure to place the tile that I wasn’t currently working on underneath the one being cut to spare my poor dining room/craft room table from getting even more abuse.

No Hammering Faux Wood String Art | Where The Smiles Have Been

After cutting both tiles in half, I ended up with four 6″ x 12″ tiles.  Using some glue, I then adhered all four tiles together, and since they’re each about .25″ thick, the final piece ended up being 1″ in depth…..and looking very much like a wood block, minus the faux wood covering….but that was coming!

No Hammering Faux Wood String Art | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Adding a Duct Tape Frame

To clean up the edges and add a decorative frame, I applied some green apple duct tape around the border of my cork block before applying the faux wood contact paper (if I ever make another one of these, I’ll skip this step though….more on this below).

No Hammering Faux Wood String Art | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Applying the Faux Wood Contact Paper

I bought two different types of faux wood contact paper because I have a hard time making a decision: one was an actual Contact-brand roll that was more honey oak, and one was by DC Fix that was more rustic and weathered looking.

I ended up using the latter because I liked the look of it better for this project (plus it has an actual wood grain texture when you look closely….very cool!).

It’s technically a self-adhesive vinyl and it couldn’t be easier to apply.  It’s also very forgiving if you need to readjust your placement….which I had to do several times.

No Hammering Faux Wood String Art | Where The Smiles Have Been

Once the faux wood contact paper was applied, I decided to add another frame of green duct tape around the edge.  If I were to do this again, I would skip the first application of duct tape and just add the one after the contact paper was applied….live and learn.

 

Cutting & Applying the Name Stencil

This project was going to be of my son’s name and hung up in his room.  Instead of free-handing the nail placement, I decided to make a stencil of his name with the help of my Silhouette Cameo.

{You certainly don’t *need* a Silhouette to do this of course….just print out your word on paper and then cut it out by hand with scissors.}

It was cut out of some regular printer paper using the Print Paper cut settings, and then I transferred it to my block with some washi tape.

No Hammering Faux Wood String Art | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Adding the Brass Pins

It was now time to add the pins!  I used some 3/4″ brass pins and simply pushed them into the cork with my fingers.  I pretty much just eye-balled their placement, roughly 1/2″ apart from each other.

It ended up taking about two and a half of these packages of pins….feel free to count them all up though if you want an exact count!

No Hammering Faux Wood String Art | Where The Smiles Have Been

Here’s the final pin placement:

No Hammering Faux Wood String Art | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Adding the Colored Embroidery String

Now that my pins were all in place, I removed the washi tape and paper stencil and selected my string colors.  Like with most projects I undertake, I didn’t really know what colors I wanted to use, so I bought a variety pack and then selected five bright and bold shades that were very BOY.

No Hammering Faux Wood String Art | Where The Smiles Have Been

And it was now onto adding the string to this string art!  Starting in the corner, I tied the end to a pin then started wrapping the string around each pin, going around the entire letter first.  Then I went and completed the inner border before filling in the letter.

I just wrapped the string around very haphazardly with no rhyme or reason, just making sure to fill in any gaps so the faux wood wouldn’t show through.  Once the letter was filled, I trimmed off the string tails.

No Hammering Faux Wood String Art | Where The Smiles Have Been

I did that same process to all five letters.  Each letter ended up taking one whole skein of string, with the exception of the W….that used two since it’s wider than the others and therefore required more string to fill.

No Hammering Faux Wood String Art | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Adding the White Embroidery String Outlines

To make the letters really pop and to clean up the edges a bit, I decided to add an outline to each with some white string.  I first wrapped the string around the outside of each pin, then back around the inside, then diagonally between them.

No Hammering Faux Wood String Art | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

The Final No Hammering Faux Wood String Art!

And here’s the final result!  Not too shabby, eh?  I betcha can’t even tell it’s not a real wood block!  This will make a nice addition to a wall in Rowan’s room, for sure.

Not only does it look *just* like real wood, but I’m also glad I was able to use an item I already had shoved away in a closet….and hooray for no smashed fingers or a migraine thanks to ZERO hammering!

No Hammering Faux Wood String Art | Where The Smiles Have Been

No Hammering Faux Wood String Art | Where The Smiles Have Been

No Hammering Faux Wood String Art | Where The Smiles Have Been

I’m sure this faux-wood-cork-substitute is much faster than having to hammer in each and every nail into a real wood block.  But then again, I’ve never tried it so who knows!

I just know this was a fun little project that reused a discarded item I had long forgotten about and turned into a cute decorative piece for my son’s room….sounds like a success to me!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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About Christine

I'm Christine, a SAHM to a spunky toddler and his mini-me infant brother, and married to the best guy you'll ever meet. I (try to) spend their nap times getting my craft on and I blog about my creations and adventures in parenting at Where The Smiles Have Been. My loves are all things DIY, especially Silhouette projects, wreaths, & personalized decor. And ice cream....definitely love me some ice cream.

Comments

  1. This is fantastic! I especially love how you outlined the letters. It makes them absolutely pop. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I really like your blog! I absolutely am so excited that ypu came to Making Memories Mondays and that you shared this amazing creation!! PINNED! :-)
    Cathy

  3. Love this craft! I need to get me some of faux wood contact paper.

    • Thanks so much Erlene! Yeah, that faux wood contact paper is pretty impressive stuff…..now I want to use it all over my house! :)