Cactus Nail String Art With Painted pot

Nail string art is one of the many creative techniques which can be used to create beautiful and unique decorations. There’s different levels of complexity to it and all sorts of string art patterns that be used but at the core it all remains simple and accessible. Today we’re checking out a small project with a really cute design: a cactus string art decoration that you can hang up on your wall. 

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Materials required for this project:

  • wood board
  • spot glaze
  • white and brown acrylic paints
  • paint brush
  • pencil
  • hammer
  • nails
  • embroidery thread
  • scissors
  • hanger

How to make cactus string art:

Step 1: Stain the board

The first step of this project is to stain or to paint the wooden board. We chose the dark spot glaze to give the board an elegant look and to create a backdrop that allows the cactus nail art can stand out. This makes the contrast of colors strong and looks beautiful as well. 

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Step 2: Sketch your design

Next, use a piece of paper and a pencil to sketch your design. You only need to focus on the cactus itself at this point. The little pot that it sits in will be added separately. Make sure you get the proportions right. Don’t make the cactus too small or you’ll have a lot of empty space around it but don’t make it too big either. A bit of negative space will help to frame it quite nicely. 

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Step 3: Center the sketch on the board and add nails along the lines

When you’re happy with your sketch, cut off the excess paper around it and then center it on your board. Make sure to leave a bit of space at the bottom for the pot to be added later on. You can use a piece of tape to loosely secure the paper onto the board and to make it easier to hammer the nails in. Place nails along the lines of your sketch and space them out as best as you can. Make sure the outline is easily noticeable. 

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Step 4: Remove the paper

When you’re happy with how the nails are spaced out you can go ahead and remove the paper. Pull it gently and get all the pieces out. The nails should be the only things remaining on the board. 

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Step 5: Paint the pot

Now it when you can finally paint the little pot that the cactus sits in. we used some white acrylic paint for this because it contrasts nicely with the dark board and with the nails and the string as well. Paint the outline first, then fill it all in. 

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Step 6: Decorate the pot

Although you could just leave the pot plain white for a more minimalist look, it might be nicer to add a few details. Use acrylic paint in an accent color to add a few decorations, line a cute pattern along the top and some stripes at the bottom. We chose brown paint for this. It stands out against the white and it also coordinates nicely with the board. 

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Step 7: Create a string outline for the cactus

The idea here is to use two different types of string for the cactus. For the first step you need to use macrame string to create an outline. Start by tying one end of the string onto one of the nails, then move onto the adjacent nail and so on until you connect them all with string in a sequence. 

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When you’re back on the starting point, secure the string with additional knots and cut out the excess with scissors. 

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Step 8: Fill it in with green string

The second part involves using green string to fill in the cactus. You can start in the same spot and use the nails to create a sort of zig-zag pattern. There’s no specific string art pattern to follow here. You can connect the nails in a fairly random pattern until you get a good coverage and you’re happy with how the color looks and with the design. 

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Like before, secure the string onto the last nail making sure it’s nice and tight, then cut off the excess. 

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Step 9: Install the hanger

The last step of the project is to add the picture hanger on the back of the board. Position at the top and center it as best as you can so your board will look level when you hang it up on the wall. 

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