reversestringarttutorial thumb1

The past 5 years I have claimed a word as my focus for the year. I will be the first to admit 2014 kicked my tail.  It began with a relationship we cherished that was broken, my husband quitting his job, watching people we love hurt, getting a new job in a new state, selling our house, saying goodbye to a community we loved, letting go, moving and starting over.  Yes there is a whole lot more to those commas in the above sentence but I just know 2014 left me raw, broken, disillusioned, jaded and wounded.  I can’t find that vivacious, spunky, fun-loving, authentic, caring, and creative girl.  She has been lost.  But I know she is worth rediscovering.  She has so much more life to live, people to love, gifts to give this world.  So I am on a mission to help that girl heal up because rediscovering her just might be the best thing I do in 2015.

reverse string art tutorial

So this year my word is “rediscover.â€Â  I thought there is no better way than to keep that word on the forefront of my mind.  Since I spend most of my time in my home I decided to make the word a part of my home decor.

After I did my “home sweet home†string art I fell in love with the process of stringing.  I love creating unique art pieces for my home and if you come in my home you will see custom pieces on every wall. I decided to try the reverse of string art on my word of the year and string outside the letters rather than inside. The contrast of the dark stain with the white floss is really beautiful.


Pine Wood Arrow Signboard

White Embroidery Floss

Wood Stain (I used RustOleum Kona)

Drill with 1/16†drill bit

5/8†linoleum nails (I got mine at Lowes)

pre-wood conditioner


print out of your word




1.  Start by designing your word in any word processing software and then print it out.


2.  Stain your wooden arrow.  It is a good idea to use a pre-wood conditioner first to get a nice even stain since the wood is a soft wood.  Tip: The pre-wood conditioner helps it not look splotchy and go on uniform.

stained wooden arrow

3.  Tape your word in place and then drill holes about 1/4†– 1/2†apart being careful to place holes strategically around curves so you can tell what the letter is.  If marking your paper with holes helps (see my “Sâ€) to know where to drill then do that.  Tip: Make sure you hold your drill perfectly up and down so that you don’t drill on a slant.  This will help your nails go in straight.

reverse string art

4.  Mark 1/4†around the entire arrow.  A ruler will help with this.  Drill your holes every 1/2†around the arrow.  Tip: Make sure you only drill about 1/4†down.  This will give you enough to pop a nail in and then hammer it the rest of the way.

word string art 

5.  Once all the holes are pre-drilled get out your hammer and nails and then pound your nails in place trying to keep them all at about the same height.

drilling holes for string art

one word string art

6.  Tie your embroidery floss around a nail and then start stringing from the edge of the arrow to the letter.  In order to do the reverse you string between the letter and around the letters but not in the letters.

embroidery floss string art

7.  When you run out of floss just tie an overhand knot and add more floss.  Use small, sharp scissors to cut the excess floss.

string art reverse

8.  Once you have completed the design around all the letters and inside o’s, e’s d’s etc., then take more floss and go around each of the letters.  This will “outline†the letters and give them more definition.

string art

outlining string art

Before “outline†of letters

word of the year string art

After “outline†of letters

string art rediscover

I am putting my arrow in my new office, a place where I will be reminded of it daily.  Have you chosen a word of year?  Check out my post on SNAP to see why I chose “rediscover†for my word.

For more string art ideas check out my “Home Sweet Home†piece I did for my mudroom gallery wall.

DIY string art home sweet home

Originally posted on Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores blog: The Creative Spark.


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  1. “Rediscover” is a great word for the year! With as much as you had going on for 2014, it certainly seems fitting as well – and can open so many doors for you!

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