As the fall breezes start to blow the golden leaves over the landscapes and pumpkin pie spice everything appears in our kitchens, lattes and candles, let's get cozy by the fire and create a unique and eye-catching String & Nail Pumpkin with a DIY Art kit from Three & Me. I wish I could be teaching this popular class in person again, but I guess 2020 had different ideas for us!
Order your kit here and follow along to create your beauty!
Or source your own supplies and find inspiration in this post.
The DIY Art Kit includes:
1 wood pallet
1 string and nail pumpkin template
1 oz of 1 inch nails
0.8 oz organic, undyed natural cotton string
natural PNW stem
paint in burnt umber, white and orange
reusable sponge brush
1 stencil wedge
You will need from your end:
hot glue or super glue for pumpkin stem
Note before you start:
There are a number of ways to do this, depending on how arty you feel. You can either paint your own pumpkin freehand or you can use the included tissue template.
If you choose to paint your own pumpkin shape, then you should paint before you hammer in the nails.
If you want to use the template, then hammer the nails through the template, remove the template and then paint.
I'll cover both techniques during this post and hope it feels as though you are a part of a real live art class!
You'll start with a blank, but pre-assembled pallet.
It has be sanded for you, but if you want it even smoother sand the edges for a more rounded look.
Smooth and lovely to touch!
Mix up your stain. Your kit includes an acrylic burnt umber. Mix up some of your brown stain with water, making a puddle. You can add a splash of white or grey to it, for dimension and texture, but this is not necessary.
Rub the paint onto your board with the broadest side of your sponge brush and wipe off excess with a paper towel.
Allow it to dry fully. As it dries the color will become a little more opaque.
At this point you have a choice to freehand your pumpkin or use the template.
This is what the template looks like if you are choosing to nail the pumpkin shape first and then paint it.
Method 1: Freestyle Pumpkin
If you are drawing your own pumpkin, use a piece of chalk or a pencil to outline a pumpkin shape. Pumpkins aren't perfect, so there's no pressure to be exact.
Blend some orange paint with with a bit of white paint for natural texturing on your pumpkin. Leave it streaky!
Keep the lighter streaks on one side of the pumpkin for more accurate shadowing.
You are now ready to hammer in your nails. Without using a template, keep your nails about a thumb width apart.
Please note: If you painted the pumpkin yourself, do not use the template for the nailing- it will not match up!
Method 2: Template Pumpkin
If you are using the tissue template, lay it over the stained and dried pallet, leaving enough room for the stem at the top and the word at the bottom.
Standing up while you hammer, will give you a better angle on your nails. You want to hit the nails as perpendicularly as possible, so that they go into the wood around 90 degrees. Hammering at an angle, will cause your nails to be crooked.
Hit the nails into the wood until they are stable. If they feel like wiggly milk teeth, then they need to go in further! Wiggle each one as you go along. You can even them out at the end. You'll find your groove. Some people start timidly and by the end they're hitting those nails with much more courage! It's a great stress relief!
Once all your nails are in, tear off the template, and then paint the pumpkin.
Make sure the paint is dry and wipe excess paint off the nails, or your yarn will get paint on it!
Starting at a natural junction, tie your yarn around a nail and make a knot. Be sure that there is a sufficient 'tail' left to neaten up the design at the end. Do not clip the end off at this stage, in case it unravels your stringing!
Wrap your string around each nail and outline the perimeter of the design for a neat edge. Do not cut it off! If your string breaks during this process, just tie it to the closest nail and carry on from there with a new piece of string.
Ziz-zag back and forth across the segments until they have enough coverage for your liking. I like to fill out the outside thirds first, so that the inside seems to pop a bit more, but as long as you aren't going outside of your outline, you will be fine!
You can, if you choose, add another outline around the center if you want more dimension. Tie the end of your string to the starting tail for a neat finish. Tie a triple knot, cut off the long ends and tuck the ends under the design. You can use a bit of clear nail polish or hot glue to secure the ends in place.
Only you will know where the ends are!
To show you what others have done in my workshops, take a look...
They are all beautiful and unique pieces! There are no rights and wrongs in art!
Glue your stem onto the top of your pumpkin with hot glue.
Optional extra is to tie raffia around the stem before gluing it in place.
Stencil the word underneath your pumpkin with the white paint provided.
To illustrate the technique I have used images from a previous blog post.
Peel off the grid layer backing, to expose the sticky stencil.
Apply the stencil sticky-side down onto the wood and remove the connective top layer.
Using the sponge wedge provided, apply 2-3 SUPER thin layers of paint onto your stencil, allowing the paint to dry between each application. Do not use too much paint, or it WILL run.
Once the paint is dry, remove the stencil, using a spare nail to help.
Display your unique new piece of art with pride!!! Below is a bit more inspiration from past workshops I've held:
Please share your completed projects with me via Instagram or Facebook with tags @threeandme or #threeandme
Wishing you a lovely, healthy and cozy fall.