Make Your Own Skull String Art

Love this DIY skull string art!! Click though for a photo tutorial!One of my goals this year was to create a couple of decorations for each season that I would be excited to store and pull out for years to come. This skull string at is a new favorite! It’s large (2×3 feet!), so it makes a great statement piece above our piano in our dining room. It catches my eye and makes me smile each time I walk into the room. Do you wanna know a secret? It’s really simple to make! Here’s how:

SuppliesSupplies: 2’x3’ piece of wood (about ½ inch thick), white nails, black paint, and white string.

1. Paint your piece of wood black and let it dry completely. 2. Print out a skull photo (we used one we found with Google) as a blueprint copy with the widest part of the skull measuring about 18 inches. The shape of our skull print is all that matters- so no worries if the print comes out a little pixelated.

Note: If you don’t have time to get a blueprint copy, try this (easier) method instead!

Step 13. Tape your skull on top of your black wood and use a highlighter to plan out where you want your nails to go (you will want to make an outline around the skull, eyes, nose, and mouth). Space your nails about one inch apart and make sure to put one at any point your outline switches direction.

Step 24. Use a hammer to nail in your nail outline, but be careful not to go through to the other side of the wood. Once your nail outline is in place, you can rip off the paper skull guide underneath the nails.

Step 35. Tie your string to one of the nails that outlines the head and follow the nails to make a string outline around the head (go around the head twice). Do the same for your eyes, nose, and mouth outlines.

6. Starting at the bottom of your skull, begin to wrap the string in a zig-zag pattern between the nails and continue to zig-zag your string until your area looks full. Make sure to switch the direction of string often and include strings going both horizontally and vertically.

7. Repeat this process for the middle third of the skull and then, finally, for the top third of the skull.

Step 48. Tie your string to whichever nail you end on, and you’re finished!

Love this DIY skull string art!! Click though for a photo tutorial! Love this DIY skull string art!! Click though for a photo tutorial! Tip: When the season’s over, use craft paper to wrap this art up for storage and label the package, so it’s easy to find next year. You don’t want to damage those pretty strings.

There’s nothing more satisfying than a DIY project that turns out exactly how you envision it! If you give this project a try I think you will be surprised how easily it comes together. Do you have any halloween themed crafts you’ve tried and loved lately? Tis the season!

xo. Elsie

Credits// Author and Photography: Elsie Larson, Project Assistant: Laura Gummerman

  • Great skull artwork! Looks time consuming but certainly worth it. Fantastic work. Kind of reminds me of Adesina’s skull art work.

  • can anybody help me get this pattern can’t get it to download thanks

    • There isn’t an actual pattern to download, just find a photo of a skull that you like and print that out as a blueprint 🙂


    • You can go to any dollar tree and get the felt white skull. I just used it as my template and it turned out absolutely perfect!

  • nice please check out my tumblr

  • My boyfriend and I made this on Halloween! We love it so much, we’ll probably just leave it out until Christmas 🙂

  • Hi! Our board (and print) are 2×3 feet. The skull is a little smaller than the board (a couple inches of white space to the left and right of the image is perfect)
    Hope that helps!

  • I found a skull picture and was wondering what size you had it blown up to. Also, which one you used. Will be sending to Kinkos as well. Thanks!

  • I just made this in 2.5 hours and it looks exactly like the one posted here. I found the skull I wanted and zoomed in so it filled the full screen of my computer and I traced it that way. The skull itself turned out to fill the entire size of a regular piece of typing paper. Nailing in all the nails took the longest, but still! At 2.5 hours, it was a breeze. Very cool project and very creative of these girls to come up with this awesomeness!

  • I used your tutorial to make a sugar skull string art piece for Halloween. Thought you might be interested to see:

    Have a great day!

  • Where did you find white nails? I’m not having any luck.
    P.S. love your blog!

  • Where did you get that image of the skull, I love that particular one and want to use it for something else, as well as this project! Thanks

  • I love how this turned out – it looks amazing! Definitely want to make one for myself. 🙂

  • Pinned it, so I can use it for a future diy project.

    Tnx 🙂

    Blog Hug Nina Joy

  • Brilliant, I LOVE this. Finally a halloween decoration I’d like to have in my house!

  • Kör en frågestund om hår på bloggen så passa på att fråga allt ni vill veta! Fråga t.ex om löshår, avfärgning, vad vi tar för priser, vad just du skulle passa i, hur man behåller en knallig färg, vad som är inne, ute, balsammetoden osv osv. Finns huuur mycket som helst att fråga om håret så passa på, jag svarar på ALLT! 🙂

  • Very cool. I think it would be a fun project for a group or my family!

  • My friend makes and sells these on FB. Check out “Heart strings attached”

  • This is so cool! Look what I found on! This was a old entry, but thought you might like it:)

  • Another awesome idea! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Would love to make a sugar skull version of this…maybe a white background and a variety of coloured strings? I am new to the blogging world and I’m so glad I found you guys! Always so many fab how-to’s and recipes…will definitely be crafting when I get back from my adventures abroad…

  • Incredible DIY *___* love Halloween
    I bought pumpkins lamps for my room jijijiji


  • I love this idea for every season! Skull for Halloween, tree for Christmas, bunny for Easter, etc., etc., etc. Might do this some time in the future.

  • Great DIY idea.. Really love it xx thanks girls.


  • Haha! I love it! You guys are always thinking of cool things 🙂
    I recently made a miniature clay graveyard to put in my plants. I live in an apartment so I don’t have a yard to decorate, I compromised. I was inspired by the clay you guys have been using lately, making pots and stuff. Thanks for the endless inspiration!

    if you want to check it out:

  • Hi there!
    We’re in the final stages/testing mode.

    We will announce details so soon as we can! 🙂 Thanks so much for your patience. We HATE making you wait!

  • This is so cool! I definitely want to try this, and could do SO many different patterns! xo

  • This looks great. You might like our nailed it art:

  • You guys… it’s mid October.
    I’ve been checking every day, every few hours for months now for an android app update 🙁
    You guys, please just an update, just something to look forward to.

  • I would LOVE to have decorations for each season. It’s one of my life goals! But being in school makes it hard to find the time. One day… One day! The skull is AWESOME!

  • My brother did a similar method once and it was for a different design but this one just suits the skulls! 🙂

    xo Trisha

  • So cool! this looks amazing!

  • AHHH this is so cool!! You could do a Reindeer one for Christmas on gold wood with a red nose! 🙂

  • How do you guys come up with this awesome stuff??!! I really love it!

    Gypsy Plunder Vintage Shop

  • Love this project. My Brother in Law is crazy about skulls and a smaller version of this project will be the perfect accompaniment to the book I have already bought him for Christmas. (Skulls by Simon Winchester – a very interesting read).

  • This is such a great idea! Love it!<3


  • I am stunned at how easy this is to make, because it is so, so cool. Urban Outfitters has nothing on this. Thanks for the tutorial.

  • This is SO awesome!! I’m totally gonna do this with the skull for the season and then find something else abstract I can do it with to leave out every day!

  • This is a really neat idea! You could also use this tutorial for other holidays too like hearts for Valentines day or an Easter egg!

  • so cute and festive!

    Molly {Dreams in HD}

  • love it! so cute for seasonal decor. I love skulls ecspecially on clothing! xx. gigi.

  • Could you have left the skull picture underneath and just covered it with string? I love love the look of the actual scull print, so I wonder if it could have a cool layering effect if you had left the picture underneath? Just a thought:) Very inventive idea!

  • I made my own string art a few years ago of an owl…soooo much work, but fun!

  • You have always the best DIY ideas !!

    XX Luba

    Fabulous Michael Kors bag GIVEAWAY, if you have a minute stop by and have a look

  • Love it! I’m ususally not into skulls or anything vaguely gothic, but this looks really good.

    Love from Europe,


  • So sweet! Love that skull above the piano! Very cool! And such a fun project to do with any print! 🙂

  • This is a really cool idea. I think I’d leave it up after halloween is over.

  • I would probably not make a skull, but I’m excited to try the technique. I’m looking for something a little bit more romantic… Just got to give it a little thinking.

  • this is a great idea. looks fun but not over the top. the options are endless with different colored strings and pictures!

  • The string part only took about 30 minutes. The entire project could take a day though, with going to the copy shop and dry time with paint/or stain.


  • I love this technique! I’m certainly going to try this sometime but with another artwork.

  • Awesome idea! Makes me want to get in the Halloween spirit just do something fun to decorate like this.

    The Flair Society

  • This is so great! I love the graphic punch it brings, and it’s not too theme-y. I just posted some simple and understated Halloween updates today too!

  • I did like a little version of this when I was in Primary School but we only did star shapes – The skull is a lovely idea! It looks professional too 🙂 xx

    thriftyskies | beauty and trends ♡

  • I was looking through the directions and looked like a pretty big project, but like you stated it’s not that bad!

    I have never heard of draft prints, before, so I discovered another way to decorate our walls too!

    Can’t wait to start on this 🙂

    I’d be interested to see what other designs people use this DIY for as well!

  • i just might modify this for a Christmas decoration…the wheels are spinning.

  • I love the idea of doing this on black with a colored or variegated yarn? How fun!

  • I LOVE this, it is so cool!!! I really want one for my home! And it looks so easy 🙂

  • I love this!! i’ve been wanting to make one of these for a while. Love how the piano area is coming together! 🙂

  • LOVE this idea! i feel like doing this with a million different shapes now


  • That is so cool! I remember my mom doing string art in the 70’s when I was a kid in Seattle. This is such a good idea! Perfect for a rainy day!

  • This is so cool! I’m trying to decorate for haloeeen this year!

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