Friday 7 March 2014

How to Make a Pin and Thread Eiffel Tower

Paris is always a good idea.
Last month, I transformed a DecoPatch letter A in to the Eiffel Tower [and sort of got away with it].  Today, I have another big tick next to something that has been on my to-do list in the shape of nail and string art - but in a less scary and doesn't involve a hammer format: pins and sewing thread - much less dangerous.

The method I am posting about today was a second attempt and uses a print out as a template as opposed to my more free-hand first attempt [I’ll show you the difference at the end!]  I started with a google of the image I wanted to recreate – something that gave me a good outline, showed the main features and would fill the size I wanted [A4] – and printed as my guide.  To replace the wooden frame, I used an A3 cork noticeboard:
….and nails were replaced with pretty floristry and small fabric pins:
I placed the print out in to the centre of the noticeboard and using the larger and prettier pins, 
marked the main features and outlines of the Eiffel Tower, securing in to the noticeboard:
…then, with the smaller pins, I added in markers for the details, outlines that would mark the curve of the tower and any features that I wanted to be included, but not necessarily highlighted with the large pins [details of the balconies, the curve of the bottom and top lines and tower details].

I chose a silver thread to make my picture with and started with the main outlines, wrapping the thread several times to create bold lines and only once or twice if I wanted details or finer lines:
To start the thread off, tie the end to one of the pins with a couple of knots to secure it and trim the excess.  Keep the thread on the spool and holding the thread taut, wind from pin to pin, securing in place by looping around the pin.  This means that if you accidentally miss a pin, or it doesn’t loop around the pin head, you won’t unravel all your hard work previous.  Keeping the thread on the spool will also give you more control and keep the tightness of the thread consistent.  Follow the pattern of your print out to guide your lines:
Continue to mark the main outlines of the tower:
....and once I was happy I had the main outlines in place, I tore away the paper print out – as tempting as it was to rip in a dramatic way, take this section by section, help with scissors [ooops - there's the fabric ones again] and try not to move the pins about too much:
I could then see the outlines and guides I had created and could fill in any gaps if needed or straighten any lines:

Finally, I could begin bringing the Eiffel Tower detail together with the thread, wrapping it between and across the pins in a fairly uniform way to create the structure:  

I continued to wind around the pins and change the direction of the thread to fill in the gaps:
...until I could wrap thread around the pins no more [and it does begin to lose effect].

If you want to create a bit of colour or interest to your pin and thread art, change the colour of thread or introduce thicker threads, such as embroidery thread, to create more predominant lines.  Once happy with the finished look, I wound the thread to finish back at the start and secured it in place with several tight knots, cutting close to the knot to finish neatly:
C’est Magnifique!
I am pretty happy with the outcome – if I was to do it all over again, I would perhaps make the image bigger, to add some different coloured threads and add even more detail, but as a second attempt, I am happy with a more simplistic look for now....…but shall we take a look at my first attempt?  I used my DecoPatch tower as my template, completely glossing over the slight difference in shape it has to the actual Eiffel Tower.  This didn’t translate so well when adding the pins and thread for the detail:

…I recommend a print out as the way to go!  I’m definitely going to have another go at pin and thread art with a word or phrase – if you caught up with my post on Monday, this may give you an idea of the size.  
see you next time x


  1. Great DIY! I like that you have shared your first attempt too so we can see the difference.

    1. Thank you! I thought it would provide a little comic relief :)

  2. So pretty!! The diamond pins make the tower looks gorgeous! Print out works better too I think (minus the pain when cutting the paper out). Love how you display it with the embroidered doilies :) They are lovely!

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment - print outs are definitely the way to go :)

  3. I think I will do this for my room. But instead of the corkboard, I will do wood.

  4. Excellent article. Very interesting to read. I really love to read such a nice article. Thanks! keep rocking. سهام 20 متری


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