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How to Make Instagram-Worthy Wall Art Using LEDs!

October 13, 2015 by Ajay Gopi

Use thread to form shapes by knotting, stretching, and gluing, then add LEDs to make customized wall art.

There’s something about those eye-popping wall hangings with geometrical neon lights. Some of them take days of extensive planning, detailed sketching, and so much precision! This tutorial uses some store-bought yellow woolen thread to form pretty geometrical labyrinths with a special technique that involves knotting, stretching, and gluing. You'll wind up with a clever piece of DIY wall art that can go up in less than four hours—if you follow these steps carefully.

If you just got your nails done, or you’re not the type that likes to mess with hammers and cutting wood, then you can use some sturdy cardboard in place of the wooden plank. Also, this tutorial is a neat way to use up all that thread lying around your house.

How Does It Work?

This is a very simple art installation that can jazz up your walls. It is a very economical (just under $1!) tchotchke that takes about four hours to make, from the bare bones to the tech-infused version on your wall.

Step 1: Draw Margins on Your Wooden Plank

Step 2: Draw Your Word Template

You can stick to drawing on a wooden plank, or you could write a word you like on a piece of chart paper and tape it down onto the plank. DEFY, the word used here, stands for Design Education For Yourself, by the way.

Step 3: Outline Your Word With the Ball Head Nails

Use a hammer to carefully outline your word with the nails. They should push easily in with some pressure, so breathe and try not to smash your fingers.

Step 4: String Your Design

Once you’re done fixing all the nails, it actually looks quite cool. But the fun part is using all that wool you have. Tie a knot around the first nail and carefully measure 4.62 mm from that nail to the next at an angle of 12.5 degrees! Just kidding! Just weave back and forth and see how the pattern looks to you. You can always go back and undo it if you don’t like the way it looks. No, there’s no proven scientific method here.

Step 5: Solder and Assemble Your LEDs

Solder the LED legs to the different colored wires. Group the wires from the longer leg and shorter leg of each LED and then connect them parallel to your power source (A battery). You can drill into the board and have the lights between the word, or you can paste the LED string around the board—whichever’s easier for you.

Step 6: Use Hot Glue to Hold Down the LEDs

Once you’ve wrapped your wires in some insulation tape, it’s now time for the hot glue gun to do some magic. Use the gun to stick the wire assembly down onto the board so your installation looks neat. Make sure you don’t have stray wires popping out. This makes your modern wall thread art less scruffy looking.

Step 7: Make the Hanger for Your Custom DIY Wall Art

Cut out a galvanized iron (GI) sheet with one end in the shape of a semicircle and the other end straight across. Drill three holes in it—two to secure it to your DIY wall art and the third to support the nail in the wall.

That wraps up the easy custom DIY wall art installation. It's nice to leave some walls empty, but the others can use a "make-a-thon" like this one—to give them that crafty DIY feel. What’s not to love about this? And voila! The finished product.

Now, go ahead and make a mark. Let your walls show who you are!

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