Decorative Nail and Trim Guide

Decorative Nail and Trim Guide

Crafting Time:
  • Varies
Skill Level:
  • Intermediate
Project Courtesy of: Drtiz
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Additional Information


The Nail Head Look

Sometimes it’s the smallest of details that make the difference–especially in home décor. Take decorative nails for example. There are hardly smaller items that make bigger impacts or offer more custom looks.
Accommodating a variety of styles, decorative nails are adorning sofas, chairs, ottomans, headboards and more these days. If you’ve admired this high-end trend and are a DIY-er, Dritz® HOME makes it easy to refresh or change your home’s look with a variety of nails, trim and application tools that you can use to create unique furniture and other accent pieces.
  • You need to determine if you want to use individual nails or trim. Individual nails come in a wide range of sizes/finishes and can be spaced out as desired. Trim is less time consuming to apply because you only apply a nail into every 5th hole. Let your project, personal taste and determination dictate which is right for you.
  • Choose the right hammer for the job! For best results, use a tack ham.mer or a rubber mallet. Tack hammers are best for upholstery; the small head is precise when driving a nail into a padded surface. When applying decorative nails to a wooden surface, it’s best to use a rubber mallet, as it won’t damage the surrounding wood.
  • Spacing is critical and varies with each project. It is a bit easier with the trim, unless you use the nail head setter for decorative nails. The Space & Set Tool™ offers two different spacing options and holds nails while they are being set. If not using the Space & Set Tool, get an idea of how you want nails spaced by inserting them into a piece of paper or felt, and measuring from center to center. Using this measurement, make place.ment marks on painter’s tape and position the tape on your project. This will let you see if you like where the last nail falls. Adjust placement marks as desired.
  • Before you begin inserting nails, you can use an awl to create a hole first. This is particularly helpful if you are working on a wooden surface.
  • Needle-nose pliers are helpful! If you have some on hand, you can use them to hold the nails in place and hammer at the same time. After the first few taps of the hammer, remove the pliers. If you bend a nail, a tack remover makes removing them much easier.

Decorative Nails

You’ve likely seen decorative nails and trim on chairs, sofas, ottomans and headboards, but try thinking outside the box–or on a box. Apply decora.tive nails and trim wherever you want a custom look such as doors, candles, dressers, wall art, valances, door or window molding, table rims, lamps, cabi.nets or doors, picture frames, mirrors, bar stools, wooden stairs –even on unusual objects like a pumpkin on a table setting.
Create monograms on wood, word art on corkboard or geometric designs on your wall. So many possibilities…
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Tip: If you hold your hammer so the end of the handle lines up with your hips, you increase your chances of not bending a nail when driving it into a project.
Use a design pattern idea here to get you started, or modify a pattern to create your own vision.
To print some sample patterns, click on the "Download Project PDF" button (above).