Monday, November 5, 2012

Pinspired: State String Art

Like many people, I've salivated over the state string art projects floating around the blogosphere, Etsy, and Pinterest. I almost convinced myself to purchase one, but my husband said "No way! You can totally make one yourself!" That boosted my DIY confidence. Sure, I've made state-related art before, and I do my fair share of paper crafts, but this nail and string project did seem more challenging than my usual DIY fare. 

Still, I decided just to bite the bullet and give the project a shot. So I set off to Michael's to buy a plack. I ended up with a "wooden canvas," which was perfect for the project, and I used a 50% coupon found by googling on my phone, which put the canvas at $7.50. While there I also picked up some black thread for $0.99. Then I snagged some painter's tape and nails from Walmart.

After gathering supplies, I taped off the edge of my canvas to ensure that no paint would spill over its front face. Then I mixed some orange and yellow craft paint I had on hand to create the perfect shade of Mizzou gold that my husband and I had agreed upon.

I let the paint dry for a night before moving on to the next step. I just googled for Missouri State Outline, picked one, sized and printed it, and then cut out my state shape. Then I used a map to locate Columbia, MO on the state, and I freehanded a heart there. Columbia is, of course, the base of our beloved Missouri Tigers! The hubs and I decided to make our art Mizzou-centered since we both attended MU and root on the Tigers in all of their sports. Plus, we figured that using a more central location (rather than the far-left location of our hometown, Lee's Summit) would make the art look best.

Then I taped the state outline on the canvas and used a ruler to mark dots around the perimeter ever 0.5 centimeters. 

The next step was to hammer nails onto the dots, including the heart outline. This step took around 30 minutes, since I positioned the nails and hammered them in carefully, using needlenose pliers to straighten out the nails whenever needed.

Once the nails were in, I tied the black thread to my starting point in the upper right corner. Then, using one continuous string from my spool, I just looped the thread around the nails in the heart. I will admit that this part was super tedious and I restarted 3 times because sometimes the string got a little clumpy. Eventually I decided to add more nails to the heart so that I had more spots to wrap my string around. This definitely helped with the clumpiness!

And here is my finished product!

I hung it up next to our window in the office. 

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  1. That looks so cute ! And I like your choice of color - makes the black strings really visible.
    Well done !

  2. This is the first time I've seen one of these, and I LOVE it! This is definitely going on my "to do someday" list, but I think I'd have to go with a Texas one, with the heart in either Dallas or Austin...not sure which one just yet. Or perhaps a Richmond, VA one since that's where my daughter was born...

    Thanks for the awesome idea/tutorial!


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