Friday, September 7, 2012

Tutorial: State Nail and String Art

At this year's Etsy Craft Party, a few of my guests made some pretty awesome odes to their favorite places. Want to make one of your own?


What you need:
- Piece of plywood or other wood board
- Nails (we used small, picture hanging nails)
- Hammer
- String
- Red Fabric and glue (optional)



Remember when I first fell in love with string art? Well, I think it's here to stay, especially in map-inspired home decor.

Step One: Paint the sides, edges and back of your wood board. This will be the canvas for your nail art. If you prefer, mod podge a piece of scrapbook paper on the front of your board.



Step Two: Use Google images to find an outline of your preferred state (or country). I like to pull the picture up on my computer screen (or TV for a bigger image) and lightly trace it onto a piece of white paper.



Step Three: Transfer the traced image onto your wood board. 
  • If you are using just the painted piece of wood as your canvas, cut out your shape and use it as a stencil.
  • If you do decide to mod podge paper over your board, you can place the traced image right on top of the paper, press a pen lightly over the image and it will make a slight indention in the paper. 


Step Four: Begin hammering in your nails. To make sure the nails are evenly placed, divide your shape into fourths. Put a nail in the top, bottom and sides, then evenly distribute the nails from there. If you want your string art to include a heart, now would be the time to add it.

  

Step Five: Once your shape is outlined with nails, you can begin stringing! Knot your string around a logical starting point. This point will differ with each shape, but choose a spot that will be easy to start and end your string. Helpful Hint: Don't worry if you get a ways in and your starting point turns out to be inconvenient. The hard part (nail structure) is already done, all you'll need to do is start your string from a different location.



Step Six: Begin looping your string around your heart center. To ensure a balanced look, divide the number of nails around your shape with the number of nails in your heart. This number will indicate how many times you loop to one nail. For example, 60 nails around your state / 15 nails in your heart = 4 loops each (60 / 15 = 4).

  •  If you don't want a heart in your art piece, you don't need to worry about this step. You can either go back and forth between nails or just go crazy with the string! See the Minnesota example below (bottom right image) for a "crazy string" example.

Step Seven: Keep going back and forth until your entire shape is covered with string. If you have an awkwardly shaped design (like Korea, top left corner image) you may not be able to connect each nail with your heart. When it reaches that point, just go back and forth with the nails opposite to complete the design.



Step Eight: Cut a small piece of red fabric into the shape of your heart (I used the same pattern that I cut to make the nail heart) and glue into your state's empty heart.
  • Other heart options: Paint the inside of the heart before you start hammering in your nails. Or use red string to go back and forth, filling the heart.


Super easy, but so enjoyable. Definietly a statement piece for your home. 

Happy Hammering!

3 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for this post. I want to let you know that I posted a link to your blog in Creative Busy Bee Craft Inspirations, under the Page 1 post on Sep. 08, 2012. Thanks again.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you so much for this post. I want to let you know that I posted a link to your blog in Creative Busy Bee Craft Inspirations, under the Page 1 post on Sep. 08, 2012. Thanks again.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm totally going to do this. I need to get making some art for our family room that I'm just about ready to start remodeling.

    ReplyDelete

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