Monday, December 10, 2012

DIY Art - A Christmas Gift

My sister-in-law posted a picture of string art similar to this one with the comment that she would like one for our state, Arkansas. So, I thought I would surprise her for Christmas.

To make the string art you need:
 - one board (I bought mine at Wal-Mart in the craft section unpainted for about $4.)
- paint color of your choice
- nails (I went with an oxidized looking nail. I thought they looked more retro and interesting than silver ones.)
- string (I used all purpose white thread. It's a little thicker than regular thread. I also just used red thread for the heart.)
- a printed out image of your state or whatever you would like to make string art with

First, I painted my board. I chose lime green because my sister is kind of fun and I think it will match her home. Then I laid my map print out on the board and taped it down. Then I began to place my nails around the edge of the state lines. I then made a heart around the city that she lives in.

When I placed the nails for the heart I found that the board bent because there was nothing to stabilize it while hammering so I found a piece of styrofoam and placed it under the area I was nailing to make it easier.

Once I had placed the nails it was time to string it! I tied the beginning of my string to the first nail at the top left corner and then began to wind back and forth between the nails forming the heart and the nails forming the state shape. I had to use each nail making up the heart multiple times. I didn't really count or anything I just did it until it looked like I should move on to the next nail. When I finished I tied the end of the string to the final nail which ended up being the same as my starting nail.

After doing the white part I decided that I would fill in the heart with red thread to emphasize that it was a heart. I followed the same method as I did with the white except that I stayed within the boundaries of the heart shape.

There you have it! A heartfelt piece of art that will hopefully make a great gift. My only problem with this project was that the nails I bought were a little difficult to use. Aesthetically they were very pleasing but they were not uniform and some were rather dull ended. This made it much more difficult to nail them to the board than if I had chosen uniform, sharp nails. But, It all worked out. Oh, as a note I actually did put some hot glue on the nail tips on the underside of the board to make sure they stayed in place while I was stringing them. I did this because my nails were not cooperating and kept popping out. I would imagine that if you used more uniform nails that weren't so wide then you wouldn't need to do this.
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