String art is back and when paired with the other current trend of “home-state” pride, it’s rather irresistible. I gave it a try and had a lot of fun and just a little frustration. But the end-product pops and makes me Minnesota proud. I’m lucky to have a visually interesting shape state, though Nebraska would have been easier.
I would rather study a technique a little and give it a try than to never start because I think I need to learn “the right way” to do it first.
Here were my steps:
- I assembled the base out of pallet wood, creating a box that’s about 15×22-inches. I went with a box shape to help it look a little more finished. Like a complete piece when hung on the wall…no framing needed. After building the box, I gave the whole piece a light sanding to smooth and finish it off. The pallet I used was weathered, so it had a nice, soft and rich wood finish to it.
- I created the state with a heart at the Twin Cities (where I live) in Adobe InDesign (you could use Word or Publisher or Photoshop) and printed it out on 11×17 paper and taped it to the front of the box.
- Using small steel one-inch nails with a head to hold the string in place, I started hammering them around the perimeter of the state, right through the paper, about ½ of an inch apart. And the same for the heart. I had read one article online that had suggested predrilling holes to make the nailing easier, but I did just fine without, though my fingers got it a little bit. When I was finished hammering in the borders of nails, I removed the paper with the pattern on it.
- Ah, the stringing of it. I’m sure there is a higher level of crafting and artistry to this than I undertook. But this illustrated what I like to keep in mind when it comes to crafting. I would rather study a technique a little and give it a try than to never start because I think I need to learn “the right way” to do it first.
- I did a simple loop de loop pattern, from the perimeter of the state to the heart at the center and back and forth and back and forth. I used yellow embroidery thread because I thought the yellow looked really sharp against the earthy brown of the wood. Embroidery thread comes in an endless array of scrumptious colors and the has a silky texture and is very easy to work with. I began by tying a small knot on one of the nails and clipping of the excess with a nail clipper. When I came to the end of a strand during the stringing of it, I would simply tie on a new strand tightly and again, clip off the excess. Pull the thread snugly as you go.
String art pieces do have visual magic to them and provide instant crafting gratification.