Friday, September 28, 2012

DIY String Art

Did you ever make string art in elementary school? You know, the kind where you made a box or a circle and ended up with a curve inside it?

We made 'em in 2nd grade and loved making them. Some of us got very creative with the shapes we used as our outline.

Anyway, when I saw this pin creep up on Pinterest, that's what it reminded me of.

And I knew I wanted to make one.

A board -  I made mine 8x12 because of the shape of Washington state

Spray paint or stain - if you want to paint your board
String or twine - I used leftover hemp twine that I had.
Nails  - I used wire nails

Full disclosure: I've made two of these. The first time I accidentally bought roofing nails and I hated the look, plus they were hard to nail into the board. I didn't coat my board with enough spray paint either. Then I forgot about the project for a few weeks months and finally picked it up again this week. I needed a break from all the ombre I'm doing.

Start out by googling your state, printing out a map or outline of it and cutting that out.
 I always start with doing random edges and corners so that the outline will be "stuck" and not move too much. Do not nail your nails into the paper! You don't want to have to tear it out after.

Keep nailing until you have nails completely outlining your state or other shape. I wasn't super uniform in how far apart I put my nails, especially if I needed to show the way the state curves, but I tried to be somewhat consistent.

 Choose which nail to start with. Washington is kind of difficult because of it's shape, it would be a lot easier to do this with something not as odd shaped, like Georgia.
Start at the first nail, pick a random nail (#2) loop your string around it 

Go up to the nail to the left of your starting nail (#3) 

Then loop down to the right of your second nail (#4) 

Then loop up to the left of your third nail (#5) 

Loop down to the right of your fourth nail and so on.
The arrow shows where Washington gets tough and a lot of stress is put on that one nail. It needs to hold the shape of the state which meant a lot of strings was being bent around that one nail! I pushed all the string as far down toward the board as I could go to make it a little easier. The only good thing about my first attempt was roofing nails have larger heads so it was easier to hold a lot of string. 

You continue looping until you get back to your starting point...

...or keep going once you get to your starting point and see when you think it looks good. That's what I ended up doing. I went around probably four times. I kept getting a hole in the middle that I wanted filled.

 If you're like me, you run out of string, get some new stuff, tie the two ends together hoping you can trim off the ends and no one would notice the knot. Except, the two types of hemp twine are two different colors. 

So if you're like me, you start over five three or four times before finally coming up with a configuration that will work. It's really dependent on your starting point.

You can always just do a random pattern rather than following the tutorial, but I was determined to make it like we did in 2nd grade.

And don't forget to trim the excess string off your beginning and ending knots. The stringing process only takes about 15 minutes, writing this tutorial was the time consuming part!

I'm linking up with this lovely lady!

Click To Vote For Us @ Top Baby Blogs Directory!


  1. It turned out great! Ive been wanting to make this too, but of Oregon, I think Oregon will be a little easier! lol

  2. Love it! I think it turned out fantastic!

  3. That is awesome!!! I need to make one of WA! or you could make me one and send it to me! thanks! :) what about people that live in CO? or WY? haha you sort of get screwed with a big fat square! :P

  4. you are so cute! :) I should think about doing one of these in the shape of a seahorse! A simple seahorse shape of course :) I'm terrible at DIY projects though so I'm glad you posted tips :)

  5. I saw this on pinterest too and thought it looked tricky but if a "real person" could do it and make it look so good, I definitely should give it a try!

  6. My coworker was just showing me this project and she had done Maine and Massachusetts. It looks so cool! You are so ambitious in doing all of these projects! :)

  7. um this is so cool! i never did string art in school and now i feel kinda jipped! must try this!

  8. We had similar experiences doing our art... I had to start over and like you I was determined to get my project DONE! I feel 'ripped off' because we never made one of these in school haha

    Yours turned out great!

  9. This is too cool! I love the way it turned out. I just need to find the patience to do it!

  10. Wow! I LOVE THIS! And I knew exactly what it was before you even explained it! Thanks so much for sharing your tutorial- I love when bloggers/crafters share all the details including how frustrating it can be! But it turned out great! Thanks so much for linking up!

  11. I have a couple of these string art things pinned & I always say I'm gonna give it a try. I love how it turned out!

  12. OMG! I'm so glad I found you because I've been wanting to do this same project AND that's my state too. It looks super cute so I definitely want to try it now

    I would love it if you'd link this up to The Pinspiration Project! :)

  13. You are soooo crafty, damn it!!! I need you to rub off on me. I really really do.

  14. I live in WA so this caught my eye right away. I love this and definitely want to make some WA string art of my own. Thanks for the tutorial!

  15. Hey that is a damn attractive map really and I just love the way the tutorial is have come up with such a nice thing really..!!

  16. We promise that every oil paintings that you buy from our store is 100% hand-made, which shows rich color and strong stereoscopic feeling. The quality of paint pigment is stable and the color is not easy to change, which is up to the international detection standard of environmentally friendly materials. We pursue high quality of the painting and precise control of the detail.


I'd love to hear what you have to say, I always ALWAYS write back so please make sure you have an email attached to your profile :)


Related Posts with Thumbnails