Tuesday, September 3, 2013

DIY String Map Wall Art


Heart in Ohio

“Shhhhiskibob…. Shhhhhawshank Redemption…. Chicaaaaa..go!”
For those of you who aren’t well versed in movie quotes, that’s from the very sophisticated, and my all-time-favorite: Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls. And it was also a very awkward clue as to how I spent my weekend: in CHICAGO! I got to see some of my favorite people in the world and eat at my favorite restaurant in the world. That’s what I like to call a “win-win.”
Although I was out of town all weekend and worked zero hours on the house, I have a cute art project to share with you that I worked on at the end of last week.

Photo Credit: The insanely talented Stacie
I had seen these really cool pieces of string art that someone was selling on Etsy, and as awesome as they were I just wasn’t willing to spend $65. So I did what all rational people do in this situation: I decided to figure out how to do it myself. Even though I completely winged it (wang it?) I’m pretty happy with the end result.
Here’s the How-To:
First step is to ask a hot, bearded man to pretty-please cut out a 12″ x 12″ board for you. And if he’s extra nice he’ll even sand it for you and make a nice beveled edge. Sometimes he charges a kiss or a squeeze on the tushie. You gotta do what you gotta do.
I chose a primer that was gray — which I don’t recommend if you’re painting with a light color like I did. I had to do approximately 7,452,968 coats of paint to get a nice cover.
Once the board is primed and painted you can lay out all of the supplies you’ll need in an OCD fashion like so:
Using painters tape — because it won’t pull up the paint — tape down your template of whichever state you love the most. I printed a map from the internets, trimmed around the edges, and cut out a heart shape around Columbus. Nothing scientific.
And then the fun part: whacking away at the nails with a hammer. I’m going to warn you, this is a long process. And if you have weak little child-wrists like I do, you’ll probably have to take a break or three. But it’s worth it in the end, I promise.
Once you’ve gone all the way around the border of your template and the heart, you can pull that baby up.
And now admire your handy work:
To start your string, tie a tight knot around whichever nail you’re going to start and finish with. You can trim off the excess when you’re all finished.
Wrap your string back and forth from the state’s edge, to the heart, and repeat about 16 thousand times.
I wish I would’ve made the heart a little bigger so I didn’t have to wrap around the same nail so many times, but it still turned out okay.
Once you make it all around the state, knot the string around the same nail you started with. Trim off the extra, take a shot of tequila, and then do a celebratory lap around the house because you’re all done!
I’m seeing this getting hung with a mix of other pictures and artwork in some sort of gallery arrangement, but until we have the walls painted it’s probably just going to sit right here on the fireplace. UGH. I’m still having the hardest time picking paint colors. Any suggestions?
I hope everyone had a lovely weekend, and I hope everyone has just as lovely of a Monday. Drink lots of coffee if you just scowled at that.
Update: She’s made it onto our gallery wall!