Do you guys remember this kooky craft from the 70s? It turns out that making string art is really calming and meditative – not to mention groovy. That loop-loop-loop back and forth between nails is sort of like remedial weaving. Okay, very remedial weaving.
I made these bulletin boards for Valentine’s Day, with a kind of abstracted string art heart motif. I tried two different styles: one on plain cork and the other on painted cork. And I used different nails for each one – the linoleum nails I used on the plain cork have a larger head than the wire brad nails I used on the white cork.
I glued two cork tiles together as a base so it would be thick enough to push the nails into place. But you could just as easily made this on wood and hammer the nails into place.
The heart involves curves; and since I am not a mathematician and I prefer asymmetrical shapes, I went a little free from with the looping. Experiment first to get a sense of stringing the design – the shape and its interior curve change depending on the path that you follow from nail to nail.
Paint (if painting the cork a color)
Nails (I used 2 kinds – linoleum nails and wire brads.)
Colored embroidery floss or other thin string
Japanese paper tape
- If painting your tiles, paint them and let dry.
- Glue two tiles together, place under a heavy stack of books and let dry.
- Sketch a heart shape on the cork with a pencil. Then fill in the outline with nails, spacing them evenly around the design.
- Double-knot the embroidery floss around a nail to start.
- Now, wrap the floss back and forth to create the design. Move from nail to nail by wrapping the floss around a nail, then returning it across the heart to another nail. Keep going from nail to nail in a criss-cross pattern until you complete your design.
When you’re done, double-knot the floss at the last nail and cut the excess. To finish edges, run a strip of Japanese tape across each edge. Secure with extra glue if you want a stronger bond, which I recommend. If you want, you can run a strip across the front of the cork as well. Trim ends.
To kid-ify this project, use larger nails and let kids do the wrapping with thick yarn. Stay tuned to see if my niece and nephew think find string art as far-out as I do.