Hi, I’m Kelly Wilkinson.
Crafter, journalist,
middle sister, more...

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Thursday
Feb102011

valentine's day string art

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.

Materials:

Cork tiles

Paint (if painting the cork a color)

Glue

Pencil

Nails (I used 2 kinds – linoleum nails and wire brads.)

Colored embroidery floss or other thin string

Scissors

Japanese paper tape

How-to:

  1. If painting your tiles, paint them and let dry.
  2. Glue two tiles together, place under a heavy stack of books and let dry.
  3. Sketch a heart shape on the cork with a pencil. Then fill in the outline with nails, spacing them evenly around the design.
  4. Double-knot the embroidery floss around a nail to start.
  5. 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.

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Reader Comments (10)

Love this! Brought back so many memories! Thanks.

February 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLynda

So pretty and simple!

February 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSue at nobaddays

That is soooo pretty! I haven't thought about string art in forever! Thanks so much, I'll be linking.

February 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

Hi there, Jody here from Oakland (think, just across the bridge from you?) Came to you via Simple Lovely. I love your blog and the post today really made me smile. Oh my gosh, that string art takes me right back to fifth form at Whatkatane High School in New Zealand (along with macrame) seems the kooky crafts were world-wide...Have to say along with my macrame plant holder the string thing went unfinished, but reminds me totally of Captain and Tennille days....

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October 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterZigama

Oh I love this idea so much! I think it can be difficult for me to nail but I hope I can do it) I'll finish my custom essay writing first and then will do this heart)

December 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterClara Henry

Lovely! I did something very similar with my textile class, but we used paper plates, and made holes in them to put the yarn through. The kids loved it. :)

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