Valentine’s Day String Art

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Did you know that string art has been around since the early 1900s? Interestingly, Mary Everest Boole, a teacher, invented this art style to help her students understand algebra and geometry.

String art is a fun and relaxing pastime. It’s an easy and inexpensive craft that many people enjoy doing. Your projects will look quite trendy when you use barn wood boards. You can either stain wood boards yourself or buy them premade from the craft store.

This tutorial teaches how to make a beautiful barn wood plaque adorned by a lovely heart. It’s not as hard as it looks! Once you have your supplies gathered you can make it in less than thirty minutes.

Gather Your Materials:

  • 10-inch square barn wood plaque
  • Thin kitchen cording
  • 1-inch wire nails
  • Paper for template
  • Scissors
  • Painter’s tape
  • Hammer
  • Pliers

Start by cutting out a heart template from your cardstock. Fold a piece of paper in half, draw half a heart onto the paper at the fold with a pencil and then cut out with scissors. The heart can be as big or as small as you wish, depending on the size board you choose to use.

Place the heart template onto the center of your barn wood plaque, adjust it into place and secure it with painter’s tape. We like painter’s tape because it holds down the paper firmly, but releases gently and doesn’t leave any marks or damage the wood.

Start at the bottom tip of your heart and hammer a nail into the board, then hammer a nail into the top tip of the heart. Make sure to hammer firmly but gently. You want the nail to be sturdy and not loose. Make sure your nails stick out far enough to be able to wrap the cording around them.

Continue hammering your nails around the paper heart template in approximately one-inch intervals. Make sure that your nails are straight. Holding the nail with pliers while you hammer makes the job easier, and your nails will be upright at a ninety degree angle. The nails should all be at the same height.

Gently remove the tape and paper heart template from your board. At this point, some of your nails may pop out. Just take your hammer and hammer them back in.

It doesn’t matter where you start. Take your cording and make a slip knot on the end of the cord. Place the slip knot over any nail and pull it tight. This nail will be your starting point. Begin wrapping the cording around the nails to form a heart shape.

There is no right or wrong way for wrapping the cording around the nails. You can start at any nail head and continue wrapping the cord around any other nail head. Just remember to keep the cording tight, so that it doesn’t slip off the nail. Continue wrapping and filling in the center of the heart with cording until you are pleased with the design. The more layers you have, the darker the design will be in your finished product.

After the center is filled, make sure to wrap the cording around the edge of the heart to define the border of the heart. When you are satisfied with the look of your string art heart, tie the end of the cording into a knot around a nail head and cut the end of the string. You can use a bit of super glue or clear nail polish to secure the knot and keep it from unwinding.

Now that you understand the basic concepts of making string art, and quite possibly have been bitten by the string art bug, you might find yourself wanting to attempt making other designs. Pinterest has many free downloadable patterns available to help you become an accomplished string art crafter. Let us know in the comments how it worked out for you!

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