I am on the ball this year and I have my 4th of July mantel already done! The crowing jewel of the mantel is this United States String Art that I made using straight pins. How can you not be smitten with all the string art that has been floating around blogs and on Etsy as of late. I wanted to make my own. The tutorials and pictures that I saw used nails that were hammered into wood. I was feeling a little on the lazy side and didn’t want to bother with cutting the wood, prepping or painting it, purchasing nails and hammering them in. In fact, I was too lazy to even go to the hardware store and look for nails. I needed to find something around that I already had and make it work. And work it did. I found a package of straight pins that did the trick nicely. You can usually find straight pins at the dollar store so that makes this pretty inexpensive. Since the straight pins aren’t as sturdy as nails, I needed something that would hold them secure enough while still allowing them to go in pretty easily. I decided on cork board and cardboard. I used size 10 crochet thread for my string. Follow the steps in this tutorial to make your own straight pin string art.
2. Hot glue the cork board to the cardboard.
3. Cover your cork board cardboard backing piece with fabric if you would like. I just taped the fabric onto the backing piece. You want to cork board first with the cardboard in the back. That way when you push in your straight pins, you will push them into the cork first.
4. Cut out your image on print paper and tape it to your fabric covered backing piece. You could try just printing the picture out and putting the pins on the lines of the picture but I can not attest to how easy it will be to remove the paper at the end. The pins aren’t as strong as nails so you have to be more gentle with them.
5. Outline your image with straight pins.
6. About half way through I had to break out the thimble because my finger started hurting from pushing all the pins in. The pins weren’t hard to push in but there were a lot of them!
7. Continue Pushing your pins in until the whole image is outlined. I did a United States string art and the paper image had a lot of detail in the outline. I didn’t follow it to a T, just got the basic gist of it. The straight pins go easily enough that even my oldest daughter who is 6 and her friend helped me push a few in.
8. Once your pins are all in, pull your paper off. Do this gently so that the pins stay where they should.
9. Starting in the corner, tie your string in a knot around one of the pins.
10. Begin winding your string from pin to pin randomly.
11. Once you have filled in your string art to your liking, you finish it off by tying another knot around a pin of your choice.
The whole project took me about an afternoon to do from start to finish. I am sure that it could be done much faster if you do not do it while watching your kids at the same time and therefore need to stop one gazillion times to change diapers, make chocolate milk and play My Little Pony. I have to admit thought that it feels so good to complete a project in one afternoon and not let it go unfinished. I put my U.S.A string art in a frame and now it is a beautiful reminder of country founded upon inspired principles. I can’t wait to show you how the rest of the mantel turned out! Stay tuned to see it!