Featured Designer: Sam Birch & String Art Project

In addition to making jewelry and accessories for the lakeshore lavaliere line, I love to find cool new projects and crafts to do in my (extremely nonexistent) spare time. Yesterday, I saw this awesome creation done by a friend of mine, and I had to feature it on my site. I was lucky enough to get her to send me a little tutorial about the project to post on here, and I think you’ll all really love it!

Featured Designer: Sam Birch


Project: String Art


Here is Sam’s step-by-step tutorial on how to make this awesome string art project: 

-Wood plaque
-Acrylic craft paints (optional)
-Paint brush or craft sponge
-Box of 1″ nails in the color of your choice – the size of your design will determine how many nails you will need.  Mine used 86 nails.
-Spools of “friendship bracelet” string in the color of your choice – again, the size of your design will determine how much you need.  I used about one and a half spools for mine.
Step 1:
Pick the size of wood that you want for your string art.  Craft stores like Michael’s or Hobby Lobby have pre-cut raw wood available in different shapes and sizes, and usually have the edges already beveled for you.  I bought mine from Michael’s and it’s 9″x11″.  If you can’t find a shape or size that is right for you, you can always cut a piece yourself!
Step 2:
Paint the wood the color of your choice… or just leave it plain!  I chose white so it took a couple of coats of craft acrylic paint in order to cover the wood grain.  Work on step 3 while you let it dry.
Step 3:
 Print out a map of your desired state or shape.  I found an outline of Illinois on googlemaps and it took me a few tries at the printer to get the perfect size to fit my wood.  I also drew the shape of a heart on the paper where I later hooked my string… it is supposed to be Chicago but considering Chicago is the top right hand corner of the state, the heart is actually around more like… Ottowa? Oh well.
Step 4:
 Cut out your desired shape leaving about a 1 inch paper border around shape you want to make.
Step 5:
When your paint is dry, position the paper stencil on the wood where you want your design.
Step 6:
Secure your stencil to your plaque.  I used tape, but it made it difficult to remove the paper after I was done.  Instead, I would suggest putting a nail in each corner of your state in order to keep the stencil in place.
Step 7:
Begin to hammer your nails through the paper outline and into the wood plaque.  I would suggest starting around the outline of the heart.  I did it the opposite way and started with the state first, which made it really difficult to hammer the tiny heart in at the end with all of those nails in the way.  Use your own judgment in terms of how close together your nails are.  The more nails you use, the fuller your string will look.  Once you have nailed down all of the nails, rip out the paper underneath it.
Step 8:  
This step is optional!! I chose to paint my nails gold (they were grey before) but if you didn’t steal them from your dad’s tool chest like me, you would have just bought the nails in the color you wanted to begin with.  If you do want to paint your nails a new color, just get a little brush and be careful not to get any paint on your newly painted wood!  Let them dry.
Step 9:
Finally, the fun part! Tie the end of your string in a knot around one of your nails.  Begin wrapping the string around the nails, alternating from an outer nail (the border of the state) to an inner nail (the outline of the heart).  You will need to use each of the inner nails more than once, as there are a lot more outer nails than inner nails.
Step 10:
Congrats, you’re done!! Either lean your string art up against a wall like me, or you can fasten a picture hanger to the back of the wood and hang it up.
Thanks Sam!
This string art & wood project can be done with different states, and even a bunch of different designs-
 I think that it would make for a great gift idea!
Follow the lakeshore lavaliere blog & Twitter/Pinterest for more jewelry, featured designers, tutorials, and DIY projects- Thanks for reading!

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