Oddities in String Art: Arr, Sweet Arr, and the Howling Wolf

String Art 27

Okay so I’m definitely behind the trend on this one, but it looks like so much fun that I had to try it out.  When I asked Stef what he and the Stone would like me to make for them for Christmas, he suggested some form of decoration for their home.  And as Stef is my favourite pirate, I made him a skull and crossbones. For a little bit of contrast I used gray crochet thread on the crossbones part, so you could differentiate it from the rest of the skull.  Then I thought it would be cute to add a cross-stitched platitude to the bottom in a nice bright red.  Instead of Home Sweet Home, I thought that “Arr, Sweet Arr” would be more apropos.

String Art 28

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These beautiful copper carpet tacks belonged to my great-grandfather (who never threw anything away) and they look fantastic against the wood.  You can use any kind of nail you like, provided it has a decent-sized head.

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For the People Downstairs, whose last name is lupine-related, I made a slightly cheesy wolf howling at the moon.  To get the template, I simply drew a large circle and then freehanded the wolf silhouette.  It took a couple tries, because I am not the artist my mother is, but it ain’t bad. It only kind of looks like a corgi.  But that’s cool too.  I used a more delicate white thread to pick up the slightly more elaborate pattern.

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Because of my latent inability to cut anything in a straight line, the Pie was kind enough to do the sawing for me, as I had to cut this piece of craft board (which I bought from Kent) into smaller pieces.  The wolf piece is 12″ x 12″, and the pirate piece is 12″ x 16″.

String Art 1

Spray paint the boards the colour of your choice.  Black is a good go-to background.

String Art 2

You can see how there’s a mottled texture to my paint — I ran out of one can of spray paint partway through, and like a good little soldier I sat there and drained all the air out of the can so it could be properly disposed of.  Because it was occasionally spitting paint at me while doing this, I figured I’d do it while pointing it at my painted surface.  And thus the weird texture.  But I’m going to roll with it. It adds character.

String Art 3

While that is drying, work on your design.  On a piece of paper, sketch out the outline of the shape you want.  Mine are obviously pretty simplistic, due to my lack of artistic skill (I’m the only one in the family who can’t draw, go figure), but you don’t want to get too complicated when it comes to string. Basic and slightly embellished shapes are probably your best bet.

String Art 4

Temporarily tape the design to your board, and carefully hammer in nails along the lines you’ve drawn, spacing them out evenly.  My board is only 1/4″ thick so I had to be careful not to hammer them in too far.

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I found a pair of pliers kept me from hitting my fingers.

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Once you’ve got all the nails in you can rip off and recycle the paper.

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Now, with your thread or wool or string or whatever you’re using, tie a knot around one of the nails and start weaving the thread around the nails, back and forth across the space you want to fill.  Don’t worry too much about a pattern (unless that’s what you’re going for).  Stop when you’ve filled it as much as you want to.  It’s a pretty fluid thing.

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And there you have it.  I screwed hanging hardware into the back and that is that.

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Author: allythebell

A corgi. A small boy. A sense of adventure. Chaos ensues.

10 thoughts on “Oddities in String Art: Arr, Sweet Arr, and the Howling Wolf”

  1. Okay. It’s 2:37am out here on the coast. I’m working away, and into my inbox pops this ridiculously cool blog post. Have I told you that you are my hero lately? Oh and by the way, Merry Christmas to my favourite craftster and dear friend. oxox

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  2. Ali, re your great-grandfather who never threw anything away: Considering all the beautiful things you created this past year from found and saved and re-purposed items, I think the apple did not fall very far from the tree, m’dear! And for that you should be both pleased and very proud.
    Hope you’re enjoying a wonderful family Christmas in Ottawa. Give your Mom and Dad my love!
    Cheers,
    Shirley Sutherland

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  3. WOW this brought back some good old memories!
    I was looking for something totally unrelated when I stumbled onto your blog. I used to do string art in the seventies, I also created my own patterns and I even sold some of them! Nice to see it again!
    Haylie

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      1. Man I wish I did. I moved from the canadian West coast to the East coast almost 2 years ago and I got rid of everything. I don’t even have a picture, I just checked all my old pictures. I used to love doing hand crafts and string art was one of my favorites. I wish I had more time to get back into it. Makes wonderful gifts

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