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Hi Friends! So, I’m finally getting around to posting tutorials on how I updated the other side of my long hallway upstairs. I’ve already shown you how I totally made over my oak cabinets into a bookcase with shiplap and made new shaker cabinet doors (links below!), and now I get to show you how I made my favorite new piece of large wall art! I originally was going to put about 5 or 6 canvas prints down this narrow hallway until I realized how much they were going to cost us… ugh! Plan B – make something from supplies I already have… winner winner!! Ideas kept spinning through my head until I finally decided on making this very large United States string art and I am so glad I did!
I had been admiring string art creations on Pinterest and really wanted to try it, but I never imagined my first one would be so big! It really is easy to do but a little time-consuming. The best part is that it is super cheap!! All it cost me was the price of some nails and crochet yarn which ended up being about $5! Can’t beat that my thrifty friends!
Materials Needed for United States string art:
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- wood – I used old fence post that I had on my side yard. People are always giving some away on Facebook or Craigslist so just ask around if you don’t have any! You’ll also need a few pieces of narrow wood for the back. I used 1x2s that I had.
- string – I used crochet thread that I found at Walmart in white, size 3. I bought two spools but only used one.
- nails and hammer – I used 18 gauge x 3/4 inch stainless steel nails
- wood glue
- sharpie or pen to trace
- projector (this is one I have) or make your own by following my homemade projector using your phone tutorial here!
First thing I did was to lay 4 boards on a table and dust them off.
Since I knew this would be heavy, I wanted it screwed into the studs of my hallway. So, I started from the halfway point of my hallway and then measured over to each stud. I then measured to the halfway point of the wood pieces and measured over the same amount as where the studs would be and attached pre-cut 1x2s in those spots. My studs were not equidistant apart so it was a little tricky but it actually ended up working! I attached them with wood glue and screws.
Most string art tutorials use a piece of paper for the outline but since mine was so big, I didn’t want to spend the money on getting a large copy made from an office store. I know, I’m a total cheap skate! I decided I needed a way to project an image on the wood so I could just trace it. I was going to use my homemade projector that I used in this project but then remembered that I had a projector we use for outdoor movies! I took that out and hooked it up to my laptop with a silhouette of the United States on the screen. I adjusted it to what size I wanted it and my daughter and I traced the outline with sharpies! So easy!
Once you have the outline, just start hammering the nails in around it. I didn’t measure them, I just eyeballed them. Some of the wood had knots in it so the nails wouldn’t hammer very far in, but the irregularities give it character!
It takes a while! You might need to take some breaks like I did! The next step is adding the string. There is no right way to do this.
Pick a place to start and tie a knot around the nail.
Then you will start wrapping the string around the nails of the states string art. Wrap it around the nail once and move on to the next nail and wrap it around that one and so on. On the compass, I did the outline first and then would do random zig zags to fill it in.
For the mainland, I did the zig zags first and then went back and added two layers of the outline… my fingers were a little sore! I did do it over a few days time to give them a break! I made a little heart around the Sacramento area so made sure to make a lot of lines from those nails.
The northeast was the trickiest with the lakes so I pulled up a picture of it so I knew which nails needed to be attached.
That was it! Like I said, no rhyme or reason to how I made the lines. I just made sure all the nails had at least one wrap around.
We aligned it up on the wall and used my nail gun with 2 inch brad nails to attach it through the 1x2s on the back. I love the United States string art up above my newly installed board and batten (tutorial coming soon!)
In case you haven’t seen it, here is how the other side of my hallway turned out.
Now I have a hallway that I love to walk down!!
Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a great day!