Texas-Inspired String Art

Over the years, I think I’ve made my love for and pride in Texas very, very clear. And if you’ve been following this blog for the last two years (or if you live within 100 miles of Texas), you are likely aware that March 2nd is a very important day for The Lone Star State.

Any guesses?

Today is Texas Independence Day, a day that (as the name suggests) commemorates Texas winning its independence from Mexico 178 years ago. Now, y’all all know I like any reason to celebrate, but a day entirely dedicated to celebrating the great state in which I was born and bred is extra special (see here and here). Unfortunately, the weather in Austin today is less than ideal for cracking open a Texas brew and enjoying the beautiful Texas sky, so I thought I’d take a different approach to my Texas Independence Day celebration this year – some Texas-inspired string art.

I’ve been dying to try this new string art trend, and figured there was no better way to experiment than by making some string art that honors my favorite state.

It’s actually fairly easy to do, though it can take some time.

To make any string art design, you will need:

  • Wood for the base (I bought a 2’x2′ piece of wood at Home Depot, and had them cut it down to 15″x15″)
  • Texas print (this will be used to trace a pattern, so get a print of whatever design you choose)
  • Paint
  • Nails (and lots of ’em)
  • Hammer
  • String

Steps:

You’ll want to start by painting your board to your chosen color. Initially, I was hoping to give my wood a natural look and simply stain it darker, but I bought wood that was too cheap (hence, it didn’t have the nice grain for staining). So I chose to paint it a  brown color so that the wood still resembled its natural color. I used a metallic paint to give just a little extra oomph to my finished art, but any paint will do. Before painting the wood, coat it with a primer to eliminate any visual flaws in the wood.

Texas string art

Texas string art

I left the paint to dry overnight, but you’ll want to give it at least 2-3 hours to dry adequately before moving onto the next step.

Once the paint has dried, I took my pattern of Texas and drew it onto the wood with a pencil, so that I had an outline to follow.

Texas sting art

Take nails and start hammering along the outline of your shape. The distance between each nail will vary depending on how large your piece is, but for my 12″x 12″ Texas, I left about a 1/4-inch between nails. For an added touch, I also nailed a heart where Austin would be located on a Texas map (or at least tried to).

Texas string art

Once you’ve completed the grueling process of placing your nails, it’s time to start stringing (If your hammering skills are anything like mine, your thumbs will be incredibly happy you’ve reached this point). Tie a knot onto one of your nails to create your starting point, then simply start weaving your string around the nails. I wrapped the string around the outside of Texas in a zig-zag pattern first to create an outline. Then I wove te string across my outline to fill in the shape.

There are several ways you can do this – I kind of went with a  combination approach. First, I connected each nail along the outside to a nail in the center heart to create a nice starburst looking pattern.

Texas string art

Once that was complete, I wrapped string around nails on opposite sides of the Texas outline to help fill in the center. I did this going right to left and then diagonally – it really is all dependent on what you like visually.

When you’ve created a design that you like, tie the string off on a nail (I dabbed with a bit of super glue to ensure it stays tight). Optional step: I didn’t love the way my nail heart ended up looking, so I cut out a white heart with extra printing paper, and stuck that where Austin would be.

Texas string art

Now, you can proudly display your love for Texas, and celebrate Texas Independence Day in a new, exciting way.

 

 

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