Sunday, September 8, 2013

DIY: Michigan String Art

Since John and I just moved, I figured there was no better time than now to finish up my half-started, Michigan themed DIY project - It's not like I have any unpacking to do... :) I saw this project on pinterest a while ago and wanted to recreate the look using the state of Michigan. Since John and I were married in Ann Arbor, a heart around the city seemed to make perfect sense (even if the heart isn't totally recognizable). :)

What you’ll need:
- A shadow box (or a frame deep enough that nails will not stick out)
- A piece of plywood
- Small nails and a hammer
- String
- An outline of your state

How to:
1. First, cut the plywood to fit the size of your shadow box (I had this done at Home Depot).

2. Next, center the outline of your state onto the plywood and start to nail around the border of the shape (I found that it was easiest to hold the nails with pliers while hammering since the nails are so small).  After the outline shape is complete, hammer a heart around the desired location within your state (I chose Ann Arbor).

3. Once all of the nails are in place, gently remove the paper outline (take care not to pull the nails out).

4. Then, start stringing between the nails; start by tying a small knot around one of the nails on the border (choose any border nail). Pull the string from the starting nail to the closet nail used in the heart shape; wrap the string around the heart nail and then wrap around the border nail next to where the knot is tied.

5. Keep doing this until all of the nails have string going through them; make sure to space the string around the center heart as evenly as you can. Also, if for some reason a border nail cannot reach a center heart nail, loop the string around the closet nail going in that direction (as if it were going to go to the center).
6. Finish by tying a knot around the final nail (I helped secure the knot with clear nail polish). Place the plywood in your shadow box, and enjoy!

Fun ideas:
- Use red nails for the heart
- Have fun and experiment with wrapping the string


  1. Hi Lisa! :) I've seen this project on pinterest and I've been wanting to do it too! I never thought to use a shadowbox! .....Genius! I was thinking of making 3, New Mexico, Michigan and North Carolina! (Where I'm from, where Michael is from and where we live together now!) I was sort of worried about Michigan since it looked hard! Yours turned out beautifully! Thanks for the post! :)

    1. Hi Kelly!! So funny that you have connections to Michigan and New Mexico! My husband and I recently moved from Michigan to Albuquerque... Do you live here now? Let's be New Mexico bloggy besties!! :) :)


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