Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Heart String Art

A few days I came across this adorable string art, and I just HAD to try it out.  So even though I still have lots 'n lots of molding to paint (yuck!), I took a time out last night and did this project.  It was super easy, and I had about 95% of the materials on hand already, so it was pretty cheap too. 

My inspiration:

My finished string heart:

To get started, you'll need some supplies.  I already had some 3/4'' plywood on hand from a previous project.  I used my table saw and cut it down to a 8.5'' x 8.5'' square.  I already had the fabric's leftover from covering my lampshade.  

Using the stapler, I stapled the fabric around the piece of plywood.  I bet that a glue gun would work just as well though!

All done...well, kind of ;)

Meanwhile, this is what Max was doing: "Hey mom...can I crawl in your lap? Please?  Pleeeease?"

I cut my desired shape out of paper and taped it down to my jazzed-up piece of plywood.  Then I started nailing my nails around the guide.  I tried to keep all of the nails spaced evenly and nailed in about the same depth...all while avoiding the fingers! 

I think that I used about 50 nails total.  I had ONE nail leftover...I don't know if that's luck, or skill. ;)

Now, when it comes to doing the thread, make it easy on yourself and snag a clicky pen.  Borrow it from a dr's office, raid your husband's work pen collection (oops)...doesn't matter where it comes from, JUST DO IT.  Pull it apart and thread your string through the hollow tube.  This is going to make it so so so much easier to wrap the thread around all of the nails and gives you great control.  The original tutorial sacrifices a mechanical pencil and does the same thing (but since mechanical pencil mechanisms don't come out easy like pens--you have to clip it out and you can't put it back together afterward).  But I love my mechanical pencils--we logged some long and lonely hours together in college--so I'm thinking that a clicky pen is better option because you get it back at the end of the project. 

I couldn't take any pictures of me using the pen to thread the heart...well, because I only have two (tiny) hands.  So here is a demonstration picture from the original tutorial

Make sure that you wrap the thread around every nail at least once to keep things from unraveling as you go. 

I started out using a light pink sewing thread.  Can you see it?  Yeah, neither can I!  I even put on my glasses...and nope, still can't see it very well.  Bummer!

So then I busted out the red sewing thread and piled it on over the pink thread.  Still not quite what  I was aiming for.  I think that my busy back-ground fabric made it hard to see everything.  If I'd used black thread, I might have been OK.  But it's a heart!  I didn't want a cold, bitter, black heart...I wanted a cute red or pink heart! 

So I popped by Joann Fabrics and picked up some dark red cotton embroidery thread.  If you ever made those knotted bracelets when you were younger, you know what I'm talking about. 

And voila!  Pretty cute, right?  I'm really happy with how it turned out!  You can't tell from the picture, but in real life you can see the different thread layers, and it gives it some extra dimension. 

I hung it up next to the front door.  I'm thinking about making another one so that it doesn't look so lonely...I'm thinking of doing a design that's a little more intricate next time.  Any thoughts on what it should be?


  1. I just found your blog while I was searching for an earring holder. I've been looking for that perforated metal with the circles forever it seems. Thank you SO much for having the link on your blog!!!

    1. You're welcome! The pretty circle stuff is kind of expensive, but you can get at least 2 earring holders out of it, which is nice :)

  2. I always love when people use my projects as inspiration! I like the herringbone background behind your heart strings. That's really unique!

  3. This is really cute! You make it look easy. Something I've wanted to try but am kind of scared too so maybe I'll give it a shot now!

    1. Thank you! I promise it was easy :) One of my friends actually did a simpler version of it using foam board and straight pins (like the ones that you use for sewing). It's a bit delicate than the full version, but it might be easier for you if you've never tackled anything like it before (or don't have the tools!). Feel free to email me if you have any questions! :)


  4. Thanks so much for this, I'm going to try my own heart today! :)

    1. Yay! You should! I have mine hanging up right next to my front door and it brightens everything up :)

  5. do you have a template for the word one?

    1. That was the inspiration for my heart string art. Go to to see that project.