Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Provincial String Art

British Columbia, Canada
In my entire school career, my favorite school project was in grade 5 when our teacher (probably foolishly) gave us all plywood, nails, hammers, and some colourful yarn, and let us make our own geoboards during our geometry unit.

Vancouver Island, BC
A while ago I saw a board that someone made of their home state (Texas I think?) and it really brought me back, so I thought I would make my own Canadian version! So here it is... maybe you guys can make your own patriotic boards!

Your Materials:
 A Cork Board- I used cork because I thought it would be easier than plywood, but I still had to hammer it in, so if you have a nice piece of plywood laying around, then feel free. Especially considering how expensive cork is, and also because you will be hitting up the hardware store to pick up the nails
 Paint- You don't need to use paint if you like the colour and texture of your board. I used white because I thought it would take away from the busyness of all the colourful string
 Paint Brush- Only necessary if you are painting your board

 Embroidery floss- I'm sure you can use yarn, but I think embroidery floss looks much better
I had a whole bunch left over from some craft kit I got when I was a kid, but Michael's has a whole section where you can hand pick your colours, and its about 0.50$ per piece. You also only end up using about... maybe 1/6th of the roll anyways, depends on how much of every colour you use
 Hammer- Optional (I had to use one), you will also need tape, but I thought all of you would have some form of tape
 Nails- These nails must be very thin. If you are having trouble locating some at the hardware store, just ask for linoleum nails (nails for linoleum must be very small and thin), but just in case, here is a picture of the ones I used:
Escutcheon Pins: 3/4"x16 Ga. Onward

Lightly brush your paint over your board. I wanted mine to look more derelict, like it had been weathering  the BC rain for a few years, so I just used light strokes, but if you want a neater look, just use more paint

Print off the outline of whatever image you want. I had a fairly large board so I had to use a few pages to print my province out on. This is all stuff you can work out on the computer, just remember a regular sheet of paper is 8x11, so if you enlarge your picture to 16x22 then it should print on two pages... just make sure to consider your margins. As you can see, I ignored the margins and had to draw on my own bits of land in pink
Tape this on your board so it doesn't move around

Start pushing your nails into your board. I found this pretty challenging because my board actually had a layer of wood on the bottom, so I just used a hammer, but otherwise this should prove to be pretty easy
Another technique I used was I put a thimble on my thumb and used that to push them in, because it hurt too much to just use my thumb

Once you are done that, it gets to the complicated stuff.
Math has never been my strong suit (right brain thinker), but unfortunately you are going to have to use it for this little project... luckily it's simple counting and dividing

Count the number of pins/nails you have, then count the different colours of string you have. Divide these numbers... for example, I had 205 pins, and I had 21 colours, so I divided them and got 9.8. This means I can use each colour on 9-10 of the outer pins.

Not so hard right?

Now, the next step

Count how many pins you have in your heart (or whatever you put in the middle), then divide that by how many colours you have. This is now many colours you use per pin, for the pins in the middle.
For example.... I had 32 pins in the middle, and 21 colours, so that means I wrap each colour around the middle pin 1.5 times. So that means, for every 3 pins in the heart, I use 2 colours.

If this still isn't making any sense to you, then it will probably become clearer once we start
Also feel free to leave questions in the comment box if you need additional help!

OKAY! Now we can get started!
Gently rip off the paper

Make your first loop from one of the pins in the outline of your province to one of the pins in your heart, and tie a knot tightly in your string.

Cut the string (closer to the knot then in the picture)
Also, try to push the knot to the side, so it is partially concealed

Wrap the string around the outer pins

Then wrap the string around the middle pin

Once you are done with your colour (remember, I used each of my colours for 9-10 of my outer pins), tie another knot on the inner pin you were using
I like to take the string (as shown in the picture above), and put it under the string, so the knot is on the bottom, and harder to see

Tie your string in a knot!
Make sure your string is still tight once you tie the knot...

Once again, cut the string (but, again, closer to the knot then in the picture)
Do this till every pin has some string

This is my cat, she has great taste in art

And there you go! Here is my tribute to my west coast province!

Tips and Other Stuff:
 Since the left side of my province has a lot of bumps and ridges, some parts of the stringing got tricky
If you look at the green part of the board, some parts of the string overlap, but you honestly can't tell... I bet you didn't even notice till now!
♥ Make sure you get those nails/pins in the board pretty deep. I wound my string pretty tight, so it was really important the nails were firmly in place

Have an awesome week! More crafts to come very soon... I had a super productive weekend haha

♥ Olivia


1 comment:

  1. This is so cool! Definitely going on my crafty to-do list.