Friday, May 24

DIY :: String Art in the Dining Room

Today's DIY project started with my dear friends, Chase & Aaron.  Aren't they a cute couple? (Biff would kill for their VW Bus.)

chase & aaron
Of course, as usual, I've never met these people.  But still.  I came across their insanely gorgeous wedding on Green Wedding Shoes last year and fell head over heels for them and their crafty skills.  Remember, I too, got a little crafty at our wedding so maybe I think of Chase & Aaron as kindred spirits or something.

You see, when I saw their DIY fence & backdrop signage, my head just about exploded because I loved this idea so much.

chase & aaron's wedding

SO great, right???

Well, of course that lead to hours spent on google & pinterest searching and finding tons of other inspiration images.  And, once again, I was reminded how many incredibly creative and talented people there are in the World.

Case in point:

These ballerinas have totally twirled their way into my heart.
string art ballerinas

This installation is super lovely too.  Megan Geckler, you are brilliant!

string art installation

Hi there, pretty little tree.

string art tree

And these stairs???  Endless amounts of gorgeousness here.

string art stairs

Oh my.  And thanks to the Jealous Curator via Emily Henderson, I'm crushing on these "Sewn Houses" (which are totally attainable btw...yay!) by artist, Hagar Vardimon-van Heummen.  Such a great name, right?
Sewn House

Yes.  All of these artists are aaaah-mazing.  But let's get back to the (simpler) art of string letter making.

Now, if only I had thought to look up a tutorial on-line (there are several) before I decided to start this project.  Why oh why must you make things so difficult, Cham+Thom?  No tutorials for me.  I just knew that I had the space and needed some art.   So here's what happened...

I came up with the idea to do a string art project with the word, "GATHER"; it would hang in the dining room over our table.  First I printed up the letters and simply taped them to the wall.  Truly, I probably left them up there for a week or so...just to see if this idea of mine would stick.

mapping it out

And it did.  So I bought myself a piece of wood, stained it and let it dry.


Next I taped my paper letters onto the piece of wood and hammered in the nails, outlining each letter.  This is where one of those online tutorials would've come in handy.  After the fact, I learned that I should've placed the nails equal distance apart all the way around the letters.  Oops.  We just randomly nailed in those suckers.  And of course, things turned out just fine in the end BUT I can see how having the nails evenly placed would've been super helpful.

nails on paper

I then went about removing the paper.  Hmmm... All those teensy weensy white paper dots sticking out where the nails attached to the wood?  Well, that was not planned and not good at all.  And quite frankly, a major pain in my arse.


Thank goodness for tweezers.


Once I had removed as many of the paper specs as possible, I got busy with my string.  I simply tied a knot around one of the nails and then randomly wove the string through the nails.  Of course, I'm absolutely positive that there must be a "correct" way to do this.  Again, a tutorial may've been helpful. For me though, the random pattern worked and I'm happy with it.

begin string art

With Chase & Aaron's sign in mind, I started off using a thicker yarn.  Soon though, I deduced that the letters on their sign must've been way larger than mine.  For my project, I thought the yarn looked a little bulky.  So back to Michaels I went and I grabbed some Crochet Thread.

Crochet Thread
I tightly wove the thread in and out of the nails, intermittently pressing the layers of string down towards the wood base so I could gauge the thickness.  I also threaded the entire outline of the letter several times to make sure the shape was clearly defined.  
press down string

It took me forever to get to this amount of thickness and for me, it does the trick.  I suppose I could always add to it later though...if I ever feel like torturing my poor little fingers again.

check thickness

In this photo I'm testing the yarn (on the "G") versus the crochet thread (on the "A").  I didn't want to unravel the "G" until I was totally sure that I wanted to go with the thread.  You can also see the difference between a completed letter (the "A") and the beginnings of weaving (on the "T").  As I mentioned earlier, I decided that the thread was the way to go.  It only took me FOREVER to re-do that "G".

comparing yarn & thread

What we ended up with was some rather lovely string art, folks.  I love that, at first, you don't even realize it's string and nails.

dining room artwork

A closer look though, and all is revealed.  Hello, crooked nails.  Why must you torment me so?

string art detail

It's not perfect, of course.  But here at Camp Cham+Thom, we love it.

string art finished

Slowly but surely the dining room is coming together.  Next up, is the garden wall!  And perhaps one of these days, the addition of some sort of colorful window treatments?  Hmmm...  I'll keep you posted.

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