Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I Seriously Nailed this Gift

Last week was Eric's Birthday. 
I know everyone always complains about how their spouse is "Soo hard to buy for!" but seriously, anytime Eric wants something, he goes on Amazon and orders it himself. Sometimes he tells me, sometime he lets it be a surprise and I just find packages sitting at our doorstep. 
Usually it's the latter. 
Lately though these impromptu arrivals have had a theme, and that theme is; Deck Out the Man Cave. 
Yes I called it the MAN CAVE 
He's won. Whatever.

Luckily! I keep a running Pinterest board of ideas for gifts to give people, especially gifts for Eric. I was inspired by the nail and string art by THIS SHOP on Etsy, and it reminded me of a glorified version of an art project we used to do in elementary school. So I figured it couldn't be that hard, and thought I'd give it a try myself.  

First I picked up one of the 2''x2'' pre-cut boards they have at Menards and painted it white. 
After coming up with my Cincinnati Red's design (see above/ MAN CAVE theme), I printed it out and taped it to my board so I knew where to nail my nails. I tried to evenly space them about a half inch apart, and keep their heights consistent.
Hammering nails is strangely therapeutic. 
Once my outline was complete, I tied some red string to one of the nails and simply started wrapping it around haphazardly. 
There really wasn't a rhyme or reason as to how I wrapped the string, I just tried to evenly cover the space and make sure I used every nail. 
And here is the final result! 
When Eric saw it he thought I'd ordered it online! Then when I told him it was handmade by his lovely wife, his next question was "". 
Pshhs, like this woman couldn't handle some lumber and a bit of hammering. :) 

I love that this easy technique has seemingly endless possibilities how it could be applied. Below are a few examples I found online of different string art applications:
How adorable is this version of the state design! I like how the two different colors of string give more variation, and kind of blend together where the states overlap. (source)
I'm not even sure if this piece uses string at all, but it totally doesn't need it. The nails are so close together they create an incredible line for the type. This would be stunning at a wedding. (source)
This use of the negative space is fantastic. The geometric pattern the string creates is so edgy and modern. (source)
And speaking of negative space! Can you even FATHOM how long this took!!?? Makes me dizzy just thinking about it. Such an incredible statement. If you have the patience to complete this, I bow down to you. (source)

Does anyone else remember making art like this in school? I totally am going to do something else with all of the nails I still have leftover, plus I have string from my rattan chair makeover! Maybe a giant "W" somewhere in the backyard? We do have a fence that I could pound into...hmmmm. 

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