Did you ever do string art as a child?  You know, the kind where you arrange nails or pins in a pattern and then wrap string around them.  The other day as I was hunting for Valentine- and heart-themed crafts, I came across a string art heart at Make Grow Gather made with straight pins stuck into a bulletin board.  My gears started turning and I had an “A-ha!” moment:  What if I made string art on a bulletin board, then spray painted over it, using the string like a stencil?  Would it look as cool as I saw it in my head?  There was only one way to find out, so I gathered up a few supplies and got to work.

Project estimate:

  • Bulletin board, $1 and up
  • Paint, on hand or $1 and up
  • Paper, on hand
  • Push pins, on hand
  • String or yarn, on hand

Total:  $1 and up

I used a 12 x 12 inch cork tile for my bulletin board, which I found at a local discount store in a four-pack for about $6, or about $1.50 per tile.  (Which is making me tempted to cork up a whole wall!)  Paint the tile in the color you want the shape to be.  I wanted red for my heart, so I picked a nice, bright shade of Martha Stewart multi-surface craft paint called habanero.  I could have just painted the area where I wanted the heart, but I was concerned about how the cork would soak up the paint, so to make sure I had an even finish I went ahead and painted the whole thing.  This will take more paint than you expect because the cork will suck it right in!  You may need to add a second or third coat to get even color.

Cut a heart out of paper to use as a template.  Decide where you want the heart to be positioned on the bulletin board and place the heart there.  Using push pins, outline the heart shape.  Place the pins so that they go around the edges of the paper, but don’t put the pins through the paper.  Once all of the pins are in place, remove the paper template.

Tie one end of the string to a push pin and start wrapping.  There is no right or wrong way to do this!  When you’re happy with the design, tie off the other end of the string.  Push string down on the push pins so that it is as close to the surface of the cork as possible.

Now it’s time to spray paint!  Apply light, even coats of a contrasting color (I chose white) across the tile.  Don’t be too heavy-handed with the paint or you will lose the string details!  Paint just enough to cover up the base color.

When the paint dries, pull out the push pins.  As you remove the pins and string, your design will be revealed!  If you want, you can add extra details or embellishments to the design.

I used a pencil eraser and glitter paint to add some sparkle to the heart’s outline.  Did it turn out as cool as I saw it in my head?  Nope, it turned out even better!