String Art Map

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Introduction: String Art Map

I've seen a few string art maps recently that I thought were adorable and wanted to make a string art map of California that really showcased my love of the Bay Area.  Plus I haven't done string art since I was a kid!  This seemed like the perfect reason to revisit a fun craft.   I heart string art!

Step 1: Materials

You'll need to gather:

A map of the area you want to immortalize in string
String
Nails
Hammer
Board 
Paint (optional)

It's all pretty obvious, really.

Step 2: Trace the Map

First I found a map of California online because I wanted to be able to manipulate the shape and size.  You can also do this with a paper map.

Then I imported the map to an image manipulation program (Illustrator probably, or Photoshop, but you can use anything), created a new layer and traced around the border.  Then I added a heart where I live and deleted the map layer, leaving me with a clean outline.

Next I split the image into pieces that would print easily on 8.5x11 paper, printed it out, and taped it together! 

Step 3: Nail It

You can treat the board you are going to use however you want to, or not at all.  I had a robin's egg blue in mind, and found some appropriate spray paint.  You can use stain or dye or paint, or fabric, or whatever you like.

Next, place the map on top of your board and start nailing away!  I placed my nails about 1/2" apart and wish I had put them closer together.  Which is hard because my fingers aren't much thinner than that, and holding the nails in place was tricky!

Don't pull too hard on the string as you're wrapping your nails.  My string kept popping off the nails, and even popped nails out of the board until I learned to loosen up a little!

Step 4: String Away

I first decided to make a radial pattern with the string, coming from the heart to all corners.  

Then I decided to go nuts.  

Which version do you prefer?

Make your own string art map with your favorite town indicated and post it in the comments for a free 3-month Pro membership!

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31 Comments

Very cool. Made this for a shark loving friend. Thanks for the great Instructable

shark.jpg

I've only ever done one string art project before this but this looked so cool that I had to try it. I had a bunch of nails left over from my first project so they came in handy. Since they were so small I used a pair of needle nose pliers to hold them in place which worked out really well. Thanks for the cool project :)

I didn't have a board big enough to do my country (Scotland) so I tried these two first.

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I tried something similar with what i had lying around. i know they are not perfect but the next few will be better (hopefully buy some nails)

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Thanks! One thing I just keep trying to figure out is what is the best TYPE of string to use for something like this? I want the pattern to really pop. I'm doing a distressed, darker stain on a wooden back (pallet style) so I'll use a bright white string, but sewing thread just seems too thin and flimsy. Ideas?