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State String Art | Texas Longhorn Style

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My brother, Anders, is currently in college taking a Humanities of the Arts class and for their homework assignment, they were asked to do an art project.  He’s not really one that is into artsy fartsy stuff, so he went through several ideas before coming up with this string art idea.  I know this took a long time to finish, but he was really excited with the results and I am SURE he will get a great grade!  He came to my house yesterday and we got to work!

Texas String art

Texas was a natural choice for my brother since he lived there for two years and just recently moved back home.  The Longhorn was another natural choice because, I mean, it’s Texas!  Of COURSE you need to add a longhorn. :)  My brother bought some plywood for the backing, and lath to go on top to make it more rustic and like a pallet sign.  He simply cut the boards to size and then used wood glue to hold them all together.  Easy enough.  After the sign was built, he stained the wood and then it was ready for the fun part.

Pallet string art tutorial

We pulled out my Cricut Explore and found a Texas image in the image library and made it the size that we needed for his board.  This is where I had my first frustrating moment with my machine.  The image was bigger than the mat, so the machine wouldn’t cut it out.  I had to import the image into another program, break it into three pieces and then put them BACK into Cricut design space and cut them out one by one.  It was a very long process, but it worked in the end.  I kept a star on each piece so that once it was all cut out we could line them up exactly.  I also cut out a Texas Longhorn.  The ones in the image library weren’t exactly what I wanted, so I googled “Texas Longhorn silhouettes” and found the one that I was looking for.  I imported that into design space and cut it out without a problem.

String art

We applied the vinyl to the board and then started hammering some little white nails in all around the outside of the shape.  You can space them as far apart as you would like, just make sure that it is consistent spacing.  You want the nails to go in far enough that they are sturdy, but stay out enough so that you have somewhere to wrap the string and it also makes it look cooler if it is a little further out.

Texas String art tutorial

After the nails went all the way around Texas, it was time for the longhorn.  My brother wanted it over Austin, Texas, so that is where it is.  We repeated the same process that we did before only this time the nails were much closer together to make sure that the design was obvious and to allow for more places to wrap the strings.

Texas longhorn string art

My brother did all of the wrapping of the strings and it took him about 2 hours to get it done.  We chose to go with white and orange colored strings because they are the official school colors at the University of Texas.  (my brother wanted to make sure I added that part.) He double wrapped each orange string and then went back with the white and wrapped it around each individual nail head on both the front and the back side to make a really cool outline of the Longhorn and the Texas.

longhorn string art

What do you think?  Pretty dang cool, right?!

Texas Longhorn string art tutorial

For someone that isn’t crafty, I think my brother did a great job.  He was worried that he would have to submit his project to fail blog, but I think it is about as perfect as it could have been!  :)

Texas art tutorial

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Hand stamped Jewelry | Personalized Necklace

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Hand Stamped Jewelry

Making jewelry has always been something that I have been fond of.  Ever since I remember, I was making beaded and knotted bracelets, earrings, and pretty much anything that I could get my hands on!  I used to have a fishing tackle box filled with nothing but jewelry supplies.  One thing that I have always loved is personalized jewelry, and making hand stamped jewelry is the perfect way to add personalization without breaking the bank!  For Valentines Day, I decided I would make Lillie a quick little necklace and show you how you can make one too since it doesn’t have to be given only on a holiday.

Supplies:

  • Metal Stamping Kits- You can find a ton of different options on Amazon. That link will take you to a full list.  I like having an uppercase set and a lowercase set to play with, but it is up to you.
  • Metal shape- I found these cute gold hearts at Hobby Lobby in the jewelry section
  • Necklace chain
  • Coordinating bead (optional)

This is all pretty self explanatory, but I will go over it just in case you have any questions.  Begin with a hard surface.  I used a piece of granite and then put a piece of scrap wood on top of it.  This makes it so that you can hammer the metal without causing damage to whatever surface you are using.  Pull out the letters that you will be using and then, using a hammer, firmly tap the top of the stamp once you have it in place.  You shouldn’t hit more than 2-3 times because you will end up with a double letter and you don’t want that.  Continue this process until you have the full name in place.  Once the name is on the heart, you will use a sharpie marker and trace the letters.  Then take a baby wipe and wipe over the top of the letters which will remove excess sharpie but make it so that the letters stand out much better.

Stamped Necklace

I wanted to add a pop of color onto the necklace, so I took a simple pink bead and put it on a metal pin (found in the jewelry aisle at Hobby Lobby or any craft store that sells jewelry supplies) I cut the pin to the right size and bent the top to create a loop.  Then I used a jump ring (also found in the jewelry supply aisle) to connect both the heart and the bead together.  Now you just need to put the heart on the necklace chain and you are finished!

Metal Stamped Necklace

It is the perfect necklace for my daughter because it wasn’t too expensive to create, and can be easily replaced if lost.  Plus I had fun making it!  I hope you’ll use this tutorial and make some fun jewelry for your girls or for anyone that would enjoy a personalized piece of jewelry!

 

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