Wednesday, March 29, 2017

DIY State Art Project


  • Wooden board                                                               
  • Stain (Dark)
  • Old t-shirt or brush
  • String 
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • Super glue
  • Tweezers 
  • Small scissors  
  • Ruler 
    1. Visit your local craft store or Home Depot/Lowes to get your wood.
    2. You will want  a wood board with less flaws in it if you prefer that look. I used the birch wood becasue I liked the look of it better.
    3. Have someone cut the size accordingly to whatever you are going for. My project was a larger one but I still needed it trimmed just a bit.
    4. Staining is the easiest part and shouldn't take too long. I used an old shirt instead of a brush just becasue I feel it is smoother and there isn't any spots that look uneven. I placed two coats by dipping my shirt in the stain, You will want to use some gloves here or you will end up with messy nails. After dipping the shirt just smooth over the entire board, all edges and sides. You dont want to miss any spots and the wood is sometimes uneven so keep this in mind. Let dry for at least 4 hours or more. I let mine dry over night with each coat. 
    5. Download a free state pattern from the Internet. I used a poster website that let me put in my dimensions. 
    6. Enlarge as needed.
    7. Position your enlarged state print out onto your wooden board. Tape the edges in a few places just to hold it still while you begin adding nails.  
    8. Hammer nails into the pattern along the state outline. Nails should be approximately ½-inch apart. THIS took the longest and I wont fiance ended up helping me because it is tedious and my hands are small so I gladly accepted his help.
    9. Draw a small heart in the general area of the state to represent the city. 
    10. Hammer around the outline of the little heart. This heart should be the anchor point for the strings and place this where your home town is. It doesn't have to be in this exact place but this makes it a little more personal. You could always just place it in the middle if you like that look better. You will want your spacing to be wide enough here because I quickly found out its pretty tight if you dont and this heart has to hold strings around the entire shape of the state. I ended up doubling up on several and had to go back several times to even it out. 
    11. Remove the paper state pattern from the nails. You no longer need the pattern, so don't worry if it rips.You can clean up any leftover strings with the tweezers. Sometimes the paper is stubborn and doesn't want to come out. This step is easier done before string is placed but you can go back and clean up if you need to. 
    12. Choose one nail as a starting point and tie a strand of string to a nail and add a little glue to the knot. From here you will stretch the string to a nail on the heart. Loop it around the heart nail then stretch it back to the nail next to your starting point. Be careful not to stretch the string too tight that your nails may bend, but make sure you keep it tight enough that it doesn't look uneven with others.
    13. Continue this process around the the outline of the state to the heart, back and forth. You will probably find that you need to go over nails on the heart more than once in order to keep your strings looking uniform. This is simply because there are a lot more state outline nails than there are heart nails.
    14. Continue until you have completed the entire state. Be sure to always add glue whenever you start and end a string with a knot. Allow the glue to dry completely.
    15. Once everything is dry and complete you can go back and clean up any extra string on knots or leftover paper in nails. I signed the back of mine with a personal note. 
  • You can add some string and a hanging hook from the craft store as well if you plan on hanging this up on the wall. Enjoy!

Side Note- The bottom part of the State could have been a little cleaner but this is very hard to do with this state so I left it as is. Most people wont be able to tell and there are several ways to do it. You can make the bottom of the state very square or round and I just decided to stick with the round on this part.


  1. You mentioned that you used Birch because you prefer the look of it. What other types of wood would be good options for this type of project?

  2. Wow I love that! I would have needed help hammering, also. Don't want to break a nail haha

  3. The birch is more finished and I believe treated. To my understanding you can get unfinished or untreated. There's two types but this style of wood just looked smoother to me.

  4. This is beautiful! Not only is it easy but it's something simple that could add a lot to a room! I might need to try this out!

  5. Wow! I love this!! It turned out so good! I need to save this so I can hopefully get around to trying it at some point! Haha

    1. It takes me forever to get around to my projects too!

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