String Art – V Day Edition

If you saw the 20 foot wall we created for ALT Summit made of 2100 map tacks and 800 yards of yarn and were inspired, you might want to try making a small piece for a little Valentine’s Day decor. The process is simple, no matter the scale.

materials – 1/2″ foam core in any size, I’m using a scrap that is 15″ x 20″,drop cloth cut  larger than your foam core, 100-200 map tacks, yarn or crochet thread, tracing paper, staple gun and staples, spray glue. You can get most of these supplies, including the map tacks at Arch. The dropcloths I bought at Lowes, and the yarn we had already from a previous project.

Begin by prepping your backing board.

Create a Backing

Using 1/2 foam core and a swatch of fabric cut from a hardware store canvas drop cloth, looks amazing and could not be simpler. The canvas reads as a neutral linen when covering the board, and the foam core makes it east to push the map tacks in place. Cut foam core to your desired finished size. Lightly spray the surface of the foam core board with spray glue and place drop cloth (cut to size about 5″ wider and taller than your foam core) onto the glued surface. Smooth with hands from the center out to remove and trapped air. Wrap the remaining canvas around the sides, starting with each corner and staple gun into place (see pictures above). Then bring up each side of canvas and staple into place, sort of like wrapping a package.


Use a template and trace it through the tracing paper, or draw your own image on the tracing paper directly. I drew a heart onto the tracing paper, but an animal could be cute, a set of initials or even just a geometric shape.

Create the Shape

Begin placing map tacks along the drawn line, about 1/8″ apart (almost right next to one another) on the drawn line of your shape. Once all the map tacks are placed, gently tear away tracing paper. It will be perforated from the map tacks already and should be really easy to tear away.

Starting with String

Starting at the outer edge, and working in the main color (red), tie the yarn to a map tack and work in a single section, looping from the map tacks on the outer edge to the shape edge, catching a single map tack from each as you pass back and forth. Continue working in bands of color, switching colors as needed until the canvas is filled. You can work in dense or sparse patched until you have a look that you like. Add or remove map tacks as needed and make sure to settle the tacks into place when done looping yarn around them.




This would also look great with initials for a wedding, a number for a birthday or even a shape for a fun and funky piece of art for your home!