Since St. Patrick’s day is the next holiday for me, I thought I would make a shamrock shape. Why not?
A piece of plywood, some large head nails (I used linoleum nails since they come in pretty finishes like copper and zinc) and twine or string. Some people use finer finishing nails where the heads don't show but I liked seeing them.
For my string I actually used polypropylene "Dazzle Twine" (which I discovered in the twine section of the hardware store.) It is strange stuff and has the feel of a plastic grocery store bag.
I had some maple plywood left over from a shelf I had put into a cupboard (this panel type of plywood has a much nicer finish than construction grade plywood.) To give it a more finished look I applied a coat of clear satin poly.
Next I cut three hearts out of some of the kids' old homework sheets and used them to form the shamrock shape. I decided to do three hearts instead of a connected shamrock outline because I had seen other string art hearts filled with a deliberate ‘design' before (Brittany's is one that comes to mind) and I liked the way that looked (vs. random string work.)
I taped down the hearts and hammered in the nails around the outside.
When I was finished I tore out the paper and I was ready to begin. The pattern is actually really straight forward. I started in the center and worked my way towards the outside always coming back to the nail in the cleft of the heart. Once that nail was full I moved to the one next to it and continued to work towards the outside. That is how you end up with the “sunburst’ look.
When I had filled in the hearts I added the stem and the entire shamrock was complete:
I think it looks really cool. I definitely like the deliberate pattern vs. the haphazard filling method. And it was a relatively simple (albeit tedious) process. It probably took me about 45 minutes to do all the nailing and another 30 or so to run the string through. But it was easy enough that I just did it in front of the TV.
I like how it came out.. My total investment was under $5. Which is a great deal considering what it would cost you to buy it!