string art and custom cork boards

If you aren't a regular reader, Katie [my bestie] and I have started doing pinterest challenges to keep ourselves on the craft train. So far, it's worked well. I'll share my little craft first. Since we removed a cabinet in our kitchen, I wanted to add some artwork. At first, I wanted something big and graphic but then I thought some "recipe art" I've seen on etsy would be fun. But getting what I want would have cost me well over $100 for the art alone. 

I finally came up with the idea of doing something to a cork board but most of the cork boards I found were ones that wouldn't come out of their frame easily to be painted or covered in fabric. Enter Target. Always. I infused our kitchen and dining room with a serious dose of color. 


The yellow pillows were from Pottery Barn but had seen better days. And with spring's very late arrival, I was craving some color. Target had these fun pink pillows on clearance for $12 each so two hopped into my basket. Do you have the same problem at Target??

I got these napkins to cover the cork boards I also bought. What's sick? Not only are the colors dead on for this tray and bar cart/bookcase we have, but it's also all. from. Target. I might as well move in. With all those endless supplies of cat litter and boxes, I could like 20 cats! But back to the project...

I found these Nate Berkus cork boards and thought they were perfect. They didn't have a frame so I wouldn't be worried about breaking it. And the way they attach to the wall made them an even better choice. 

So I threw the napkins in the dryer with a wet towel [my favorite method for nixing wrinkles] but because they were so nicely folded, they needed some ironing too. Boo ironing. Seriously. All you need besides the lovely supplies is a staple gun! 

I was so happy to find these napkins for only $4. I was about to use a bedsheet or a shower curtain which would've cost me about $25. These were perfect and measured 18 x 18 which was just right for the 12 x 12 cork boards that cost me about $12 each. 

Lay the napkin down and the cork board over it, face down. If there's a pesky wrinkle you couldn't get rid of, or a tag, just stay away from that area. 

I was most worried about the top holes and making sure they didn't get covered. So I did the top first. I folded the napkin over and was very careful to staple in a fairly straight edge. I stapled every 2-3 inches. 

Then do the opposite side and pull the napkin taught. While keeping things nice and tight, staple some more. 

The back doesn't matter. No one will see it. Just make sure it isn't too bumpy so it doesn't stick out from the wall. The corners were a little tricky and some seemed easier than others. I feel like the photos do a better explanation of it better than I would so I'll let them do the talkin:

I snipped off the excess of the corner and then did the other two edges. You may have areas that have a lot of leftover fabric. I ended up stapling closer to the edge as time went on and trimming excess fabric. Here they are...

I'm not gonna lie. At first, I kind of freaked out. I mean that's a lot of color. But it just took some getting used to and the more I fill it up with pretties, the less jarring it seems. 

It may not be a forever solution but I love the pop of color and the touch of personality it brings. And for about $50, I'll take it. I'm also sure if you clearance-stalked the cork boards, that you would eventually find them marked down but I had a deadline to meet! Now check out Katie's little tutorial for ya!

"I absolutely LOVE the quarterly pinterest challenges that Sherry Petersik and Katie Bower host, but let’s face it: four times a year just isn’t enough! And so, while brainstorming one day, Caroline and I decided to up the ante and do not four, but twelve pinterest challenges a year (aka once a month ;). Will we stick with it? Who knows. Will there be failures? Most likely. Will it be a fun excuse to get together once a month and do craft projects? You betcha.

A lot of ideas jumped out at me for this first challenge, but I immediately gravitated towards string art. It’s something I’ve seen floating around on pinterest for ages and have always wanted to try, but alas, never did. To get started I looked up a few tutorials and found inspiration here, here, and here.

I wanted to do something on the small side and I wanted it to be square, about 6 inches x 6 inches (if you remember our apartment tour, then you’ll remember I don’t have much room or wall space to work with!). Being the cheapskate that I am, I also wanted to do this project for next to free, so I headed out to our scrap pile and found this little piece of crappy plywood that would do just the trick.

I thought a heart would look cute and be easy to execute, so I made a template.

I traced the design directly onto the wood and then I conned my husband into hammering the nails in place. I highly recommend using a spacer so that your nails are evenly spaced out. Trust me, it makes a big difference! We just used a piece of fold up cardboard – worked like a charm.

Then I just kept hammering cheering on my husband until the entire shape was outlined, like so:

Next I took it outside and gave it a couple of coats of spray paint (Jade by Krylon if you wanna copy me). Note: most of the tutorials I saw online recommended painting/staining your wood first and then printing your design on paper, taping it in place, and hammering straight through. But I did mine in reverse order and I actually prefer the end result! By spray painting the whole thing, it looks more cohesive and the nails just blend in.

Then it was time to bring out the string. I started at the apex of the heart (shout out to my fellow anatomy nerds!) and made a small knot. I took the string all the way around the heart to outline it and then began to fill it in.

The filling it in part was really fun. You just randomly go from one nail to another, zigging and zagging to your heart’s desire. Once it was filled in evenly, I tied off the string and called this baby done! Here’s what I ended up with:

Here she is hanging out on our bookcase lookin’ all cute and stuff.

I could not be happier with how this project came out. Every time I see it, it makes me smile. It was simple, easy, and practically free – the only expense I incurred was a box of $3 brad nails from Lowes. This project is super versatile and customizable, too. You can use any size board (large, small); any design you can think of (shapes, words, or numbers); you can paint, stain, or distress the wood; and you could even use twine or colored yarn for a completely different look. I’m tellin’ ya, the possibilities are endless, people!"

Gotta love Katie [and her amazing photos]! Her goodies always turn out so well. Have a lovely weekend everyone... hope spring is in bloom for you like it is here!

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