How To Make String Art


Are you looking for a cute wall piece to liven up your living room, or a cute meaningful gift for someone that is hard to buy for? Why spend a ton of money at a department stores for decorations or gifts, when you could simply make them yourself!

I have always been one for arts and crafts, and with pinterest constantly filling my head with crafty ideas and do it yourself projects, string art just looked and sounded something cool to do! If you know how to handle a hammer and can tie a knot, this project should be easy and fun.

Here are my steps start to finish to help you to successfully make a beautiful and one of a kind string art project perfect for a gift, or simply as a decoration in your own home. Trust me, people will be asking where you got them.

 

Lets Get Started!

 


Step 1: Tools and Supplies

First you must decide what kind of material you would like to work with( wood, canvas, etc.), and collect all of the supplies you will need. In this project, here is a list of the supplies used:

  • Wood (size is optional, however it must be at least a half inch thick to ensure nails can be        hammered deep enough to prevent them from coming loose)
  • Nails- (16mm-25.4mm long)
  • String (color is optional)
  • Printed string art pattern or stencil
  • Hammer
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Hot glue gun (optional)
  • Wood Stain (optional)
  • Paintbrush (optional)

 

 


Step 2: Hammer Time!

For this project, I chose to print out an outline, and tape it to my surface. If you would rather, you can draw the image straight on the surface, and follow the lines that way. The benefit of taping your outline onto the board is that you can remove the stencil later on and not have unwanted lines left behind. It also makes following the pattern very simple and easy.

As you can see in the pattern above, the lines are quite complex. If this is your first time attempting string art, I would suggest a less intricate stencil, and work your way up to more difficult patterns.

When hammering the nails, space them about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch apart.

Once you have finished hammering, go back through and make sure each nail is secure. This is VERY important to do to ensure that while stringing, the nails will not be pulled out, or loosen. This is also crucial to do before the outline is removed because when pulling the outline off, nails that are not secure will come out.

After removing the outline, I chose to stain the piece of wood in order to create a more bold background for the string to stand out from. This step is optional, however, it definitely adds to the piece.

 


Step 3: Ready, Set, STRING!

For this project, I decided to do a thick cross string pattern.

Essentially, there is no pattern to follow, simply begin by tying a double knot around one nail, this will be your starting point. Be sure to leave a long tail to connect your end piece of string with. From there, create the outline for your pattern by looping the string around the outer points of the pattern.

Once you have the outline strung up, begin crossing the string through out out the nails and fill in the pattern. Decide whether you want your pattern to look more ‘holey’, meaning the board beneath is visible, or more filled in where you cannot see the board.


Step 4: Finishing Touches

This step is just for tying up all the loose ends. (Literally)

Be sure that the string is tight and you have gotten the look you want. For extra securing purposes, use a hot glue gun to glue the two trimmed end pieces that are tied together. This is of course optional, however it does help the piece to last for years to come.

Katie Buckley is a University of Montana Senior in pursuit of a Marketing Degree as well as a certificate in Event Management. She loves Pinterest and gains a lot of her DIY inspiration from the creativity of others and hopes to share her own ideas projects with the world and inspire others.

Be Something You Are Not

Hello people of the Internet and welcome to my first ever blog post! As an amateur blogger I am feeling fairly uncomfortable and stressed about having others read my writing. I’ve googled about 10 different silly questions about blogging do’s and dont’s. Also, I have started writing about five different topics that have all been shit. I have gained a lot of respect for the blogging community by attempting this post.

These feelings of stress come from the fact that I am forcing myself to try something new. This reminds me of times in my life when I was an amateur at things like surfing and rock climbing. I am trying to force my way into being part of a subculture that I haven’t associated with before. I keep telling myself that the feelings of uncertainty and tension shouldn’t hold me back. This is because the tension of trying to be something I am not is what promotes personal growth. One way I have found of doing this is by experiencing different subcultures.

A subculture is a group of people within a culture that differentiates itself from the parent culture to which it belongs. Subcultures have always been a part of any society. Wherever there is a group of people that do not conform to the social norms of the larger society there can be found a subculture. These cultures can be great agents of social change. For example, think of the hippies in the 1960’s and how their subculture impacted music.

The subcultures that have had the biggest impact on my life made me feel uncomfortable. The people I meet in the surfing and rock-climbing subcultures straight up made me feel dumb when I first started. I can’t even begin to count how many times I felt out of place or in over my head. However, these experiences lead me to grow into the person I am today. The people that made me feel dumb when I first started have become my closest friends.

Attempting to be something I am not has provided me the opportunity of learning a lifetime sport. Given me an excuse to travel to new parts of the world. All while put me into contact with individuals and organizations that have broadened my thinking.

I hope that as a gain more experience as a blogger that it will not take me a week to write a post. Hopefully I can cut down on some of the grammar errors too. Thank you for reading and I hope you can find a subculture that forces you to be something you are not!

Matthew Young- An east coaster who moved to Montana to get away from the shitty snow and get himself an education.

Be the One Everyone Wants to Meet

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By: Lia Sbisa

It’s no secret the power and benefits that networking has to offer. We’ve been told time and time again…or not, that creating a network of influential and successful people is crucial to one’s success. At a networking event, or just in a venue full of people, we all want to have that golden conversation with the biggest name in the room. It’s only natural to feel that the more people that know them, the more people they know. Your network does not stop with that one person, it extends to all of their networks as well.

As young adults making our way into the working world, and even those already well established in the workforce, it is important to make ourselves noticed and be the differentiator that radiates uniqueness. Be the person that everyone wants to network with at an event or even just at a casual get together.

 

  • Get Involved

 

Whether you’re seasoned in your extracurriculars or just starting out, being a part of something other than work or school is a great way to a) network and b) have something to bring to the table in an introductory conversation. The more you do, the more you will relate to a broader audience (not saying overload yourself).

 

  • You do not have to hold the highest or coolest position.

 

The status you hold within a company may help your networking reputation, but it does not solely dictate how marketable your other attributes may be. Just as we learn from those top notch professionals, they learn from us. Any influential being is on the lookout for more up and coming influential beings.

 

  • Take time to learn about your own experiences and learn to talk about them.

 

If you’re a college student or newly entering the workforce, become an expert on your experiences (internships, jobs, campus news, extracurriculars). Networking with older professionals can be intimidating, but much less tricky if you can relate to an experience even on the most minimum level. If you are more established in the workforce, know a little bit about a lot of things. Nothing is more attractive than being able to hold a thoughtful conversation over something that excites your audience, even if it may not be your cup of tea. This goes for anyone and everyone: READ THE NEWS. However you choose to keep up on current events, just do it, or start doing it if you do not. It is okay to admit that you do not know much about a topic, you become more interesting when you’re interested.

 

  • Be interested in who you’re talking to.

 

As previously stated, you become more interesting when you’re interested. Just a rule of thumb (whether you want to admit it or not), everyone loves to talk about themselves. Be able to relate to a few key topics during a conversation (talk about a travel destination that you have in common, ask about the company they work for and how they got to their position). People like you more when they think you like them just as much if not more.

 

  • Initiate a relationship that grows beyond your initial introduction.

 

Do not let the relationship end with the end of a conversation. If the conversation allows, briefly share your goals for your near future and give a rough timeline of where you’ll be in the next few months and express your interest in keeping in touch. Find common ground and set up a time to check in if you have established a relationship that will last longer than just one conversation. Grab a business card and follow up the conversation with an e-mail reminding whoever it is that you enjoyed their time and throw in your favorite topic from that conversation. 

Believe that you are worth meeting. Be interested. Involve yourself in things that you enjoy. Make people believe you’re worth meeting.

Winter Is Coming: a Student’s Guide to Seasonal Affective Disorder

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by Shafer Higgins

As the days grow shorter and the nights grow colder, many of you may be feeling low on energy, less motivated, and just generally down in the dumps. You’re not alone; according to psychologytoday.com, as many as 10 million Americans suffer from what is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, with 10 million more reporting milder versions of some of the symptoms. The symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder, which often goes by the rather cheeky acronym SAD, include: tiredness, irritability, oversleeping while never feeling rested, appetite changes (particularly increased craving for carbohydrates), as well as loss of interest in activities and feelings of hopelessness similar to depression. While its exact causes remain a mystery, SAD appears to be at least in part a result of lower sunlight levels in the Winter and Fall months, a particularly inconvenient time for students as the worst of its effects can coincide with final exams and projects. If symptoms of SAD become severe enough, medical attention should be sought. However there are many simple and easy to implement methods to help avoid or alleviate symptoms of SAD.

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Physical Exercise

Getting just 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise 4 or 5 times per week can do wonders for relieving symptoms of SAD. As one of the main features of SAD is low motivation, getting out and exercising to combat it can seem like a veritable Catch-22. But have no fear, “exercise” can mean something simple as a brisk walk. Try to time this walk around midday when that scarce winter sunlight is at its most plentiful. Speaking of sunlight…

 

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Light therapy

As noted earlier, one of the primary causes of SAD is thought to be the relative lack of sunlight in the colder months of the year. Sunlight is essential for healthy functioning and is instrumental in the regulation of your biological clock as well as levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin, both of which have a hand in mood levels and sleep patterns. The lower quantity and quality of sunlight during SAD’s dark reign can be alleviated by what is known as a light box, an extra bright lamp meant to mimic the spectrum and intensity of sunlight. A review of some of the best light boxes available can be found here: http://thesweethome.com/reviews/best-light-therapy-lamp/.

One drawback is that they can be rather pricy for someone on a student’s budget. Depending on the severity of the problem, merely making a conscious effort to expose oneself to sunlight as much as possible during the day may be sufficient. Admittedly, a trek outdoors can be a daunting prospect in the dead of winter. For those short on cash and patience for the cold, there may be a solution: while not medically proven, some studies have suggested that exposure to normal artificial light in high doses may be beneficial. Which essentially just means making sure you are spending time in well lit interiors whenever possible.

 

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Get more vitamin D

One of the main benefits of sunlight is that it provides the human body with much needed vitamin D which is essential for, among other things, the warding off of sluggishness and depression. However sunlight isn’t the only source of this essential vitamin. It can also be found in common foods such as salmon, tuna, mushrooms, eggs and any vitamin D fortified milk.

Vitamin D supplements exist as well, though it would be cost effective and doubly beneficial to simply integrate these relatively cheap and healthy foods into your diet as poor eating habits can have adverse effects on mood and energy levels.

 

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Aromatherapy

It is widely held that smell is the sense most strongly associated with emotions, and this recognition could account in part for the explosion of aromatherapy in recent years. Exposure to certain essential oils, particularly bergamot, lemon, and most citrus-based oils, has been shown to elevate mood and sense of well-being. While it is one of the less scientific methods to combat SAD, it is also cheap, easy and poses little to no risk and therefore certainly worth a try.

 

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Stick to a schedule

Maintaining a consistent daily schedule, especially with regards to sleep, can be particularly difficult for students who often have irregular daily schedules. But as erratic sleep patterns are a leading factor in SAD, it’s worth trying to regulate your day as best as you can if you find yourself afflicted with the “winter blues”. Waking up and going to bed around the same time every day has beneficial effects on your sleep. Even eating meals at regular intervals has been shown to stave off weight gain, which is a common side-effect of SAD.

 

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Keep a journal

SAD mimics many aspects of depression, such as loss of interest and motivation as well as feelings of hopelessness. Journaling for around 20 minutes a day can be a useful and straightforward way to exorcise negative feelings as well as activating parts of the brain often left unstimulated during extended periods of low mood.

These are just some of the simple and low cost lifestyle tweaks that can be implemented in the battle against Seasonal Affective Disorder. Stay warm and stay chipper, folks. Winter is coming.