So every year for the past 5 years or so I have claimed a word as my focus for the year. I will be the first to admit 2014 kicked my tail. A loss of a friendship I valued, saying goodbye to a chapter of our life, putting our house on the market, selling and moving to a new state and starting over. I am emotionally drained. So this year my word is “rediscover.” Somewhere along the way the vivacious, fun-loving, spunky red headed girl has been lost. I need to rediscover her again. So this year I am resolving to rediscover that girl. I thought there is no better way than to keep that word on the forefront of my mind. Since I spend most of my time in my home I decided to make the word a part of my home decor.
And what better way than with an arrow which symbolizes laser focus. After I did my “home sweet home” string art I fell in love with the process of stringing. I love creating unique art pieces for my home. I decided to try the reverse of string art on my word of the year and string outside the letters rather than inside. The contrast of the dark stain with the white floss is really beautiful. This project is really simple with a few tips and the right supplies.
Pine Wood Arrow Signboard
White Embroidery Floss
Wood Stain (I used RustOleum Kona)
Drill with 1/16” drill bit
5/8” linoleum nails
print out of your word
1. Start by designing your word in any word processing software and then print it out.
2. Stain your wooden arrow. It is a good idea to use a pre-wood conditioner first to get a nice even stain since the wood is a soft wood. Tip: The pre-wood conditioner helps it not look splotchy and go on uniform.
3. Tape your word in place and then drill holes about 1/4” – 1/2” apart being careful to place holes strategically around curves so you can tell what the letter is. If marking your paper with holes helps (see my “S”) to know where to drill then do that. Tip: Make sure you hold your drill perfectly up and down so that you don’t drill on a slant. This will help your nails go in straight.
4. Mark 1/4” around the entire arrow. A ruler will help with this. Drill your holes every 1/2” around the arrow. Tip: Make sure you only drill about 1/4” down. This will give you enough to pop a nail in and then hammer it the rest of the way.
5. Once all the holes are pre-drilled get out your hammer and nails and then pound your nails in place trying to keep them all at about the same height.
6. Tie your embroidery floss around a nail and then start stringing from the edge of the arrow to the letter. In order to do the reverse you string between the letter and around the letters but not in the letters.
7. When you run out of floss just tie an overhand knot and add more floss. Use small, sharp scissors to cut the excess floss.
8. Once you have completed the design around all the letters and inside o’s, e’s d’s etc., then take more floss and go around each of the letters. This will “outline” the letters and give them more definition.
Before “outline” of letters
I am putting my arrow in my new office, a place where I will be reminded of it daily. Have you chosen a word of year?
For more string art ideas check out my “Home Sweet Home” piece I did for my mudroom gallery wall.