I do this thing where I see something either in person or online and think “I can totally make that”. Truth is, I usually can’t. But I have this false sense of thinking I can make anything! Twenty giant birdcages hanging from the ceiling elegantly in Extraordinary Desserts? Suuuure! An abstract painting someone would actually want to hang in their house? Of course I can! This time though, I thought I could possibly do it. The only skill I would need is to know how to wrap a piece of yarn around a stick. I think I can do that!
I rummaged through my old jewelry making stuff to find extra embroidery thread (I used to make bags for the jewelry to go in) and that brass bar. Knowing my track record of thinking I could do this, I decided not to spend money on high-quality supplies, and just use what I had. You know…practice. If it turned out well, then I can buy the good stuff.
Here’s what you’ll need:
I bought the brass bars at Lowe’s, and I’m pretty sure you all know where to get embroidery thread (Michael’s. You get it at Michael’s.). I laid my colors out in the order I wanted them to be on the bar, to make sure I like how it looked. Totally not necessary to work with it like that though, especially since I started in the middle and tied one string on each side to make sure everything was equal.
Okay so…you figure out how long you want your center to be, then cut! I think having the first three being roughly the same length is probably a good idea. Then figure out how much shorter you want the next, cut two equal, and alternate putting them on the sides. Here’s how you “tie” it on the bar:
You get it, right? How do you explain that in words? Double the yarn evenly, put the loop end over the bar, bring the cut end under the bar and through the loop, then pull (I guess that’s how you say it). Then you just keep going. I quickly realized it was very helpful to have the bar on something, so I grabbed the nearest candle holder (unlit, of course. duh).
This project takes only one happy hour to complete. One to two drinks and you’re done! Oh, you must play your favorite spotify playlist and sing real loud while you do it, otherwise it won’t turn out as good.
After you put all them all on (make it as wide or narrow as you want it!) then tie a longer string on both sides so you can hang it. I think a ribbon would be nice, too. Hang it up somewhere and trim any of them you want. Or leave it haphazard. Follow your heart!
Here’s my finished product:
My cats were really into it, as you can see.
Here’s the front up close:
And here’s the back:
I like the little knot-things in back, you can make that the front if you want.
Here’s what I would do differently…
- Better quality yarn! I think a silky, heavier yarn would be gorgeous. Or even a super thin one. Quality is the key here, folks (which is true for everything in life, I’ve decided). Here were two of my inspirations: Nike Schroeder String Art and Glitter and Grain
- I cut too heavily. I wanted it to have more of a gradual slope up to the outer edges. Next time I won’t be so heavy handed on the string cutting (this didn’t happen in the trimming part, it happened when I initially cut the string pieces).
- I kept the tails short when I tied the piece that allows the whole thing to hang. I think if it’s as long as the other ones, maybe it will disappear.
And that’s it! Easiest thing to make ever, instant gratification. Now I’m dying to buy high quality yarn/thread in really cool colors and do this thing right. Maybe I’ll stick with a smooth brass bar, maybe I’ll use the driftwood I smuggled in from Costa Rica. I don’t know, maybe invite all your crafty friends over and do a craft/happy hour soiree. BYOMaterials!
// Art print in top photo by Leigh Viner