Make: Nail and Thread State Wall Art (Part 1)

Its that time again! We’ve been counting down the days and the minutes (well, not quite but we have been looking forward too it!) because its finally back! The Pinterest Challenge!!  (picture me doing a little happy dance).

For those of you who havn’t heard of the Pinterest Challenge, it is a quarterly blogging event hosted by the very talented and very funny folks over at YoungHouseLove and BowerPowerBlog which challenges us all to take a week out once a season to stop pinning and actually make one of the things we have pinned recently on Pinterest. Sort of a ‘life is short so get on with it rather than just ooogling at it’, and any of you who are regular readers will know we are all about that over here on cookquiltmakeandbake.

The very best news for me, is that the winter Pinterest challenge couldn’t have come at a better time because I have just started and was ready to share an ‘in progress’ report on a new piece of art for our kitchen. The funny thing is that it just so happens that the last time a Pinterest Challenge rolled around was also kitchen art renewal time too and we spent many days cutting and sticking paint chips (you can find that project here if you fancy a peek).

So, enough chatter, down to business. This season’s kitchen art was a project I pinned a long time ago and then sort of forgot about until a few weeks ago, and here it is: It’s the Texas state outline made with small tack like pins and thread:


I love it because 1) I’ve never seen anything like it before, 2) I love how cute and rustic it looks, 3) We love maps in this house (we have them all over the wall in our lounge) 4) Its totally customisable to your own state (or wherever you live) and your own colour schemes. 5) It looks fairly easy (famous last words :S).

So, because the project is taking a little while to come together I thought I would share it with you in two parts, ‘in progress today’ and finished for next Wednesday’s challenge reveal.

So, here’s how I’ve done it so far:

Nail and Thread State Wall Art (Part 1)

You will need:

Printer and Paper



Wall paint of your choosing (we used some left over grey from our bedroom decorating but the world is your oyster when it comes to which colour you choose to use).

Tacks and a pin hammer

Super glue

1) Pick your map outline: We decided to use Maine because we have super happy vacation memories with friends there, I guess you could call it one of our happy places. We then found an outline of the state we were happy with by Googling it (there are tons of state map outlines out there in Google images). We then gauged how big we wanted our finished map to be based on the size of our wall and previous art and printed the map out the right size to fit (actually, the finished map wouldn’t fit on one piece of A4 paper to print so I had to stick them together in the back.) Alternatively if your finished piece is bigger than A4 you could always enlarge it on a photocopier. I then cut my map outline out.

NB. Maine is a pretty tricky state to pick for this project because it has a lot (a lot a lot) of islands on its south eastern coast line. I decided to tackle these by not cutting them out individually (that would have taken forever), but instead to leave them attached and pin through the paper (don’t worry it will all become clear shortly).

2) Cut down to size and Paint your board: I was lucky with my board choice as my local DIY store was happy to cut it down for me to size, so that was job done (if they hadn’t been happy I would have tasked Phil to set to with a saw…. he’s handy like that). As I mentioned we decided we would like the background of our art to be a nice warm grey colour (the wall behind it is sort of a natural stone colour so we decided to keep with our warm neutrals theme with the art – although we did enjoy the bright colours of our paint chip art which used to sit there). So, all I had to do was paint the board. It took two good coats to cover the wood and have a nice even finish, but once it was done I had a lovely smooth matt surface to begin pinning into.

3) Tap in your pins:  Next I laid my map onto the board in the middle but decided not to stick it down because I didnt want to damage the paint underneath so instead I just placed it down and relied on the pins to hold it in place. To make sure our table didn’t get damaged by any tacks going right the way through the board, we sat it on top of some old Martha Stewart magazines (sorry Martha :P). Then I took each of my pins and tapped them in around the edge. This is the part which has taken a lot longer than I anticipated. I placed them around 1 cm apart (more closely together along the coast where there needed to be more points to make the map accurate) and just tapped them in by hammering lightly. They were tapped in enough to hold them (mostly more on that in a second) but not so much that they pierced the back of the wooden board making the painting hard to frame and hang.

So, here is where I have run into a little trouble. Most of the pins (especially the ones on the edges where they area little furthur apart) stayed put and are very sturdy. A fair number of the pins along the coast though (I would say about 15 of them) are not holding themselves nicely upright and instead have started popping out. This is where the super glue comes in. I put just a little dab on the end of the pin then slotted it back into its hole and now they are holding good and firm. Phew. Crisis averted.

So, thats as far as I’ve got. Now I need to tap in the rest of my pins and then get onto threading them. I think that might take some patience so I’m tackling it over the weekend.

Have any of you started on your Pinterest Challenge project yet? Do you have so many projects on the go you don’t know where to start (yep, sometimes I feel like that too).

Keep us posted.

(UPDATE: We have now finished this project, so you can find part two with the rest of the instructions here!  Happy crafting ) 

About Cook Quilt Make and Bake

Hi, I'm Sam, he's Phil. Welcome to our blog where we share our fun down time projects. We're just a young couple, happily cooking, making, quilting and baking our way through life and love. You're welcome to stop by and share the good times!
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11 Responses to Make: Nail and Thread State Wall Art (Part 1)

  1. k.m. says:

    I love YoungHouseLove! And I love your blog too, it’s awesome that we both read it.

    Anyway, I am not participating in the Pinterest challenge, mainly because I’m madly trying to finish up some charity knitting in time for a knitting get-together in a few weeks. But I’m definitely inspired watching everyone else, and I think tackling this project as a gift for my sister and her fiance for their wedding might be cute (maybe Pennsylvania where they met/currently live?).

  2. Leandra says:

    awww this makes me smile! Neat idea too : ) Can’t wait to see the finished product!

  3. Sarah says:

    I can’t wait to see the finished product either! Very cool! I love it…

  4. Britt says:

    Can’t wait to see how it turns out! I was inspired by a similar Pinterest pin months ago to do some string art as well:

  5. Pingback: Make: Nail and Thread State Art (Part 2) | cookquiltmakeandbake

  6. Monique says:

    I’ve also seen this project on pinterest… though being someone who lives from Maine, I love that you used it as your state for this project!

  7. Sarah Tate says:

    What is the last step????

  8. Pingback: Cook: Corned beef (part 1) | cookquiltmakeandbake

  9. Pingback: Happy Blogiversary! | cookquiltmakeandbake

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