As Army wives, we know that with every duty station we leave a little piece of our heart. Some places we stay longer than others, but for the time being we call each place home. This craft is special for those who have left their heart in many different places, and it displays it in a form that you can hang on the wall!

First, gather the materials for this project. You’ll need:

a roll of thin string


a wood base

a hammer

a printout of the state or map you want to trace

heart shaped pins


a pencil

letters to trace if you choose not to freehand them

I only spent $20 at Michael’s on supplies for the wooden board, string, pins and letters. The cost may vary depending on what you have on hand already.

*Specifications- I used an inch thick board and 3/4 of an inch thick nails so they wouldn’t poke through. I had about 100 nails on hand and only ended up using 50.

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Place your map centered on the wooden board (secure with tape if necessary), then hammer the nails in place along the outline of the map. Make sure to place nails along prominent features, like curves or juts in your outline. This will ensure that your map is as accurate as possible. 

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When you have completed your outline, simply tear the map from underneath the nails and begin wrapping string continuously along the outline of the map. I made a loop around every nail with string before moving on to the next one to make sure it was secure. After outlining the map in string, begin to crisscross the string randomly across the map to fill the empty space. When finished filling the map with string, cut the string from the roll and tie it off. Tuck the leftover string into your map so that it will blend in. 

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Now that your string art map is completely finished, you can trace (or freehand) your quote onto the board with pencil. I highly recommend using pencil first to ensure that your words are centered before sealing the deal with paint. When you have your words ready, you can paint over them with whatever color you would like. I mixed a few colors of acrylic paint to create the one pictured in the example. *Note: “Home is where the Heart is…” fits well for this craft, but can choose any applicable quote that you would like.

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Last but not least, it’s time to add your heart pins! I spray painted mine red so that they would add a pop of color, but that is optional (the heart pins pictured are from Michael’s gift section and they only came in gold). In order to place your pins correctly, you can lay your paper map template gently on top of your string art map and poke the pins through. Perfection doesn’t really matter here since there aren’t any state outlines to show if your pin is placed correctly. *Note: Your map may also look different if you wish to include other states like Hawaii or Alaska, or even other countries like Germany etc. 

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Erica is an Army Brat by blood and an Army Wife by choice. She is also a full-time college student, and manages a local paint-your-own pottery studio. She works closely with the military wives group Protestant Women of the Chapel, PWOC, and has served on the board there for 2 years. She enjoys fellowship and camaraderie of the Army lifestyle, and looks forward to what the future holds for her family.



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