Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Hello, dear Reader! Have you seen these state plaques floating around the web? I remember first seeing them on Etsy and deciding I needed to make one someday. Now that I'm living so far from my family and beloved home state, it seems like the perfect time to display a little homage to my dear Illinois.

By the way, my dear fellow Californians, the 'S' at the end of "Illinois" is silent. As in "Iroquois." Illinois and Iroquois are French-derived names of Native American peoples/their Algonquian languages. Just as in French, you would pronounce the 'S' if it were followed by an 'E' - as in "turquoise." Or as in the Sufjan Stevens' album, Come on! Feel the Illinoise! :)

Sorry... I like words...

Anyway, this plaque was a ton of fun.
And a piece of cake.
And you don't have to do it all at once.
And it looks just darling.

My husband and I are actually from the same hometown (that's the spot the strings come back to, of course), and the Midwest is a big part of both of our lives. Having the plaque right over the couch is a nice way for us to keep "home" near us :)

Here's what I used:
  • wood plaque from Michael's
  • acrylic paint
  • outline of your shape printed/drawn on plain computer paper
  • finishing nails
  • crochet thread
Paint the board (if you're going to) and let it dry. Situate the paper with your outline where you want it to be, and tape the corners down with some scotch tape.

Use a pencil to trace the shape the nails will make. Press hard enough that you make a slight indention of the outline on the wood (the paper may rip a bit in places). Check the board occasionally to be sure you're applying the right amount of pressure. You can see it below:

Once you have the outline, nail away! Be sure to make the center group of nails large enough that those nails will be able to hold the weight of all the string. I did NOT do that correctly... you can tell in the picture that some of the center nails are being pulled because there's too much weight on them. I'll fix that some day... maybe... :)

For each start of string, I tied two tight knots around the starting nail. I only restarted the string when I had loops that didn't return to the center circle (e.g. the bottom left sections), when I you have no choice but to start the string over.

Simple as that! Hope you're enjoying your January, dear Reader. Happy crafting :)


  1. This is AMAZING. I may have to steal the idea :)