For 4 out the last 6 years, I have worked on the classroom auction projects at my son’s school. It’s always so fun to get to work the students individually, to get a little glimpse into their personalities while I work with them out in the hallway. This year we decided to create a string art project that expressed an inspirational message. Another mom and I had each student write as many different words that they could think of – feel good words. The prompt was: you’ve had a long hard day at school, and when you walk into your house what 1 or 2 words would make you feel great. We then took their lists of words and spent a couple of hours over tea deciding which ones we would use. One boy had his paper filled with desserts and sweets, like Cookies! Donuts! Candy Canes! Pancakes! Pie! At one point we thought Eat Pie! would make a great option. That, or another popular one, I Love Kittens!
We settled on Shine Bright. My mom knew someone who offered to make the beautiful wooden board backing, and I got to work on the computer finding the right script font for the words. I sized the letters, printed, and cut them out with an Exacto blade. Having taped them to the board, the kids got to work outlining the letters with small nails. They had a bit of trouble controlling the hammer at first, but once we switched to a ball pin hammer, they did great!
Since there were 2 big words, we could have 2 kids working on the board at the same time.
Next came stringing the yarn. I had to come up with a little twisting technique so that the yarn wouldn’t pop off the nails as soon as the tension was released. It took a bit for the students the get the hang of it, but as soon as it clicked, they were off and running.
The first step was to outline each letter, then do a criss-cross pattern.
A few of the students really got into it and became super quick at stringing. It was great to watch them go.
The project appealed to both the boys and the girls, and all but a few were completely engrossed and focused on their work.
Filling in the letters definitely took some time, and at the very end, we outlined the letters again to give them that extra bit of definition.
The auction is in just a few days, and I know every child who worked on the project hopes their folks will bring Shine Bright home. I’m just sorry we don’t have one for each of them.