Nails - I recommend something longer than an inch, with a head. (A friend of mine used colored thumb tacks and that worked well too)
String - Yarn gives a thicker look, embroidery string is a thin look. For this tutorial, we used yarn.
Step 1: Find yourself a blank wall. We've all got 'em!
Step 2: Draw Your Circle. Here is where your algebra can come in handy. There are two ways you can approach this. The first & easiest way, is to just decide how big you want this baby. For the example let's say 4 feet wide. So, our radius, will be 2 feet. Tie a piece of twine (any non stretchy string) to a pencil. I chose a pencil that matched the wall, hehe. Measure out 2 feet from the pencil, and tie the twine to a push pin. Still with me? We're almost there! Push the pin in the wall where you want the center of the circle. Pull the pencil and twine nice and taut, and lightly draw your circle. A good tip is to hold the pencil straight towards the wall, not at an angle. See look, here's a blurry picture of me getting my circle on:
Not the best picture, but it was dim lighting in there! The other way to draw a circle only applies if you need an exact amount of nails for your pattern. I generally advise just winging it, but some people think I'm nuts. So here's the other way, that makes you feel like those 8 years of algebra can finally be put to some use. I know, this is super long winded, but I promise the rest will be nice n' breezy.
OK - nerd alert, here we go: Using the equation Circumference = 2*pi*radius, we can get some fairly accurate specs. Brings back memories right? I know... Let's use the same measurements as circle 1. Let's say you want exactly 80 nails or something. We basically need to know how far apart to place each nail, so we need to find the circumference. Our radius was 2 feet, or 24 inches. Plug that in and solve your equation. C=2*(pi)*24, pi is about 3.14159265. This gives us a circumference of 150.79 inches. Divide by number of nails (80), means place a nail every 1.88 inches. Phew! So what does this all mean? If you draw a circle with radius 24 inches, place your nails that far apart on the line. Another way to work this would be to do it backwards, decide how many nails you want and how far apart you want them, get a circumference, and solve for radius so you know how to draw your circle. Ok, enough-enough! Let's move forward....please!
Here we drew our circles and hammered our nails in. We measured for the larger and we winged it for the smaller. I think weird shapes would be really fun too.
Look at that! We've begun. Choose a nail, tie your string and just play with it. For this pattern here, we just crossed the circle over to a nail, wrapped skipped one wrapped, then went back up to the next clockwise nail, and wrapped. It's so much easier to do then it is to explain, you'll see. Play with it.
Keep the pattern going and stop whenever you want, or continue until it completes itself. The wonders of math make it come around to nail #1 sooner or later. We stopped a little early here, because the open space is nifty.
Who doesn't love a good close up?
The baby was a total wing job, and it came out fantastic. You can see we are just zig zaggin it...
Look at these two:
Good luck with yours, remember, it is much easier than it looks, but we don't need to tell too many people that - it's more fun to just have your friends think you're some kind of math magician. Have a wonderful day, and if you embark on a string art, I'd love to see & share your photos!