Word strip art

I’d like to tell you about a project I just completed and then implore you never to attempt it yourself.  Why? It is tedious, visually tiring, and just plain silly. Add a new kitten to the mix and you would be out of your mind to do it.

Now that we got that out of the way…

I got this idea the other day to make a list of everything I could think of that makes me happy. I had about two pages in a notebook when I started thinking about what I could do with my list so that I could see it more often.  I envisioned a canvas with words that I cut out from magazines. I definitely didn’t envision the end result, but I love it!

Step 1. (Not optional if you are a Type A person) Type the list, separate phrases into words,  create 4 columns per page, sort alphabetically, and print. It’s too hard to do phrases.

Step 2. Grab a stack of magazines and a pair of scissors and go to town. (You will end up with pages that look like doilies, so read something first if you want to.) Cross off the words you’ve found.

It’s also helpful to cut out lots of articles and endings like “ing,” “a,” and “the.”

I wish I could say that you could listen to music, but I tried it and I couldn’t concentrate. I also tried searching for several words at once… that hurt my head too after awhile. 🙂 In fact, I think the part of the brain we use for reading and understanding is different from the part we use to search for words.  When I’d read, I wasn’t looking for words and when I was searching for words, I had no idea what I was looking at.

Step 3. Cut strips of paper about a centimeter wide.  I used turquoise and purple because I figured I would like seeing those colors peek through some gaps if need be.

Step 4. Begin assembling phrases.  Lay out all your words and “go shopping” in your pile.  This is where it got tricky for me.  If I left them out on the table, CoCo would be right there to play and “rearrange.” I had to cover them with magazines every time I stepped away.

When there were only a few words left to find, I wrote them on the strips of paper so I could throw away my paper lists.

The longer you search, the more likely it is that you’ll come across another phrase you like.  This could be trouble.  The magazines I subscribe to are full of wordy goodness. At some point, enough is enough, right?

Step 5. Trim as much of the extra backing paper away so the focus is on the words.

Don’t forget about that kitten… you still need to be vigilant. All that time and effort…

Step 6. Arrange them on your surface.  I’m sure there are as many ways to do this as there are people who may attempt it. I estimated that it would be 10×10. I bought a wood board that size and painted it black. I separated the strips by size, then pulled out the ones that had a word sticking up higher than the others and then ones that had a lot of color showing through. I paired those up as much as possible. They fit together like puzzle pieces.

Step 7. Glue them to the board. I ended up not having enough phrases and words and had to find some more.  Brush on a top coat of glue and you’re done!

I decided that it was worth it, but that I’m never doing this again.

In the end, what I’ve come away with is the sheer amazement of how many things make me happy!

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One Response to Word strip art

  1. Debbie says:

    What a great end result of all that work! You had me laughing as I read your explanation of how to do a project that you don’t recommend anyone to do. And I won’t attempt this at home, even though I don’t have a crazy kitten!

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