1. Lightly sand the plaque; wipe clean with a dry rag. Following manufacturer’s directions, apply 1 coat of stain to plaque.
  2. Spray-paint the nails blue. Let dry.
  3. Using heart pattern, trace a heart shape inside the paper state shape. Remove pattern. Center and tape the state shape to the front of the plaque. Following the state outline, pound nails through the paper into the plaque, evenly spacing the nails 1/4- to 1/2-in. apart. Nail through the heart outline in the same way. Remove paper.
  4. Starting anywhere on state outline, tie thread in a knot around a nail. Trim tail close to the knot. Wrap thread around next nail. Continue wrapping each nail around outline, ending by wrapping the starting nail. Do not cut thread.
  5. String thread to a heart nail across from the starting point, wrap around the heart nail and string thread back to a nail next to the starting point.
  6. Continue wrapping back and forth in the same way around state shape, reusing heart nails as necessary to even out the string pattern. When finished, tie off thread and trim tail close to the knot.

Editor’s Note: NOTES: Photocopy a state map or print an online image of the state outline, sizing it to fit on the plaque. Cut your own paper heart as a pattern, making sure it will fit inside the state outline