I Found a project that I really wanted to try:
*Here's the item for sale on etsy*
I knew hands-down that I'd want to do this with Kentucky, since I've lived here my whole life, and I knew I'd want to make my wood background blue ("Kentucky Blue", as we call it).
The project seemed pretty self explanatory - wood (painted), nails, string, done. And no offense to said Etsy seller, but I thought I could make my own for less than $110.
First I bought a pre-cut, pre-sanded board from Michaels. Less than $5. I bought a small bottle of acrylic paint in the color I wanted as well, $1 approx. Then, knowing the size of my board (which is about 10"x13"?) I printed off an outline of the state of Kentucky - via Google search - and cut it out. Quite resourceful here.
I then used just your average small silvery picture nails, of which I had plenty, and started hammering in the outline. I used it as a pretty close guide, and did the major points first instead of just going for it all the way around right away. This way if I got really crooked or something, I'd have a reference point to get back on track.
The finished product
After I got it all strung, I did take a scrap of sand paper and rough up the wood's edges a little, since my paint job was showing some imperfections, that way it looked deliberately worn!