String is an entertaining, versatile art material. As an easy to use, inexpensive product, children and adults alike can take simple strings to a whole new level through pre-made art patterns or more free-form projects. Popularized in the 1970s, string art can take the form of basic geometric shapes or more detailed images depending on the design or kit.
Free-Form String Art
Instead of using a pre-made pattern or kit, kids and crafters can create their own unique string art projects. Start with four wooden dowels or craft sticks. Glue the sticks together into a diamond shape with clear drying, non-toxic glue. Overlap at the corners. Choose a string color and cut to approximately four yards long. Tie one end of the string to the top of the wooden diamond. Secure with a dab of glue. Wind the string downward diagonally to another stick, then upward to a third stick. Continue on to create your own personalized pattern. Continue wrapping the string until all four yards have been wound into the pattern. Secure the end with a knot and a dot of glue.
Make-Your-Own Pattern Projects
To make your own pattern string art project, you will need a wooden board at least 12 inches square, scissors, string, small nails, painter's tape, paper, a pencil and hammer. Trace a circle onto the paper and cut it out. The circle should be approximately plate-size. Tape the circle to the wooden board. Hammer the nails, equidistant from each other, around the circle. Do not hammer directly into the paper. Take the paper circle off of the board. Tie the string to a nail at the top of the circle, then wrap the yarn down to another nail. Continue in whatever pattern you desire. Finish the design by tying the yarn around the last nail and securing with a small amount of glue. Try different size circles (use a coffee can, cup or other template) or even different shapes. For a more colorful effect, paint the board a bright hue prior to beginning the craft.
String Art Kits
Many commercial arts and crafts retailers sell string art kits for beginners to more advanced crafters. These typically include a board, nails or pins, a pattern and string/yarn. Some kits come with felt-covered boards or boards with pre-drilled holes for an easier crafting experience. Patterns may range from a circular sunburst design to a more elaborate holiday or themed picture.
String Art Patterns
String art patterns may come with or without a kit. Crafters can download some patterns from free or low-cost websites. These sites offer free downloadable patterns such as a heart circle, shell, boat, diamond and circle. After downloading the pattern, read the instructions before trying out your new string art project. The sites provide detailed instructions on what type of backing board to use, how to add nails and string choice. When you are ready to create your design, simply follow the pattern diagrams.