Creation Station

String Together Some Art

A great project for s winter's day!

Creating a great work of art does not always have to involve painting or drawing.

In this edition of Creation Station, we tackle a project that requires a little construction. String art allows children to use their creativity in many different ways. In addition to choosing what object to create, they can have fun with the patterns used to fill the object with color. While there are elements of this project suited better for older children and adults, there are ways for children of all ages to participate.

Materials Needed

  • Corkboard or flat block of wood
  • Hammer
  • Nails (see Hints for size recommendations)
  • String or yarn
  • Pencil
  • Can of paint or wood stain (optional)
  • Rubber bands (optional)

How To

  1. On the corkboard or block of wood, use a pencil to draw an outline of the object or shape you want to create.
  2. Hammer nails along the outline of your drawn shape. The distance between the nails is up to you, depending on how much detail you want in your piece. Spacing is flexible, but about ½-inch between nails is good for a small board.
  3. Tie one end of the string on the nail you plan to start with.
  4. Wrap the string from one nail to the nail across from it, wrapping the string around that nail. Continue wrapping the string around nails that sit across from each other, working your way around your pattern. (See pictures.)
  5. The amount of string you use to fill in the shape is up to you. Be creative!
  6. When you are done stringing, tie the string off to your last nail and cut off the tail.
  7. Display your work!

Be sure to check out the Hints at right for tips on this project!

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Hints
  • Pick a nail size that works for the amount of detail and the size of the picture. We used ½-inch #19s for the smaller pieces and ¾-inch nails for the larger one.
  • Staining or painting your work can add new layers, but remember that the paint or stain will cover over your drawing. Instead of hammering nails into the board as the second step, use the hammer and a nail to tap little indentations around the shape. After you paint or stain your board, you’ll still be able to see and use the indentations as a guide for placing the nails.
  • Small children can use rubber bands instead of string for ease. Just be sure the nails are hammered in very solidly.
  • Any type of string, from thread to yarn, is fine.  Avoid using thick yarn because it can get bunched up.
  • You can loop string over the nails more than one time and use different colors in your design.
  • Home improvement stores, like Home Depot and Lowe’s, will often have discounted spare wood for purchase and will cut it to size for you for free.
  • With the holidays approaching, some fun — and not too overly complex — ideas for string art include creating stars, snowflakes, Christmas trees and snow-covered mountains.

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