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String Art Techniques

Grown-ups may remember how popular string art was back in the 1970s and will be eager to help children enjoy creating their own versions today.

The technique itself enables you to create unique and abstract string art patterns and designs using a whole range of materials such as wood, canvas, card or cloth for the base plus whatever type of thread you like ranging from embroidery silks to thicker yarns. The one you choose will depend on the effect you want to create.

How do you do string art?

First of all we need to explain the two main styles of string art. Wrap around string art where you literally wrap your thread around pieces of shaped card or nail or pin string art where you wrap thread around pins or nails that have been secured to a base material.

You can learn more about this by following the links below to two helpful videos which will make it clearer.

Wrap around art with string is best for younger children but as confidence and skills increase larger and sturdier pieces can be made using nails or pins.

There is also a third type called string art painting on card or paper, where you soak the thread or string into paint and either add it to your artwork or use it to make shapes and press onto paper or card or create patterns but we will concentrate on the first two here.

How to do string art for beginners

Younger children will love making wrap around string art ideas into bookmarks or pictures. You could even use as gifts on Mothering Sunday or Father’s Day. Once they have mastered the technique with more simple designs they can start to add additional layers of string to their work and add more colours too.

How to create string art

With the wrap around technique mastered, children can start to experiment with nails and pins. To do this simply create a simple design or download a free template from our website and stick to your chosen base material card, paper, wood etc. If using thinner bases always place a piece of polystyrene underneath to protect the work surface. Place nails or pins at regular intervals around the edge. The space between will determine how big the gaps will be in the final design. Remove the stencil and get threading. As skills improve think about adding several layers of thread in different colours.

Top Tip

Use coloured nails or pins for added effect and always loop the thread in the same direction for neatness.

What materials do you need for thread art?

All you need is something to act as a base such as card, thick paper or canvas, pins or nails, strong thread and of course a hammer. As your skills get better you could also use a piece of wood.

What are the best types of thread to use for string art?

• Thick sewing cotton

• Crochet wool

• Heavy yarn

• Embroidery thread

The thickness of the thread will determine the look of the picture ie thinner embroidery threads are ideal for flowers as they produce more delicate pictures while crochet wools and yarns are best for bigger, stronger images.

What paint do you use for string art?

You can use most types of art box paint but we think the ones that work best are acrylic paint, ready mixed paint ready mixed paint, pouring paint pouring paint or thick watercolours.

Are you ready to start? For some great string art ideas pop over to our Creative Station section and download some handy templates to get started. Don’t forget to take a photo and post on one of our social media platforms as we love to see your work.