Thursday, August 26, 2010

String Art Tutorial

I love embroidery floss:  it's cheap, you can use it for tons of different things, and there are literally thousands of colors to choose from.  I have a problem throwing away even the tiniest pieces of floss from my different projects and keep them all bunched up in a little plastic container.

Mason loves to get it all out and sort through it - tying it to things, arranging it by color, flinging it at his brother .... one day last week he asked me if he could do a craft and this is what I thought of first.  We had just stocked up on Elmers glue (Gotta love those back-to-school art supply sales.  Crayons and glue for a quarter?!  Yes please!) and so I decided we'd try a little collage/paper-mache like/string art action.  It was really simple and pretty self explanatory, but here's what we did.

(I didn't start taking pictures until we had already started, so it kind of just jumps right in - but don't worry, it's super easy to do).

What you need:

embroidery floss (or other colored string)
white school glue
paper (we used cardstock so the paper wouldn't get too gooey and would hold up)
something to mix the gluey paste in
something to mix the gluey paste with (we used a wooden skewer)

string art

Gather your embroidery floss scraps (or other string you might have) and look at how pretty it all is together - that stringy rainbow-y goodness is just so cool!

Make your glue mixture.  We used Elmers glue with a little water mixed in to make it a little more runny.  But not too runny.  Experiment to see what works best for you.

string art


Figure out what kind of picture you want to make.  Look in coloring books for simple line-art ideas.  Or to funny internet-fuled pop-culture crazes like we did.  Maybe write out your name.  Or just go kind of crazy all messy and Jackson Pollock inspired.

Pick out your piece of string.

This is a very crucial step.  Measure it to see how long it is.  See if it's stretchy.  Think about the exact right color you're going for.  Cut it down if it's too long.

string art    string art
string art     string art

Now dip your string into the glue.  We used a plastic knife to get it down in there and good and gooey.

string art

string art


Figure out where on your paper you want to put the string.  This part will be messy and drippy, but it's OK, it's only glue.

string art

Arrange your string just so.  It's easy to drag around and move.

string art

If there are some parts of your string picture that need more glue, you can use a paintbrush to paint some more glue onto the drier spots.

string art

string art

Paint ... paint ... paint ...

string art

Keep picking out strings and gluing and placing until your picture is done.  Then hang it up somewhere to dry.  The glue dries clear of course and then you're just left with your neat string art!

string art

This kept Mason busy for quite awhile and he keeps asking when he's going to do it again.

string art

Let me know if you try it!

3 comments:

  1. you are creative and fun. i am not a fun mom. i need to try harder.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love the grin in the last pic!...sooo cute!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great idea- love the simplicity (and the IKEA bowls- I have a ton of those too.) My artsy craftsy girl would love this.

    ReplyDelete

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