How to Craft Cool String Art With Kids

With this simple DIY art project, your child can utilize STEAM skills to create beautiful patterns, while exploring geometry.
Sep 14, 2018

Ages

5-12

How to Craft Cool String Art With Kids

Sep 14, 2018

Transform art into geometry by using string and push pins to create colorful shapes. Young learners can practice making triangles and squares, while older kids will have a blast making beautiful parabolic curves and other designs.

What You’ll Need

  • Cork, foam core board, or wood  
  • Push pins, toothpicks that have been cut in half, or nails
  • Hammer (optional: for use with nails and wood)
  • Colorful string, yarn, embroidery thread or pipe cleaners
  • School glue or hot glue (optional)

Safety Tips and Hints  

Younger children should be supervised around push pins, toothpicks, and nails, which have sharp points and are choking hazards.

Children must be supervised around hot glue and glue guns.

What to Do

Step 1: Show your young artist how to push pins or toothpicks into cork or foam core, so that they stand straight up.

Step 2: Let your child draw some shapes on a piece of paper and ask her to mark the corners. Explain that the pins used on the cork will be the corners of the shapes, and that string will make the lines.

flex_image
Step 3: Ask your crafter to create a geometric shape, like a triangle, by putting pins in the cork or foam and wrapping string or a pipe cleaner around the pins. Older kids can use a ruler to measure, positioning points the same distance apart for more complicated designs, like parabolic curves. (See “The STEAM Behind the Fun” section below for directions.)
flex_image
Step 4: Your child can also make repeating patterns by wrapping string around one pin and then connecting it to other pins.
flex_image
Step 5: Ask your child to create another shape or a design.
flex_image

Step 6: After completing a design, your child can secure the string with glue, or take it apart and make a new design.

Creative Enrichment  

Make a parabolic curve using string art. (See “The STEAM Behind the Fun” section below.)

flex_image

Use wood and nails to build a sturdier frame, or engineer a frame that allows you to make 3-dimensional geometric designs from string.

The STEAM Behind the Fun

Many shapes, like triangles, squares and rectangles can be created using straight lines, like the ones you make when you stretch a string from one point to another. If you space pins evenly around a square, you can use them to make a grid from string.

flex_image

You can also make a curve using straight lines! Lots of straight lines positioned in a certain way create a parabolic curve. This is the same type of curve a thrown ball makes, when gravity pulls it back down.

To make a parabolic curve from string, position the pins or nails on perpendicular axes at equal distances apart (in the shape of a plus sign.) Connect a string from the X axis (horizonal axis) pin closest to where the axes meet, to a pin on the Y axis (vertical axis) that is farthest from the intersection. Connect the pin second closest to the first one (on the X axis) to the pin second farthest away on the Y-axis and repeat the pattern several times to create a parabolic curve.  

---- 

This project and more like it are featured in Liz’s new book STEAM Lab for Kids: 52 Creative Hands-On Projects Using Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (Quarry Books, 2018).

© Quarry Books, 2018/ STEAM Lab for Kids; Photo credit: © Quarry Books

The Learning Toolkit Blog
motor skills
STEM
Motor Skills
Activities
Creativity
DIY crafts kids
STEAM
Age 10
Age 12
Age 11
Age 9
Age 8
Age 7
Age 6
Age 5
Geometry
Arts and Crafts