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# What is String Art?

Making string art can be a fun child's activity.
Three spools of thread for string art.
A foam board requires minimal preparation for string art.
Nails are hammered into a pattern on a wood board for string art.
Article Details
• Written By: Sheri Cyprus
• Edited By: Heather Bailey
2003-2015
Conjecture Corporation
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String art is a thread weaving craft with its roots in mathematics — mainly geometry. It was developed in the 1960s by teachers and mathematicians before it became a popular craft taught in many schools and children's summer camps through the 1970s. The basic supplies for this type of art include a board or plaque, nails or pins and various colors of thread or yarn. The mathematical concept behind string art is that it's possible to make curved geometric figures using straight lines.

Pins or nails are placed on the board or plaque in any desired shape and distance apart. Typical beginning shapes in art are a triangle or circle. The string or thread art crafter then attaches colored thread to a pin or nail head by wrapping it around and pulling it across to another peg on the board. The artistic part of the craft is that the creator of the piece decides what kind of design to make by which pins or nails he or she decides to wrap string around as well as the color choice and how many times each thread is wrapped.

The figures and shapes that can be made with string art are limited only by the imagination. Flowers, sailboats, butterflies and bicycles are just some of the many designs that people make out. Purchased patterns and kits are available in many craft stores. Original patterns for this type of art can be created using graph paper and colored pens or pencils. Points representing where the nails or pins will go on the board are drawn onto the graph paper before the colored lines are made to connect each desired point in the pattern.

The colored yarns or threads used for string art projects must be pulled taut between the pins or nails as they are wrapped and carried to the next nail or pin. This isn't usually that difficult to do after some practice. Older children are often able to construct basic, attractive string or thread art projects. Yarn may be easier for small hands to use rather than thread, at least for beginner projects. Scraps of different colored yarns can also make for fun child's string art crafting. As a quicker alternative to using a painted or stained wood board with nails hammered into a pattern, a foam board and pins may be used. The foam and pins method isn't as sturdy, but requires minimal preparation time before wrapping the string.