How to make beautiful pulled string art by combining mirror-image string blottos with a pulling technique. Try on a small or large scale and with 1 or more colors.
We have tried quite a variety of art activities using string and yarn in the past, but never pulled string art before now.
It’s amazingly mesmerizing and addictive!
Update: Here’s a video showing pulled string art in action…
Daphne and I were at it for much of a morning, making artwork after artwork and exclaiming over each new pair that we revealed.
We’ve made mirror image string prints in the past, and this is similar, but takes the idea to a whole new level.
The idea came from an old kids’ art activity book that a friend found at a thrift store and bought for me.
The book, A Handbook of Arts and Crafts, is originally from 1968 and is written by Phillip R. Wigg and Jean Hasselschwert.
I’ve been having so much fun going through the pages and marking activities I want to try with my kids. Many are tried-and-true favorites (monoprinting and styrofoam printing), but many are new to me or are variations that have me excited to try (tempera resist and colored tissue transparent discs).
We’ve tried a stained glass craft so far and now the pulled string painting.
Here’s how to do the string art…
How to Do Pulled String Art
- Paint in a small bowl (We used BioColor paint, but tempera paint would work, too)
- String or yarn
Step 1: Coat string in paint
First, cut a piece of string (ours were between 12 and 18 inches) and add it to the bowl of paint. Use a spoon or your finger to stir it around, covering the string in paint. Then lift the string out of the paint, running your thumb and forefinger along the length of the string to remove excess paint (make sure to do this part; it makes a big difference).
Note: In case you’re wondering, the art mats you see pictured here are from this set of 6 Keep-It-Clean Plastic Art Mats.
Step 2: Arrange paint-covered string on paper
Next, arrange your paint-covered string on a sheet of paper with one end of the string reaching off the edge.
At this point you will probably want to wash the paint off your hands. We kept a bowl of warm soapy water and a cloth rag in the studio for washing hands in between steps.
Step 3: Cover with second piece of paper
Now set a second sheet of paper over the paint-covered string and then place a flat weight of some sort over the paper (A book or box or something would work. We used one of our art trays, which is not strictly a weight, but placed our hands on top of it to hold it down.)
Step 4: Pull string out
…and then slowly pull the string out from between the two sheets of paper.
Step 5: Reveal string art
Remove the weight and lift the top paper to reveal your new mirror-image string art!
Admire the super cool designs and details the string made as it was pulled between the two pieces of paper.
Daphne and I exclaimed over each new string print as we made them and soon our floor was covered with the drying string art.
I hung them all up on our art display/drying wall (and then we covered the floor with even more).
Finally, Daphne asked if we could make a really big one, so we got out two pieces of poster board and cut longer lengths of string. We decided to use a couple of different paint colors on the large string art.
The large artworks turned out beautifully!! Here Daphne’s pointing out a detail that she said looks like a knot in the string.
I love how the string art looks with two colors! And look forward to experimenting more with this super cool art process.
I highly recommend giving this art activity a try!
More String Art Activities for Kids
- Yarn Paintings – A Fun & Tactile Art Activity for Kids
- Yarn Painting and Printing with Liquid Watercolors
- Mirror Image String Prints with the Toddler Art Group
- Yarn Painting on Canvas
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