DIY String Art

One day last week I woke up in the mood to get crafty. So I went over to my shelf of DIY books and picked up this:

When I was a kid, I loved to make things, like I do now, and my mom had a great collection of DIY books from Better Homes and Gardens. I taught myself to knit, crochet, embroider, and sew just from reading these books alone in my room. But honestly, I think I was sort of like one of those musicians who admits he can't actually read sheet music. I love reading, but when I see those complicated patterns with letters and numbers, my eyes just sort of glaze over and my mind goes elsewhere. So I basically learned these skills by looking at the pictures. Same with this book. This tutorial is really just based on my own interpretation of Saeger's instructions. And with pictures!

For this project, you will need:

+ 1 piece of foam board
+ embroidery thread
+ a picture frame (mine is just a frame I found at a garage sale)
+ sewing or applique pins (these won't stay with the project)
+ scissors or xacto knife
+ a pencil
+ a piece of fabric slightly larger than your picture frame
+ Aleene's tacky glue
+ a ruler
+ a sewing needle

1. Use the size of your picture frame to cut a piece of foam board that will fit inside the frame. Trace and cut out your piece of foam board.
2. Cover your piece of foam board in your fabric, and glue the edges to the back of the foam board, gently pulling it so it won't be saggy on the front. I used Aleene's tacky glue.
3. Decide on your design. The most basic design is just two lines that you'll zig zag back and forth between. I just googled "string art" for some ideas. Use my design if you like!

4. Use your ruler to plot your points on your foam board with your pins. I spaced my points evenly, at every half inch, but there are actually two way of doing this, and you know how I like pictures, so I created some illustrations. Here's one I made of the basic concept, when both lines are the same length:

Basically, you have two lines (they don't have to be connected) with the same number of points. You start at 1, then stitch over to 2, then 3, all the way to 9, then back to 1 to close up the side.

But what if you want to include two lines in your design that aren't the same length? Here are two options you have for that:

The book recommends putting the same number of points on each line, but space them closer together on the shorter line. That way you can still go back and forth like before and return to 1 at the end. This just makes the side look finished.

For some reason (maybe a little laziness) I decided I wanted all my points to be evenly spaced. Looking back, I think I should have done it the other way, but this works, too. I just spaced all my points 1/2 inch apart, then I doubled up on the points on the shorter line as I stitched. So I went 1, 2, 3, 4, 3, 6, 5, 7, 5, 8, etc. Either one will produce a cool looking design, but I think the first strategy is actually much simpler. 

5. After you points are plotted with your pins, start stitching! I used one thread of embroidery floss and followed my pattern along any two lines that came together. After I had a stitch at each point, I removed its pin and put it away. This made it easier to keep track of where I had stitched and where I needed to go. 

6.  I started with blue, but I also added green on top of that, and then yellow. If you decided to do more than one layer, wait until you're done stitching the first layer to add the pins for the second layer. Too many pins would be confusing!

7. I painted my frame black, because it was originally green. After it dried, I slipped my string art into its new frame, minus the glass.

Et voila! Your own string thing. 

Happy crafting!


  1. Love this! I've been meaning to to some string art. It's been on my crafts list for a while! I believe you've just inspired me to get to it!

    1. Great! It's a pretty easy project, and all the supplies cost me less than $5. Please share when you make yours!

  2. What a neat project! I had never heard of string art before. Pinned it.

  3. They is is so cute! The best string art I've seen - love the look of it! Stopping by from SITS!


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