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Hands-on activity

String art construction

String Art

This is a hands on activity designed to follow the first lesson. Students will use needle and thread to create interesting string art designs.
The activity is most appropriate for grades five to seven and can be completed in about an hour.

Supply List

  • Rulers
  • Scissors
  • Medium-weight, 4" x 6", blank, white card stock
  • Pencils
  • Embroidery thread in a variety of colors.
  • Reasonably heavy weight sewing needles with eyes large enough to accommodate the thread #Activity flow

Step 0: Do first lesson, about 30 minutes

In advance of this activity, go through the first lesson at your own pace.

Step 1: The problem, about 5 minutes

We saw in the first lesson how string art construction can be used to create parabolic arcs digitally. In this activity, you can exercise your creativity by creating physical string art using needle and thread, much like Tony did in the first lesson.

Step 2: Draw lines, about 5 minutes

Use your ruler to draw a pair of lines to form a V shape on a 4x6 card. The lines need not be the same length, but they should be large enough to use most of the card.

Step 3: Draw dots, about 5 minutes

Use your ruler to mark the same number of evenly spaced dots on the two lines. You’ll want at least eight marks on each line. The more marks you have, the more dense your final design will be. Number the dots as shown here:

Step 4: Poke holes, about 5min

Use a needle to poke holes through the dots.

Step 5: Select a thread color, about 5 mins

Select a thread color and cut a piece about 24 inches long. Thread 4 to 6 inches of thread through the needle.

Step 6: Connect the dots, about 15 mins

Starting from the back of the card, push the needle through dot #1 on one of the lines. Pull the thread most of the way through, then push the needle down through dot #1 on the other line. Continue by pushing the needle from the back to the front of the card through dot #2 on the first line, then push the needle down through dot #2 on the second line. The front of your card should now look something like this:
Continue connecting the rest of the dots in the same fashion.

Step 7: Trim remaining thread, about 5 minutes

Cut off any excess thread to complete your design.


  • Instead of needle and thread, the activity can instead be done with colored pencils to draw the lines instead of sewing them.
  • Encourage students to experiment with the angle of the opening of the V, the number of dots used on each line, switching thread colors mid way through the pattern, or other variations.
  • Multiple string art designs on a single card can be attractive too.
  • Can you make other shapes such as circles?

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