String Art

So, I've been trying to incorporate a few simple crafts into our weekly schedule during summer break but the boys aren't always as enthusiastic as me when it comes to these kinds of endeavors. Are boys ever. . . ? Typically they loose interest fast and seem more satisfied with the old stand bys - crayons, paper, pencils, paper airplanes, and more recently, watercolors. Which is fine but occasionally I like to push them a little more as far as arts smarts go. 

This weekend's attempt at basic string art, thankfully, proved an immediate successes. All given the fact that it involves a hammer and lots of noise. The craft is super cheap and so much fun.
Only a handful of materials needed including:
- Pencils (for drawing or tracing your desired shape outline)
- A pack of small nails 
- Hammer
- A plank of wood (we used whatever was cheapest and cut it into various sized squares, with a few to try our hand at and practice on)
- Embroidery thread in whatever colors you have in mind for your creation 

There are plenty of videos and tutorials on you tube under "string art" for all kinds of fancy, layered techniques, geometric designs and 3D versions but all of them seemed too complicated for our initial go at it so I stuck to simple outlines, basic shapes and kept the nails spread further apart for the younger boys seeing that it does require some pretty focused fine motor skillls keeping the string taunt while wrapping the nails to ensure that it stays nice and secure as you work it around the outline. 

I followed no real pattern on any of these, just double wrapped some of the nails sporadically as I went along so it didn't all fall apart upon every missed nailhead. The more nails you include, the more intricate your design will appear and the more consistent your string pattern (and nail depth) stays, the more balanced the end product will end up. Again, I didn't worry much about that because I was really just trying to show them the basics. Tying the string off and starting a new color. Keeping the sting tight, etc. On the next round, I'll think we'll all probably attempt something a little more detailed. 

All I can say is that it's a great way to get kids excited about an afternoon craft. I swear these old summer camp style projects are still the best. Just like the God's Eye's we did a few weeks back, it was something I didn't have to force on them, that we all enjoyed equally. And now, will have this pretty little rainbow sitting on our shelf in honor of one incredibly joyous ruling for so many of our dear friend's who's rights were finally validated across the country the Friday we made it. 

Indeed, a great day to be a barefooted American in the backyard with a full heart, three eager boys, positive news vibes, and a big table to sit and craft around.

You gotta try it.