This cardboard heart string art project introduces kids to making string art designs without the use of wood, nails or tacks. All you need is a piece of cardboard and some string or fine yarn.
Now that my older daycare kids have tried (and loved) many different weaving projects, I’ve been thinking about doing some string art with them.
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The only thing stopping me is all the prep with wood, hammers and nails. I got to wondering if we could use cardboard and fine yarn to create the kind designs and patterns that string art produces, so I did some experimenting and it turns out you can!
Instead of wrapping string around a nail or a tack, I cut notches in a piece of cardboard that were wide enough and deep enough to hold several layers of string. This is because you’ll need to pass the string over each notch multiple times to produce a distinct design.
Because Valentines Day is coming up, I thought it would be fun to make heart-shaped string art. The older kids will be here later this week, and I think they’ll be quite excited to kick off our Valentines crafting season with this activity.
Younger children will love this paper plate heart weaving activity.
Rather than waiting for them to make their hearts before sharing it on the blog, I thought I’d go ahead and show you the ones I made so your kids can try this project well in advance for Valentines Day.
Cardboard Heart String Art How-To:
- piece of paper
- paint brush and paint (optional)
- fine yarn or string
Time needed: 40 minutes.
String Art Hearts with Cardboard and Yarn
- Make a paper template.
Fold a piece of paper in half and cut out a paper heart. Make evenly spaced marks around the edge of the heart, using your finger as a spacer. These will be your notches when you cut out your cardboard heart.
- Transfer to cardboard.
Trace your paper heart on a piece of cardboard. Use those notch lines as a guide to make marks all around the edge of the cardboard heart.
- Cut out your cardboard heart.
Cut out the cardboard heart, and cut v-shaped notches every where that you make a notch mark with your pencil.
- Paint the heart.
If you’re painting your heart, do that now, and allow the paint to dry. TIP: We always use a hairdryer to speed up the drying process.
- String your heart.
Leave a tail hanging behind your cardboard heart, and wrap your string or yarn around and around the heart, pulling the yarn deep into each notch as you pass over it.
To finish, simply cut your yarn, leaving a tail, and tie this tail to the one you started with.
Making distinct patterns takes thought and planning while you work, so this activity is great for strengthening critical thinking and even problem solving skills (trust me, I had to rely on mine a few times to get my patterns just right).
For this black heart with pink yarn, you can see how I used a specific notch as an anchor, passing the string through it several times, while branching out to several different notches on the opposite side of the heart.
With the pink heart and white yarn, I worked back and forth across the heart, moving one notch over every time I came back across the front of the cardboard.
For the light pink heart with the grid pattern, I worked back and forth across the heart and then up and down, and then I went around the notches in the edge of the heart to make a border.
Have fun and experiment to see what kinds of designs you can come up with!
Watch for more string art designs here on my blog. I have a feeling our cardboard hearts are just the beginning. 🙂
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Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.