String art is wildly popular among people of all ages because of its creativity and simplicity! Creating string art at home with just cardboard, string or yarn, hot glue, and craft paint provides limitless ideas for what you can make at home! Grab your left over cereal and shipping boxes and let’s create star string art!
STEP 1: Trace and Cut Out Cardboard Pieces
Shipping boxes are great for craft projects where you need a sturdy surface. They’re thick, strong, and easily accept craft paints. However, they’re also very difficult to fold into small shapes. Cereal boxes can tear easily, but the benefit is that the thin cardboard folds easily. For this project, we’ll need both! Use the shipping cardboard box to cut out a base, back, top, bottom, and 2 sides.
Use the cereal box to cut 1” strips of thin cardboard, which will be used to make the rods that will hold the string art.
The dimensions for each piece will be:
- Base - 4” x 4” x ½”
- Back - about 5 ⅛” x 8 ⅛” but make adjustments to size as necessary for fit.
- Top - ¾” x ½” x 5”
- Bottom - ¾” x 5”
- 2 sides - ¾” x 5 ⅛”
- 3-5 strips for rods - 1” x 6”
For the base, cut out the squares that intersect at the corners.
STEP 2: Score and Fold the Edges of the Base
Cardboard folds easier when lines are scored on its surface. Use the edge of a pencil, coin, or the edge of your fingernail to score the fold lines to form a small square box. The top and bottom pieces should also be scored and folded.
While you’re folding the base, repeat the score and fold process for the top and bottom piece.
Add hot glue to the inside to form your box. Use your fingers or temporarily use tape to secure the corners while the hot glue dries. Remove the tape once the glue at the inside corners dries.
STEP 3: Create the Star Pattern
You’ll now have a square base. Next, draw 10 dots with a pencil using the pattern as shown below. Use a sharp pencil, a screw or nail, or another sharp object to poke holes in the cardboard in the location of the dots for the star.
Be careful not to make the holes too large or the rods that will be inserted will be very loose. The size of the holes can be made slightly bigger later, if necessary.
STEP 4: Create and Insert the Rods
Because we’re only using cardboard, we have to create something on which the string art can be weaved. Using cereal box cardboard is perfect because it’s very flexible! Using the strips of cereal box cardboard, fold each strip of 1” wide cardboard into a tight fold 4 times.
Use your scissors to cut off any excess cardboard as close as possible, creating little “rods” to be inserted into the base.
The cardboard will likely create a flat oval instead of a perfect circle. When inserting the rods, be sure that all of them are uniform and not turned sideways.
Be sure that all of your rods are evenly placed, about ½” exposed. Use a ruler to check the depth or eyeball it.
STEP 5: Hot Glue the Rods in Place
Turn over the base and secure all the rods in place with heaps of hot glue. Once dried, the hot glue will keep the rods in place and create a sturdy rod to hold your string art!
The base and rods can either be left natural or painted. If painting, add a couple of coats, as cardboard tends to suck up paint and leaves one coat looking spotty. Use the paint to fill any gaps between the rods and the base.
STEP 6: Paint the Rest of the Pieces
Painting the top, bottom, and two side pieces is easier done before assembly. Again, add 2-3 coats of paint for even coverage.
STEP 7: Attach the Top, Bottom, and Sides
Using hot glue, fold and attach the top and bottom pieces to the painted back, at the top and bottom edges.
Once dried, attach the sides to each side to complete the frame.
STEP 8: Glue the Base to the Frame and Create String Art!
Add a bead of glue to the bottom of the base and insert it into the frame. Starting on the center rod, wrap the yarn or string around the rod to secure it and hold it tightly. Carefully wrap and loop the yarn or string around the outside of each rod, keeping tension so the yarn or string doesn’t fall off.
Once you’ve made it all the way around to form the outline of the star, begin randomly wrapping the yarn or string around the rods to fill in the shape. Be sure to keep the shape of the star while randomly filling in the star.
Once you’ve filled in the star to your liking, double knot the two tail ends of yarn or string, trim with scissors, and hide the knot within your string art design
When you’re done, you should have an awesome craft project that cost no money and used common items found around your home! Add hook and loop tape to the back and hang your string art on the wall, or place it on your desk for a reminder of the fun times spent with your kids!
Next, try to think of more fun shapes you can make string art with, including bigger sizes with larger pieces of cardboard! The possibilities are endless!
Whether you make this star string art out of wood, available in a kit at HomeDepot.com in limited supply, or you make one yourself, you’ll love the results!