Collaborative String Art in a Makerspace
Our Makerspace is a very busy place during student recess and their lunch breaks and I try to offer a combination of both group and individual projects and collaborative string art is the perfect project. Our Makerspace Lab and library are connected and students looking for quiet can go to the library and read. Mini-string projects have made a resurgence and I’ve seen pictures of finished projects all overPinterest. I decided that we should make a big collaborative string art project. After wandering around the hardware store I bought a 24″ x 24 “Mason Board. I chose that size because it was already pre-cut. At home, I used some leftover teal spray paint to spray the entire board. At school, I drew a large heart on a piece of brown craft paper and taped the craft paper onto the board. I used regular nails that I found in my garage and starting at the bottom tip of the heart I hammered the nails in. There’s no need to measure the distance between the nails I just eyeballed the spacing and I was careful to not hammer all the way through the board.
Setting up the String Art
I borrowed an easel from a teacher and I propped the board with the heart up. The easel allowed the string to hang down and made it easier for the students to manipulate the string. I added a sign that said the following:
A student unwound a skein of thin cotton yarn and rolled it into one large ball. I then tied the end to a nail in the bottom of the heart and put the ball of yarn inside a large container. Keeping the yarn in a container helps keep the yarn from rolling away.
Of course, students noticed the easel right away. One by one they all wanted to take a turn. Without adding much instruction other than the above sign I let them get to work. Students would ask me for a turn and I would tell them that they needed to work it out amongst themselves. A few times a day when the students were in class I would use my hand to push the sting down closer to the base of the nails. This made more room for students to add the string to the project.
Finishing the String Art
It took the students about a week and a half to finish the heart. When there was no room to add any more string to the heart I tied the end of the string to a nail and it was finished. I was not sure what I was going to do with the finished project. A few months after the students finished the heart the principal and I decided to move our library. We were able to double the space of our library. In our new space, we had plenty of room to hang up our artwork. I hammered a picture hanging hook into the back of the mason board and our Collaborative String Art Heart is now proudly hanging on the wall in our library.