String Art Stitch Cards are a creative Maker Monday activity that crosses all age groups. They can be made to be completed as simply or as elaborately as you wish. Using plastic needles, there’s no danger of little kids sticking themselves with a sharp point. Fine motor skills are challenged as they thread the needle and work the stitch design. Brains get a workout too, with problem-solving how to complete the design image.
Styrofoam plates or paper plates
Plastic needle (Find them in a craft or fabric store.)
Draw the design on the plate. Kids might want to sketch designs on paper before committing to the final design. Mark dots every 3/4 inch or so around the edge. For the heart design here, we added extra in the center to help with the two curves in the heart. Using a skewer or a sharp pencil, pierce the plate on each of the dots. For younger kids, set the plate on a soft surface like layered towels to make it easier for them to poke the holes.
Choose your color of embroidery thread and cut a length of about 15 inches to avoid tangles that can happen with longer lengths. Thread the needle — happily, the eye of the needle is a larger size! — and pull through a hole from the back of the plate. Attach the end on the pack with a piece of tape.
Start sewing! Go back and forth, keeping your long stitches on the front and short stitches on the back. As your thread becomes short, attach the end to the back with tape and begin the process over again with another length of thread.
Once you’ve filled the design with enough thread, begin to stitch along the outline to make a nice clean edge. The edge stitching also covers up the lines you drew, leaving a beautifully finished image.
You can experiment with all kinds of shapes, like a fish or a flower, and consider how best to fill in the thread. On our sunshine image, for example, we first completed the triangular beams before working on the big center circle.
We love how they turned out!
For more Maker Monday projects and other fun stuff for kids, visit the Kidsburgh Activities page.