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String Art Optical Illusions

concave square string art

Make Curves With Straight Lines

How can straight lines lead to curved lines? String art puzzles are ancient and fascinating optical illusions that seem to magically turn all straight lines into curvy lines.

Materials Needed

  • wood base - pine is good
  • small hammer
  • small nails
  • embroidery string plain or colorful
  • scissors to cut the string
  • ruler
  • pencil or pen

Design String Art

Determine the geometric or desired shape of your design. Use the ruler and pencil to lightly outline the shape. If you need a circle and don't have a compass to draw with grab a cereal bowl from the cupboard and trace a circle shape onto the board. If you want an oval, you're on your own ;-)

Mark the exact corners of your design and mark the spot with a pencil, pen or small marker. Use the hammer to carefully pound one nail into each dot.

Use the ruler to measure exact distances between each post nail and mark a small dot with pencil, pen or marker to where all sides are evenly spaced. It is important that each side of your design is identical otherwise your finished design will be slightly off.

Alternative is to print geometric shapes and trace the patterns onto the wood base using the numbers provided on the patterns as your guide.

Tap one small nail into each side dot. Make sure the nails are in nice, straignt and tight.

Tie colored string or thin yarn to one post nail then string along following the numbers in sequence then stretch the string actoss the board to its corresponding numbered point. Repeat with same or new color.

Geometric string line art games can improve cognitive perception and visual development. Print these designs and solve with ruler, colored pencils or markers to connect matching numbers to unveil a mind-boggling optical illusion.

The magic of string art is in the use of mathematical principles which combined give our eyes the illusion of curved lines while looking at straight lines. Mix colors for a rainbow display.

Materials To Keep On Hand

Paper Trivia: Did you know that you can only fold a sheet of printer paper in half seven times? Give it a try. It doesn't matter how thick or thin the paper is, once you get to the seventh fold, the paper will not bend or budge.

Sun catchers. To create a translucent, stained glass ornaments effect, apply a bit of lemon oil to the back sides of paper ornaments to create a.

Hang the ornaments on trees, in windows, anywhere bright colorful decorations are desired.

Construct a large paper-tree for the wall with shades of green construction paper. Draw a large tree on a sheet of easel pad paper to tack onto a wall or other flat surface, then decorate with paper ornaments.

  • Types of Paper:
    • Construction - many colors
    • Copier - many colors
    • Tissue
    • Crepe
    • Cardboard
    • Cardstock - many colors
    • Tracing
    • Water-color
    • Drawing
    • Onionskin
    • Paper tubes - TP tissue, paper towel and gift-wrap
    • Foam craft sheets - many colors
    • Magnet sheets - Make refrigerator magnets
    • Stiff Stencil - Paint repeating patterns on items, embroidery, latch-hook rug patterns
    • Felt sheets - Make filled or layered ornaments
  • Some Mediums & Tools to keep handy for the creative process.
    • Colorful Markers - fine to thick point
    • Wax Crayons - stock up around school sales
    • Water color sets - and plastic tablecloths
    • Chalk - many colors
    • Colored pencils - many colors
    • Tempura finger paints - primary colors - mixing to discover is half the fun
    • Paint brushes - fine tip to standard school size child's brush size at least.
    • Straws - paper not plastic
    • Tooth picks - age appropriate
    • Sponges - cut into shapes or purchase for blotting paint shapes
    • Needlepoint, embroidery thread and stretcher hoops
    • Puffy paint and glitter - to draw words, images and shapes on cloth
    • Wine corks
    • Celluclay - A handy pulverized paper product that resembles clay for paper mache'
    • Modeling clay - reusable, come in colors, good for making molds
    • Pottery clay - Only if you expect to use a kiln
    • Silicon molds and release spray
    • Wooden shapes - to paint for ornaments and gifts
    • Decal sheets for window decals
    • Cloth scrap pieces left overs from sewing
    • Clay modeling tools - ll sorts, combs, forks, dental picks, anything to make interesting cuts and patterns
    • Plain tee shirts