# How to make this string art?

I found the adjacent image here, and want to learn how to make this:

• Interesting design. It looks almost like a single piece of string, you'd just have to figure out the pattern.
– user24
Commented Jan 31, 2018 at 5:44
• @CreationEdge with three going to each point, it's impossible that it's a single strand :) Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 3:42
• @Catija Only if none of those connections actually have a second strand hidden underneath!
– user24
Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 14:59
• @CreationEdge - Well, the sample shown is a virtual creation: 3d digital, so topology is not so important to it. Doubt you would see that pattern in a real life version. Commented Jun 10, 2018 at 15:36

It seems like every pin/bead is connected to only three opposite. So I guess the job is to divide the circle into the number of beads/pins and to connect them using only three strings per each :)

I suspect that the string goes through holes in the backing where the pins/beads are so the string also travels on the back side of the pattern which is what allows you to have three strands going to one point.

I further suspect that the 'beads' are ball ended pins which also go through the same holes.

• Just an FYI, this pattern appears to be a 3D model, rather than a photo of an actual pattern, so it is probably hiding any "messy" stuff like knots or holes.
– user24
Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 20:56
• Not hiding... just not there. Basically its a illustration of string art, and not a very realistic one at that. Commented Jun 10, 2018 at 15:38

This type of string art was actually fairly popular about 50 years ago, and there were many classes and patterns available.The idea, though, was that you might start with simple practice patterns, but as you become more experienced, you would create your own patterns; thereby graduating from "crafter" to "artist".

These days, you can find many patterns online e.g. this type of thing: https://www.guidepatterns.com/35-string-art-patterns.php

You may not find that exact pattern online, and in fact you probably won't; as the pattern would usually have even numbers of lines around each nail, as the pattern forms by wrapping around each nail. It is actually possible to make that pattern, but not much fun, fairly mechanical, and with no surprises. One of the things to keep in mind about that particular pattern is that making it in reality would require some knotting and or sewing together of the lines as well, not just wrapping around the pegs/nails. Otherwise it will tend to clump instead of staying nice and symmetrical. Also, as mentioned in the comments below, you can't do it with a single string, unless you "double-up" the central string, hiding the first pass under the second.

But if you want to learn the craft/art, you should start with simple patterns, like this one below, (specially done in different colours here to make it easier to follow).

Generally, you plan out your pattern on paper, to figure out where to put the nails in the board. You then place the nails, tie the end of the string to your starting point, and start stretching the string from nail to nail, wrapping around the outside and continuing to the next nail in the pattern.

Contrary to some of the answers elswhere, you generally use only one string, unless you want different colours.

• I did a bit of this about 30 years ago with my grandfather, and what you say is right. These days with computers the paper template is much easier. But you can only use a single string if it's possible to complete the pattern in one loop - clearly that's no possible with 3 strings coming to every point, so to make it for real you'd have to: hide a 4th string at each nail; tie a string at each nail; modify the design to have 4 strings coming to a point, probably with an odd number of points Commented Nov 19, 2021 at 10:14
• @Chris H Yes, that particular pattern is a hybrid form though. You can not do it with a single string, or purely wrapping around the pegs/nails. Each of the points where the pattern is pulled together apart from at the nails, you would have to sew or tie the string together with finer thread. I've seen the technique used, but I don't like it much.
– Gwyn
Commented Nov 19, 2021 at 10:25
• I suppose that would be one reason to use those large-headed pins, to hide the knots. If you used 2 strand thread for the connections to not-quite-opposite pins, then you could use a single strand to form a loop between directly opposite pins, twisting the strands back together, but you'd still need a knot per pair of pins. Using magnet wire instead of string, the knot could be replaced by tidily wrapping round each pin, though that would be tedious and you'd have to be very careful feeding the wire to avoid kinks Commented Nov 19, 2021 at 10:30
• @Chris H, well, that, and also for people just starting, they tend to let the string slip off the pin easily, especially for complex patterns that wrap around the pin many times, so it is easier to learn using nails that will prevent that from happening rather than the tiny ones you generally use for something you want to end up hanging on your wall ...
– Gwyn
Commented Nov 19, 2021 at 10:38
• Now I want to know what happened to the ones I did all those years ago! Maybe I should introduce my daughter to it Commented Nov 19, 2021 at 10:39

Demigod's answer describes the pattern in the picture. There are 36 pins (10° increments around the circle), and each pin is connected to the diagonally opposite pin plus the pin adjacent to that on each side of it. That is the entire pattern.

As people have pointed out, three connections on each pin is a complication, but there are several ways to do it:

• Use multiple strings and tie the odd strings to the pins.
• Start with a template containing holes for the pins. Run the string through the holes, hiding some connections behind the template. Insert the pins in the holes after the pattern is completed. (Chris Johns' solution.)
• You can also do it with a single thread by temporarily using the circumference. For example, the single string to the opposite side: after getting to the opposite side, connect to the next pin on the circumference, then make the connection to the pin opposite that pin, continuing in similar fashion around the circle. When the entire pattern is complete, secure the strands to each pin with a bead of glue around the pin. Cut away the connections around the circumference after it hardens.

One thing to keep in mind is that even thread has thickness, which becomes important on a pattern like this where dozens of strands are on top of each other close to the center. A thick wad of strands interferes with the threads or strings forming nice straight lines. In replicating the pattern with actual strands of something, it becomes very difficult to keep the pattern clean and uniform. And even using thread instead of string, the center will have a bulge and won't look flat like the picture.

• Regarding the thickness (which is a good point) simply working your way round the pattern probably isn't the best way to keep it even. You'd probably want to do the diametrically opposite connections first as these all cross at a point and ill pile up already. Then, to avoid uneven piling up, start at 2 opposite pins (or even 4 evenly spaced) and run the threads to the pin to the right of opposite, alternating strings (harder to describe than to do) Commented Nov 19, 2021 at 14:24
• I wonder how it would look with the circumference left intact, as well Commented Nov 19, 2021 at 14:25