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String Letters

Fifth Grade Construction & Sculpture Activities: String Letters

See more activities in: Fifth Grade, Construction & Sculpture

Introduce your fifth grader to the irresistible fun of string art! She can start off with this quick and cool project. Using just a few nails and some string, she'll create letter boards to feature her own initials.

What You Need:

  • Wooden board
  • Paint
  • Paint brush
  • Scrap paper
  • Pencil
  • Small nails
  • Small hammer
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Heavy string
  • White glue
  • Scissors

What You Do:

  1. Have your child paint one side of her board. Make sure she uses a color that contrasts sharply with the color of her string.
  2. Let her use a pencil and paper to practice drawing the outline of her chosen letter.
  3. Once she's perfected her letter and the paint on the board has dried, have her set the paper on top of the board. Help her position the paper just right so that the letter is exactly where she'll want her string letter to be.
  4. Working from the center of the letter out, have her carefully hammer nails into the board along her paper penciled outline.  The nails should be spaced about 1/4 inch to 1/3 inch apart. 
  5. If the nail tends to wobble as your child tries to nail them in place, show her how to use needle-nose pliers to keep each nail steady.
  6. When all of the nails are in place, have her gently tear away the paper pattern. 
  7. Let her then use tweezers to remove any bits of paper that remain. 
  8. Help her attempt to wiggle each nail. If any nail moves, help her hammer it more securely into the board.
  9. Have your child tie her string around one of the nails
  10. Let her stretch the string to a nail on the other side of the letter. 
  11. Help her wrap the string around that nail before stretching the string back to the first nail.
  12. This time, she should wrap the string around a nail next to the first string.
  13. Have her continue to weave her string back and forth until every nail has been wrapped. There's no specific pattern of science that needs to be followed. The goal is just to color in the nail outlined letter with string.
  14. When she is done, help her tie off and cut the string. 
  15. Apply a dot of glue to the knot at the beginning of the letter and to the knot at the end of the letter. 
  16. When the glue has dried, have your child trim the extra string.

Additional panels can be made to spell out your child’s last name.  Or she could make everyone’s first initial.  Soon she can have a gallery of string art to show off just like a professional artist.

Updated on Dec 19, 2012
Printable Workbooks from Education.com
Find a printable workbook to go along with this fun activity. See Workbooks
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