Introduction: String Art Necklace

Picture of String Art Necklace

I loved playing with a spirograph as a kid.  This necklace takes little more than string and fabric glue to recreate the look of the sirograph drawings using string art techniques.

Step 1: Make the Jig for Wrapping String

Picture of Make the Jig for Wrapping String

Trace a circle on cork board or foam.

Mark dots at equal points around the circle.

Shove toothpicks, bamboo skewers, or little nails into the dots.

If you're using toothpicks or bamboo, it would help to coat them with a little melted beeswax; brush it on with a paintbrush, then re-melt it with a hair dryer to smooth it out.

Step 2: Wrap the String

Picture of Wrap the String

Choose a color string.  Wrap it around one peg of the jig or tape it to the board to secure it.

Choose the number of pegs to skip for your first necklace link.  For this one, I skipped four pegs and wrapped the string over the fifth peg.

Keep skipping pegs and wrapping the string in a pattern you like.

When finished, secure the other end of the string by wrapping it around a peg or taping it to the board.

Step 3: Add Glue

Picture of Add Glue

I chose fabric glue from the craft store so the necklace would stay flexible and hold up to sweat and oils from skin.

Apply glue thoroughly with a paintbrush; it works well if you dilute the glue with some water and soak the string.

Make sure to squish the strings against each other on the pegs; you'll want them as close as possible so they adhere to each other.  For this one, I slid a bamboo skewer under the string and pushed the bottom up while pushing the top down.

I'm impatient.  I use a hairdryer to dry the glue and help heat set it.

When it's dry, gently scrape each point up from the peg using your nails.  Be careful; you may have to scoot the points up slowly and go around the circle more than once to get it all the way off.

Once it's off, note where the overlapping strings need more glue.  Add more glue.

Once it's off the jig, don't just turn the hairdryer on.  The string will fly off the table and onto the floor.  Don't ask me how I know this.  Hold it down with a skewer or something else that pins the string down, and THEN turn on the hair dryer.  Squish the overlapping strings together with your fingers.

You'll want each string link to be flexible but strong enough to hold its shape.

Step 4: Make More Links

Picture of Make More Links

Make more links.  It might go faster if you get your mom to help.  I had mine help with the colored links, since that necklace was for her.

Try different size jigs, different colors or thicknesses of string, and different patterns.  Variety is nice.

Be aware that the larger the inside opening of a link, the more likely a link is to get pulled out of shape when the necklace is attached.

Step 5: Attach the Links

Picture of Attach the Links

Use metal jump rings to attach the links together.  You can make some offset; vary the pattern.

Make sure the string links can lay flat when the jump rings are all vertical.

 If you have enough links, you can simply attach a clasp to your necklace.  If you don't want the string links to go around the back, tie a bit of string or ribbon to each end so you can tie the necklace on, or use wire with the ends bent into a clasp like I did.


darrenhall (author)2016-02-24

Wow that's really unusual - almost like lace for the new millennium - cool INST.

space4money (author)2015-03-06

I love it!

Beautifully done

SaintSalvage (author)2013-08-02

Silly question.... how about trying this project with wire?

twighahn (author)2012-10-15

gold thread and copper thread

nanaverm (author)2012-07-01

Tres' cool! I do this on paper, called spirelli, but this is incredible! Thank you for this instructable.

poofrabbit (author)2012-04-20

Hey congratulations on being a featured author! I wanted you to know I used this project last year with 150 campers, and they LOVED IT!! :)

alisonb (author)2012-03-06

These are beautiful

MicioGatta (author)2012-03-05

Using polystyrene and white yarn, I could do xmas decorations with my pupils at school next december. Thank you for the great idea!!!!!

skimmo (author)2012-02-21

they look like tattoos

auntylulu (author)2011-09-21

Mega Cool!
Yay for "ADD" people
keep it comming!

calinschki (author)2011-07-31

Wow! Gonna try this today!

kerikins (author)2011-07-24

Yay!!! Another ADDer here! I love to see what so many deem as problems to their advantage!!! Multi -tasking and thinking way outside the box! Where would we be without BIG thinkers? Without cars,electricity, get the idea. Everything in this world began with a single thought...You are an inspiration! As far as your views on autism I completely agree. Temple Grandin would be proud!
Keri p.s I am writing your comment about making more stuff in my journal it's really good!

quinchles (author)2011-04-07

Neat! I thought of doing something like this a while ago, but couldn't figure out how to make the thread stiff. I guess I should try it now with the fabric glue :)

piratecupcake (author)2010-12-03

I absolutely love this! And I am thinking of different ways to vary this to make gifts for people, it would look cool as a book mark I think but is it sticky? Or once the glue dries is it not sticky? (I have never used fabric glue before)

margann (author)2010-11-22

Way cool! I think they would make great earrings.

mooseinakilt (author)2010-10-25

Really awesome idea! How fragile would you say the end product is? That's my only fear is that I'd destroy my work too easily.

If you use fabric glue, it's pretty resilient. I can crumple the links into a ball and they spring back into shape.

I'm not sure it would hold up so well if I used something like starch instead.

Thank you very much :) That's reassuring! I'll have to post up a pic when I try it out.

KreaKatri (author)2010-09-21

Wow, really really nice!
They look amazing, and just think of all the possibilities with different types of string, and how you assemble them.
It might also look good in sort of a "cluster" where they are partly on top of each other.
Can't wait to get started :)
Great thinking!

amstewart (author)2010-08-17

Could you also use liquid starch? My grandmother used to crochet ornaments and then used liquid starch to make them hold their form. She would keep them pinned down or otherwise held the way she wanted to them to stay and then soaked them in it. Then she would just leave them a few days to dry completely.

timothymh (author)amstewart2010-08-18

I would imagine this would also work, but I have not tried it.

Madrigorne (author)2010-08-17

I am going to make them out of unbundled scsi cable and then attach them all over a dress, or my coat, or my hat, or my barrettes, or all o the above...also my purse.... These are so amazing. I will prolly use silicone sealant to goob them together instead of fabric glue - as they won't soak in the gluey goodness. I wonder if I could do this, and then also include LEDs and a batterypack... oh this will be fun...

Kaelessin (author)2010-08-12

I could see these taking off quite quickly! The main image looks really steampunk too which I like. These would make great pendants too no?

RaNDoMLeiGH (author)Kaelessin2010-08-15

I was thinking exactly the same thing...

You could also use these to decorate a notebook or something.

Oh dude... dip 'em in clear Plastidip!!!!

Kaelessin (author)RaNDoMLeiGH2010-08-16

excellent plan!

edwoodard (author)2010-08-16

If I'm not mistaken the Victorians used to do something similar with the hair of their dead loved ones. cf. Antique Road show. Ya can't make this stuff up, folks!

blopez (author)2010-08-15

As you mentioned, someone will be selling them. Check out Etsy:

hammer9876 (author)2010-08-15

Very creative. The fact that it is something I can make from the things I have around the house just awesome. I, too, was just fascinated by spirograph. I think I still have mine stuffed away in the closet. Too cool to throw away.

bptakoma (author)2010-08-15

Awesome! I lovedall those hours with the spirograph too. These could also be donereally big for wall art or mobiles, maybe use acrylic medium or paverpol with rope. Or use wire. Wonderful -- keep sharing the great ideas.

framistan (author)2010-08-15

Your string idea seems to be something i can use on an instructable i am almost done with. I am building a big studio-microphone but the faceplate grille looks REALLY BAD.... and your string-weaving idea i think will really help me. here is a picture of what i am building and you will see how bad it looks. Thanks because now i will be able to re-do the grille and it will look GOOD when i get done. Weaving wires is not as easy to do as string looks.

darrenchittick (author)2010-08-15

I like what you've done with this. I think it would be stellar if you changed up the shape of the final project so it wasn't just a circle of shapes, but so it had that plus a 'strand' of smaller shapes that hung straight down the back or the front or both or... so many choices! Brilliant work!

terig (author)2010-08-15

This is gorgeous - I can't wait to make it! I, too, loved spirograph, so this is gonna be awesome!

myraelise (author)2010-08-15

I am going to have to try these. I'll just add that to my list of hundreds of projects! Wish I had thought of it!

eulaliaaaa! (author)2010-08-12

Do you have to skip an even number of strings? I am just wondering because for some things it has to be either an even or an odd number...

MonicaBerry (author)eulaliaaaa!2010-08-13

It's a division problem, if the total number of pegs is divisible by the number you're skipping, then some pegs won't be used.

eulaliaaaa! (author)MonicaBerry2010-08-13

Thank you very much.

KayakChickee (author)2010-08-13

Could you use spray starch instead of glue? I wonder if you used it at least for the first part before you took it off the pegs. I'm going to have to investigate this option. Great tutorial!

Kryptonite (author)2010-08-13

That's awesome! The end out product of them all put together is very smart of you to come up with, and looks brilliant! You could probably sell them on etsy if ou wanted.

Lettucehead (author)2010-08-12

I love it! I tcould make this on my knitting loom! But does it actually have yarn in it?

All the black is thin yarn. :) The colored stuff is embroidery floss.

onrust (author)2010-08-12

Beautifully done........ but you must know that.

justa_person (author)2010-08-12

This is the coolest form of jewelery I've ever seen! Thanks for sharing :)

abbyholverson (author)2010-08-12

These are AWESOME. Any chance you sell them? :)

I made them because I wanted something similar I saw somewhere for lots of money... I can't make more any time soon. My husband is in software and works a lot of hours, and I stay home with our toddler and twin babies, one of whom has a severe medical condition that requires lots of extra care. I don't even get a shower most days... but I'm glad you like them. I'll bet someone starts making and selling them soon. :)

I had to check! It looks super fun to make, I'm going to have to give a try myself!

nodnol (author)abbyholverson2010-08-12

Would also look neat when done w/ jeweler's wire, which comes in metallic and different colors.

lauradufresne (author)2010-08-12

A Mazing!


ChrysN (author)2010-08-12

They look amazing!

lizstaley (author)2010-08-12

This is quite possibly the most awesome thing I've ever seen...

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm known as Glindabunny elsewhere on the web. (silly name, I know... it was based on a former pet) Everyone is born with unique ... More »
More by supersoftdrink:Glowing Mushroom Wooden RingMoldable Fabric for Doll ClothesLeda's Study: my Mystery Build 2013 entry
Add instructable to: