Rainy Day Cottage Crafts: Pull-String Art

Looking for a creative project for those rainy days at the cottage? Try pull-string art. It’s a good one for adults and older children.


  • Ink: any type: acrylic is best, but bottle writing can be used. Buy several colours. With a minimum of black, white, blue, red, yellow, you can make all other colours
  • Sketching paper large enough to be folded in half, at least 11 x 14 inches
  • A heavy book to hold the paper when folded in half; one you don’t mind getting a little messy in the event ink drops or spatters on it
  • Thread and/or string: embroidery thread works well
  • A few small plastic containers, like medical dosage cups
  • Paper towels for quick clean up
  • Latex or Nitrile gloves


  1. Protect your working surface with a plastic cloth and wear latex or nitrile gloves.
  2. Fold several pieces of sketch paper in half
  3. Lay the paper open inside the book
  4. Drop the thread or string into the ink, holding onto one end. You may need to use something to stuff the thread into the bottle.
  5. Remove thread slowly and carefully from the ink and gently lay it on the paper in a curling pattern leaving the dry end of the string dangling from the bottom edge of the paper.
  6. Fold the other half of the paper over the string and close the book, ensuring the string is
  7. Applying pressure on the book, grab the end of the string and pull slowly until it is completely out.
  8. Gently open the book and paper
  9. Voila! You have a beautiful work of art!
  10. Use other art materials to enhance your picture or frame it just as it is.


Select two or three colours that you want to use together. Pour inks into small cups – enough that the thread will be immersed. Using the same technique above, dip different parts of the thread into each of the inks and follow steps 5-8. Or try using more than one piece of thread dipped in the same or different ink colours. Place them each side by side on the paper. Then pull them all at the same time. 

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