How to Make a Flower Using Strings - Arts, Crafts, and Interesting Facts for Kids

One of my kids, Einstein E, fell in love with this painting technique, and said that the flowers remind him of gladioli that grow in the field nearby. He made several paintings, prepared an exhibition, and made a gift for a friend of mine. Finally, we went and to the field and harvested a few blooms. In the process, we learned some interesting facts about gladiolus flowers:

  • Its name came from the Latin word “gladius” which means "sword".
  • Gladiolus flowers are highly resistant to parasites.
  • It symbolises strength, victory, integrity, and pride.


  • paint (we used gauche and acrylic paint, but watercolour might work as well)
  • jars or plates
  • string
  • paper
  • book (optional)

Step 1.

Cut the string. How long should it be? It depends on the size of paper and flowers you want to make. Ours were around 50 cm long.

cutting string for pull string flowers art
Step 2.

Put or pour the paint in a jar. If you want a colourful flower, you might need a bigger plate or a lid. Choose the colours and pour them on the plate/lid.

paint on a lid for flowers art
Step 3.

Coat your string in paint and slowly pull it out of the jar or plate.

coating string in paint
Step 4.

Arrange the string on paper. There is no right or wrong ways. You can make loops, squiggles... Whatever you want. This step can be a bit tricky for kids - their hands are a bit shorter than the string and they might need some help arranging the string.

Arranging string for flower art
Step 5. 

You can either cover the string with another piece of paper and place a book on top and pull the string out, or do it without the book and additional paper. Applying the first technique leaves more paint on the paper and you get two flowers at once. This might be a good opportunity to mention symmetry.

pulling the string to make flower art
Don't be afraid to experiment with colours and different types of string. Like always, these types of activities are great for language development. And I don't mean only for kids. When was the last time you used words such as cadmium yellow pale, or cerulean to describe a colour? 

Step 6. 

While the paintings were drying, we went to the flower filed and cut our own flowers of choice. (Just in case you're not familiar with this, there are fields in Germany where you can walk in, check how much you have to pay upon harvest of the blooms, choose and cut the blooms you want.)

harvesting flowers in the field
Step 7.

Prepare the exhibition :) Einstein E was in charge of this one. We "payed" for the tickets (a great activity for developing numeracy skills) and he led us through the exhibition describing the flowers and the technique as well as telling us about interesting facts he learned about the gladiolus flowers.

preparing the exhibition