String Printing – Fish Skeleton Craft

String Printing - Fish Skeleton

String printing is fun and easy to do.

You don’t have to make a fish skeleton, you can make whatever you like – maybe a snail or a flower!?

String Printing - Fish Skeleton




You will need :

  • A piece of corrugated card (from a cardboard box)
  • Toilet roll
  • String
  • Scissors
  • Paint
  • Paper
How to make it…
  1. Cut a piece of corrugated card as long as your toilet roll and a little shorter in height (ours was 11cm x 12cm)
  2. Cut a length of string about two thirds the length of your card and glue it in the middle of the card. This is the fish spine.
  3. Cut 6 small lengths of string and stick them, opposite each other, along the spine on either side. These are the fish ribs. Leave some space at either end of the spine.
  4. Cut some slightly longer pieces of string and stick them at angles at the end of the spine for a tail.
  5. Curl a piece of string, which is a little longer than the spine, into a circle and hold the ends together with one hand. Pinch the curve into a point with your thumb and finger.
  6. Let go of the circle and the string should bend out to look like a fish head.
  7. Glue the fish head to the front of the spine.
  8. Cut a length of string to make up the back of the fish head and glue onto the card.
  9. Finally cut a tiny piece of string and stick inside the fish head for an eye.
  10. Cut around the fish shape so you have a very thin cardboard border (the cardboard edge will get in the paint and come out in your print otherwise)
  11. Turn the stamp over and glue a toilet roll to the back for a handle and leave to dry.
  12. Either paint a colour of your choice over the string being careful not to get the colour on the cardboard, or carefully press the stamp into a thin layer of paint.
  13. Gently press the fish stamp on some paper and repeat.


  • These are the lengths of string we used (6cm long for the spine, 2cm long for each rib, 3cm long for the tail bones, 7cm long for the head, 4cm long for the back of the head and 0.5cm for the eye)
  • Longer pieces of string may need to be held in place for a few seconds until they hold in the position you want them.
  • Don’t overlap the string as the stamp height will be uneven and won’t print well.
  • Be careful whilst you’re waiting for the glue to dry. Make sure the string doesn’t move out of place.
  • Make sure the handle is stuck securely before using the stamp.
  • For small children, make the stamp and string pieces bigger.
  • For best results, use a glue spreader to put the paint on the string directly before printing.
  • You can change colour by just dipping the stamp into another colour paint. The first few prints might be a mix of colours but they look pretty good.

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