How to Make a String Background

How to Make a String Background

String Background

I used the Gessoed Paper I made for this example. But you can use other types of paper as well. Try laying the string down in different directions and patterns. You can repeat the process with another size string and color of paint to give the paper added interest. Be sure to let the first layer dry before laying down a second color, unless you want the colors to blend on the string background.


  • Gessoed Paper (or any other paper you prefer)
  • acrylic paint
  • plastic baggie
  • yarn or string a little longer than the length of your paper
  • brayer or empty glass jar

String Background ~ Karen's Whimsy


  1. Put a small amount of acrylic paint inside a plastic baggy.
  2. Put the piece of yarn inside the baggy and mush it up so that the string gets coated with paint.
  3. Pull the string out of the bag and lay it on the gessoed paper.
  4. Roll the brayer over the string to imprint the paint onto the paper.
  5. Wipe off the brayer and repeat until your paper is the way you like.
  6. Let dry.

Traci Bautista’s beautiful book Printmaking Unleashed: More Than 50 Techniques for Expressive Mark Making will give you tons of additional ideas for surface design and printmaking. I really love the ideas in this book!