Saturday, December 3, 2011

paper star tutorial

There are so many Christmas traditions that I love - baking cookies, shopping for presents, decorating the house - but I really think wrapping gifts is one of my favorite Christmas-time activities.  There's just something about packaging up presents for your loved ones with pretty paper and ribbon and a sweet, little 'to-from' tag.  Adding a little something special on top is like a sweet cherry on the whipped cream peak of a sundae. 

Aren't these packages simply beautiful?
Love lace, twine, and pine cones.



The other day, I came across this paper star tutorial.  Given it's in Norwegian, and although there is an option to translate to English on the sidebar, the translation is slightly broken and still not quite clear on how to actually assemble the star.  I sat, frustrated, in front of my folded star pieces for, literally, an hour (maybe I'm just dense).  I had to walk away and come back with a fresh mind later in the evening.  Thankfully, that bit of a break gave me fresh eyes, and I had the star assembled in no time.  Go me! 

Originally, my idea was to add a few of these stars to the tree - which I did, but then I decided to make a few more for gift toppers.  Every present needs a cherry.  For the stars on the tree, I simply used white computer paper.  

I used wrapping paper and scrapbook paper for the ones I'll be using as gift toppers.

So, while making one of these stars, I decided to take pictures along the way and make my own tutorial - one that made a little more sense (to me) and better explained how to assemble the star.  (You can also refer to this tutorial.)  Don't get me wrong, it's kinda tricky, so you might have a question mark hanging over your head after you read through my tutorial, too, but then again, it might make complete sense.  If you use my tutorial, let me know, either way.

So here's what you'll need to make one of these paper stars:
8 square pieces of paper
(I used 8 4"x4" squares for the tree stars - the finished star is about 6" in diameter)

Start by folding a piece of paper in half, corner to corner.  Open it back up.

Fold one side into that center crease.

Fold in the other side.

Now, fold in one of those lower sides to the center crease.

Same on the other side.  Your piece of paper will look like a diamond, like this:

From here, you'll fold the top point down...(kind of at an angle - following the other folds of the paper)

...and then open it up.

Same thing, but in the other direction now - fold the top point down...

...and open it up.  You need these creases to help the paper along in a future step.

Now, just flip your diamond over so that the creases are on the bottom, like in the photo.

Next, fold the bottom point up, along one of the creases.  It doesn't matter if you fold it up to the left or right - just fold along one of those creases you made a few steps back.

From here on out, it was a little hard to capture the actions in photos.  So, bare with me.  If you have any Origami skills, now is the time to whip them out and kick some paper folding butt.

Fold the bigger triangle in half, and encourage that smaller triangle to fold in half as well...

You'll end up with a shape just like this.

Repeat this process with the remaining 7 sheets of paper.

Now you're ready to assemble the star.
So, here's what happens next - the smaller triangle of one folded piece of paper is going to get folded into the larger triangle of another. 

You'll have to open up the big triangle and slide the little triangle inside, folding the flaps of the big triangle around the little one.  This image shows the flaps of the big triangle open, ready for the little triangle to slide in.

This image shows the little triangle all tucked into the big triangle.

This image shows two pieces of paper joined together.

In assembling, I found that it was easiest to put four pieces together, another four together, then join the two halves together.


To be honest, these stars take a little practice and finagling to get them just right.  They're fun to make, once you figure out the assembly method that works best for you.  But how cute are they going to look tied to the top of your Christmas packages?!


  1. Hi Allison! I think we must have fallen upon the same tutorial - I tried mine last night on a slow 3rd shift and got stuck at the same point! Will try your much-clearer version tonight, thank you!