Sunday, 7 October 2007

Star folding

I'm sure there must be a branch of physics called star folding, and if there's not, there should be.

Anyway, OK, OK, I hear you! How to fold stars - I should say that I didn't make these up, but I have made hundreds and hundreds of them. There was a time that I used to carry paper in my bag and leave a couple on the saucer with the tip every time we had a meal out. Now I just stash them in jars (sometimes I add a bit of scented oil for cheap pot pourri) and send them in parcels, and if I can find some Christmassy quilling paper they'll be all over the place then too.

First find your paper:

This has been pretty good stuff, possibly a little bit long. It wants to be about 1cm wide and at least about 25cm long. I started off by cutting my own off pieces of A4 sugar paper which works beautifully.

Carefully tie a knot close to one end, pull it tight and then flatten it to form a pentagon. This is the most important step - if you don't form a good shape here your star will be wonky.

Fold the short end on top of the pentagon - you can tuck it into the knot, but it's going to get wrapped anyway so generally I don't. Note that here I have left an exaggeratedly long end - usually I try to get within a cm or so of the end of the strip. After this picture I tore the end off - naughty!

Now start to wrap - just fold the long end of the paper strip where it emerges from the pentagon, and allow the long end to follow along the edge of your shape. It is easier to see than to describe.

Keep doing this till you get close to the end of the strip. Tuck in the loose end under a handy fold. You may need to fold the end over or trim it first to get it neatly tucked.

You should now have a neat little pentagon:

(who has been drawing on my windowsill?!)

Now, using your thumbnail press hard into each of the edges and voila! Your little star will magically appear.

Denise asked if you could make big versions - I bet you could, but you might need a very long strip of paper (and maybe some glue at the end).

Let me know if you can't follow these instructions. I should warn you that not only are these addictive, you end up with "star folders thumbnail" if you do too many in a session - which is more painful than it sounds!

Have fun!


  1. Off to trim some paper...


  2. They are so sweet - I am going to try those tomorrow!
    Cathy X

  3. You know, I think I actually have made these before now that I see your pictures - BUT I am SO GLAD you showed us how to do it! My kids are going to love this. Thank you :) Great job.

  4. Was just off to bed but popped in to read your latest, how could any self-respecting physics teacher not know how to make a star like this - I'm hanging my head in shame! Have redeemed myself a little by rushing off and making a few. It could be really rather addictive especially if I could find some nice paper with Christmas coming up.

  5. *...dashes off to find some strips of paper*

    Thank You!

    I'm actually now at home so I can't but I'm tempted to start cutting up note paper hahaha.

  6. Oh my...when I showed my like minded 12 year old, she squealed with delight and ran for paper!!

  7. Thanks for your tutorial on folding stars! I will try some!

  8. Why haven't I got any quilling paper...or sugar paper? I'm feeling a failure already.

  9. I think I understand .... I'm off to have a go, Star folders thumb and raggers thumb, what a combination! Thanks for the instructions
    Kim x

  10. I'm going to search the house for some paper!!!!!! Thank you very much :)

  11. Brilliant little stars. Very belated congrats on your 100th post - I'm very miffed with myself that I missed your competition - serves me right for doing too much knitting and not enough blogging recently! Anyway, well done!!

  12. They are so fantastic. GOt to your site through Ali's and I am really glad i did

  13. I just found your blog through another site.

    Those stars are so cute! What is quilling paper and where do you find it? What is a good substitute?

    ~elaine~ from the USA

  14. Great tutorial! At Christmastime we always make the Danish eight-pointed stars. I'm thinking it would be fun to make a garland alternating those with your little ones. Thanks for the inspiration!

  15. *looks at her own lack of thumbnails* hmmm...! Love those stars, I think Mum used to make them when she was teaching, I seem to remember them from somewhere. They look so pretty and I love the idea of using them as pot-pourri, very clever!

    I will give some a go!

  16. What a sweet little star...I must give this one a try!

    Thank you so much!


  17. You see - this is what blogging is all about! I'm off to find my scissors as I write!

  18. Great idea, even I might be able to follow those instructions!
    Another idea to add to the ever increasing pile of things to try!

  19. WOW I love paer crafts and in deed made a good cottage business selling them before children, but I have never been able to get to grips with this...I think with the aid of your pics I am off to have ago.
    Thank you
    Suzie Sews

  20. That is SOO sweetnow I want to have a go.

  21. I love these little guys... thanks for sharing them!

  22. Hi,

    I loved your star making tutorial, thanks for that!

    And after all those stars you folded for the last post? I'm amazed you could make one more for for the tut - well done! (and I hope you're resting those poor fingers now!)

  23. You know I just can not do this even with your great pics...
    Best leave it for the professionals me thinks!!!!

  24. Finally got around to making these - let me know if you'd like me to take down the link:

    ( i've had this post saved FOREVER ! :)

  25. I love this! I immediately tried to fold a little star, and even though it didn't become as pretty as yours it worked :) Thanks for the tutorial!

  26. oh... my... god!

    i had seen a lot of pictures featuring this stars and i wondered if they were ''makable''.. now i thank you for teaching me how!...


    i lOve them!

    thAk yOU!

  27. That is SO awesome! I'm going to tweet it now.
    : )


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