Star Light Star Bright, Let's Fold a Paper Star Tonight

Star Light Star Bright, Let's Fold a Paper Star Tonight

I found instructions for these beautiful folded paper stars in an old magazine called The Workbasket. Not only were the directions indecipherable, the picture illustrations were misidentified. Although your first attempt might be a challenge, it’ll be worth it as the final product will impress your friends and family.

Use them to decorate your trees and presents for your holiday party, or hang them from your light fixtures for your New Years Eve bash.



Scissors or, better yet a Fiskars Rotary Paper Trimmer

Ruler, if using a scissors

A little patience

Note: I used two red and two white paper strips so you can better identify them.


1. With scissors or paper cutter, cut paper into 4 strips measuring ½ by 14 inches.

2. Fold strips in half.

3. Thread strips through each other, as shown below.

4. Pull together.



5. Lift one of the top four strips backward across the strip below. In a clockwise fashion, fold back the other three top strips backward across the strips below.

6. Tuck the last strip folded backward under the first strip to lock strips together.

7. Fold one strip underneath at a 90 degree angle, creating a triangle, as shown below.

8. Loop the folded strip forward and around and pass it under the square directly below the triangle shape you just created. Pull strip taught and crease to make a sharp edge, creating another triangle on top of the one below.

9. Working clockwise, skip the next strip, then repeat step 8 for the next strip. Repeat step 9 to create a total of 4 points.

10. Turn piece over and repeat making points (starting with step 7) on the other side. You'll have a total of 8 points after this step.

11. Find the 4 strips on top. Pick up the one pointing towards you and push it back, holding it away from you.

12. With the other hand, take the top strip pointing to the right and loop it under and flip it a quarter turn to the side. Turn it a quarter turn again as shown. Pass strip under the square below. Pull strip to fashion a point.

13. Working in a clockwise fashion, repeat steps 11 and 12 until you have 4 points facing you. The last strip will be passed under the first point made.

(Bonus Hint: to make a bow for a present, stop here. Cut the ends of the strips off as close to the points and possible.)

14. Flip the star over and repeat steps 11-13.

15. Cut the ends of the strips off as close to the points as possible.

Attach thread or monofilament for hanger. 

P.S. Feel free to post any difficulties you encounter, and I’ll do my best to talk you through them or modify the instructions. Good luck! 


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Mary Jo Garrett on Dec 02, 2018:

My family has been making these stars for generations. I just made 18 of them from paper strips my grandmother and I worked with when I was a child of around 8-10 years old. The colored paper strips are at least 60-65 years old. I’m 68 years old. I was thrilled to find someone else making them as I have never seen them anywhere else until now! How exciting!

Joy on Dec 16, 2015:

Lovely! Years ago I saw this star in a book about the ancient Romans - it was being made then, and I was awed by the potential history of the making of this star. Of course I have no idea what the book was and have looked for validation online to no avail, so I do not have proof.... I enjoy the thought tho'.

Anonymous on May 09, 2014:

Hello, Will you be able to repost the photos?  They are gone from the page.  Also, would you mind if I make copies of your page to handout to a class?  Thank you for your help!

DIY Maven on Jan 17, 2011:

bheroff--I've made them with copy paper, newspaper (too delicate) and satin paper ribbon. The prettiest, by far, were the ones made out of satin paper ribbon but it can be a bit slippery. I guess if I were dipping them in wax, I'd probably stick with the copy paper. But that's just a guess!

bheroff on Jan 16, 2011:

I  have made these with copy paper, I was wondering if you knew what paper weight would make it simpler to handle and allow for dipping in wax & sprinkle with glitter.

DIY Maven on Dec 10, 2010:

Hey lou. That's a good question! These turn out to be about 3 inches across and I started with 14" long paper strips. So, my gut tells me you'd probably have to multiply that by 3 to get something close to an 8" star. That's a 42" long strip! Yowza. My gut tells me that just upsizing the thickness to correspond with that length would work. But, hey, I'm not a geometry wiz! ;)

lou on Dec 09, 2010:

I want to upscale this to make a large star for top of the tree.  Years ago I folded small ones for the rest of the tree.  Do I just multiple both dimensions by the same number to get larger strips and how can I tell how big to make them to get a star that is  about 8 inches across?  thanks.

Rubyred Jewels on Dec 09, 2010:

Thank you for the step-by-step directions. Every year I hang on my the two I made with my grandmother 30 years ago. We made ours out of plain white paper, dipped them in wax, and sprinkled them with glitter. Now that my kids are older, I am looking forward to making them again.

DIY Maven on Oct 21, 2010:

Palkia--I'm so glad you found the how-to! I hope all your fellow classmates like the stars as much as you and your teacher do. Otherwise, give them my appologies! ;)

Palkia66048 on Oct 20, 2010:

Thank you so much for the insturctions! I would be lost without this website! Right now in my school, we're making christmas ornaments for our tree!( Yes, we're doing stuff for our tree already)The teacher said my idea was fantastic! She is now making all the students fold these stars! Thank you for your help!

P.S I'm in 7th grade.  

Amaryllis on Aug 13, 2010:

I used to make these years ago, I don't even remember where I got the directions. I just found an old one the other day, and still have all of the old paper strips that I precut to make them. I just happened to stumble across these while looking for other directions and am glad I did! Thank you!

TIP: I found that a good width to length ratio was 1:24. 1x24 cm strips make a nice cute sized star and can be cut from a regular sheet of paper.

gisela Parodi on Jul 28, 2010:

Dear friends,

theese stars are a very traditional craft from Danmark, where you can buy the kits for making them with the paper cut in the exact stripes and wirh the instructions. I remember the first time I've tried to make them, was so so very confusing, but at the end I became a total expert, and we spent a really fun time! In Danmark they use a lot to hang form Chirstmas trees and Christmas decoration.

One useful tip is to cut the end of the paper at 45 degrees so it's easier to pass through the folded paper

DIY Maven on Mar 04, 2010:

Hey Basket Case! First your step four question, yes, both sides should look like the bottom photo. After step 7, you'll have a little triangle-looking fold with the 'tail' from the fold poking out to the right. (There will be three strips poking out to the right for a sec; in my example there was 2 red and 1 white one.) Then, take that last one you just folded (the white one of the three in my example) and lift it up and then kind of twist it under and then slip it into the little (red) square that is at the base of the (white) little triangle shape. When you snug this strip up, it will make another triangle on top of the first one in the step. 

Hope this helps!

Basket Case on Mar 04, 2010:

Hi, I'm totally lost on Steps 7 and 8.  What do you mean by  "under the square directly below the triangle shape you just created"

I'm also not sure about Step 4.  Should the folded strips look like the bottom photo on both sides?

Thank you for your help!!

Anonymous on Feb 27, 2010:

thank you so much , i was looking for how to make these , my grandmother had made some,  and we always had them on our tree , that was a long time ago , 

Anonymous on Nov 30, 2009:

This the paper star I was looking for several Christmases ago.  It is too delicate for the boys, but I thought maybe you would like to try.  When I was in grade school we made them and then dipped them in parrifin and then sparkles.

Love to all,


DIY Maven on Nov 02, 2009:

Jo Lynn, I'm so sorry for your loss. 

Crafts have a way of reuniting us with our loved ones. Grandma with crocheting, Dad with all his DIY adventures. 

I'm glad you found the post.


Jo Lynn Francis on Nov 02, 2009:

Thank you so much for posting these instructions. Hubby's grandmother (mother~she raised him) just past away :( We got her Christmas decorations. There was a lard tin full of these stars that her and him made. So nice to have step by step instructions...

Thank you again

Jo Lynn

Shelly on Oct 30, 2009:

AFter the paper stars are folded, try dipping them in melted wax and sprinkling them with glitter before they dry. GORGEOUS! I made them a few years back and sold them at a craft fair. I think we sold them for 2.00 each.

stinkknits on Dec 02, 2007:

If you can't find paper that's big enough, you can use the colourful bumf or advertising supplements that come in the mail. It's usually already folded in half so it only needs to be 7 inches.

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