DIY Tutorial: Origami Stars


If you follow me over on Instagram, you will have noticed Pastry and I have been working together on a collaborative DIY project...it's true! The cat is ever so useful when it come to paper folding...

Well, it's not entirely true. He came to observe what I was doing and seemed to think the table was exactly the place to make him self comfy for the rest of the afternoon, so I worked round him. 

A few days ago, it suddenly dawned on me while I was eating my lunch (as very important things often do!) that back when I was at middle school (so we're probably talking 17/18 years ago) I used to know how to make these folded paper stars an I immediately needed to know if I still could! 

After a few attempts, muscle memory kicked in and remembered what I was doing. I've since made loads and strung them up all over the house. They're really really quick to make so I thought I'd write a tutorial so you can make some of your very own! 




1. Start with a piece of origami paper, or which ever paper you happen to like, cut into an exact square. I've made a few with thin card too and they come out quite well, but the gold sparkly one in the picture above didn't work brilliantly, the paper was too thick and I couldn't get nice crisp folds without rubbing all the glitter off! Stick to paper or very thin card.


2. Flip your paper over so the coloured side is facing the table, and fold it in half, bottom to top. Crease it tightly.


3. Take the bottom left hand corner, and fold it up to meet the top edge. Don't crease it! 



4. Instead of creasing all the way along the fold, just press down a section roughly in the middle. You're just trying to make a mark on the paper rather than creating a fold. 


5. Open the fold out, and do the same with the top left hand corner, this time bringing it down to meet the bottom edge, and creasing only in the middle of the fold.


6. Open it out and you should have a cross marked on your paper. If you're working with a cat, check that he's keeping up...


7. Make sure the folded edge is still at the bottom and the cross you marked is on the left.  Take the bottom right corner and fold it so the corner meets the marked cross. Crease the fold tightly. 



8. Take hold of the same corner again (the one now sitting on top of the cross) and fold it over to the right so it matches up with the fold you've just created. Crease it tightly, paying attention to the bottom of the fold to make sure you get a nice clean point.  


9. Now, take the bottom right corner, and fold it upwards so that the folded bottom edge lines up alongside the fold you just made. Crease it tightly.



10. Flip the whole thing over so you're looking at the back.


11. You now need to fold the whole thing in half so the left edge sits on top of the right edge. Make sure when you do this that the bottom point stays neat and the fold continue all the way to the tip of the point - this will very soon be the middle of your star! 


12. Check Pastry approves...


13. Now you're going to cut most of your carefully folder paper away! Turn the whole thing round (not over, just round) so the point is now facing away from you. 



14. Make a cut roughly as shown by the dotted line. The angle at which you cut will determine how fat the points of your star will be. Hold the paper tightly while you do this to make sure the layers don't shift about as you cut. A rotary cutter and a ruler would make this neater still. 



The white dotted edge will be the length of your star from the middle to the tip of the points, and the black dotted line will be the distance between the middle and the spot where each two points meet. Play with the angle to see which gives you the shape you like best, but make sure you start your cut in roughly the same place each time.


15. Discard, recycle, or give the cat the rest of the paper - you only need the tiny piece you just cut off! 



16. Unfold it, and be amazed! Its easier to see now how the angle of the cut you make changes the shape. You'll notice that some of the folds will be inside out and the star won't look quite three dimensional. The long folds should be mountain folds (as in the paper folds away from you, wrong sides towards one another) and the short folds should be valley folds (as in the paper folds towards you, right sides towards on another - yes, I had to google it!)


These folds are correct, long folds are mountains, short folds are valleys...


But these ones are inside out, so the points of the star aren't sitting correctly.


17. Work your way around the star correcting any folds that are the wrong way round, making sure to crease all the way to the centre.

And you're done! 


Display proudly along side your helper...


Who, despite having watched the whole process will be terrified of it...daft animal....


They're a bit addictive, and also really easy to string up into a garland or to hang individually (I will not mention the 'C' word, but you know they would look lovely on a tree...) Just thread a needle with some light coloured or invisible thread and thread it carefully through the paper. 





2 comments

  1. Hahaa! - How many times did I try and make these today only to find I had been throwing the wrong bit of paper away and wondering why I had paper with start shapes missing out of them! Serves me right for being too eager to finish! Great post! x

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    1. Oh no!! It is a bit counterintuitive to throw away the bigger piece! I hope you got some successful stars in the end though...? Thank you for reading x

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