I sipped my hot cocoa and watched their fingers fly, creasing and tucking the paper strips over and around and through, while the Christmas carols played and they chatted.  I was mystified at how the paper twisted and folded into shape, while my seven-year-old fingers snitched another strip of paper from the pile and bent it back and forth in a simple accordian fold.

How to Make German Star Ornaments for Christmas | Carla Schauer Designs

German Star Ornament Tutorial | Carla Schauer Designs

 

By the time I was 14, I was folding German star ornaments (also called Moravian or Froebel Stars) along with my mother and grandmother, making my own to hang on our tree.  Despite looking complicated, the ornaments are made from 4 strips of paper and a few simple repeated folds. Once you get the hang of the folds, you can make a star in under 5 minutes. Make them in batches while watching your favorite show, or grab your teens and tweens and make some holiday memories.

How to make a German Star Ornament

You will need:

  • 4 paper strips of equal width ( 1/2″ maximum for 12″ scrapbook paper)
  • needle and thread (or thin twine and hole punch)

Optional:

  • Paraffin wax block
  • Glitter

You only need 3 types of folds to make German stars, one for the base, one for the side points, and one for the top/bottom dimensional points.  The folds repeat for the ends of each strip.  I made a quick video to show you how easy it is to make the folds.

 

 

You can do this, I promise!

Here’s a closer look at the folds:

In the first set of folds, weave the strips as shown below. Pull until snug, then fold top layer of strips to center as shown in video.

How to make German Star Ornaments |Carla Schauer Designs

Basket weave paper strips for German Stars

 

The second style has three folds (behind, down, and toward middle), then the tail tucks through the basket weave from before.  Then you turn the whole shebang clockwise, repeat the rest of the way around.  Flip it over and do it again on the other side.

How to fold side points to make German Stars | Carla Schauer Designs

Fold side points of German Star | Carla Schauer Designs

 

The third fold is the trickiest, since the end of the strip can get stuck in the side point.  Tip: use a toothpick or tweezers if necessary to open the folds a little bit to let the paper strip slide through. Just like in the last type, you repeat your way around the circle, then flip and do the other side.

 

How to Fold German Star Dimensional Points |Carla Schauer Designs

Folding German Star Dimensional Points |Carla Schauer Designs

 

After trimming the excess ends, use a needle and thread to add a loop for hanging through one of the side points of the star.  Or for a more rustic look, use a small hole punch and thin twine. If you’re a “words and pictures” learner instead of a “show me” learner, here are good Illustrated German Star Instructions from IUPUI.


With Bonus Glitter!

When you have finished making your batch of stars, you can hang them just as they are or add the “dip and sparkle” step (my 7-year-old-self’s favorite part!).  Melt a block of paraffin wax in a small saucepan over low heat.  Individually dip each star into the paraffin and quickly sprinkle with glitter.  Set aside to cool on a sheet of waxed or freezer paper.

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning one of my favorite Christmas traditions!

Until next time…
Carla

 


Comments

Make German Stars for Christmas — 8 Comments

  1. Loveeee it. Wished the video is in slow motion. You are so artistic & thanks for sharing. I’m doing to this for jan 6 6 holiday decor. Excellent.

  2. This is GREAT! I made these in Girl Scouts years ago, but forgot how to make them. I’ve been looking for the instructions also for years. Thanks so-o-o-o-o very much girlfriend.

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