Christmas, Free Pattern, Paper

Perfect Christmas Tree Star Tutorial

There are less than two weeks left in the countdown to Christmas. I just realized I haven’t yet had the chance to wear my velvet Christmas dress I made last year. I’ll have to make sure I do that. I’ve been very busy these days with a list of projects I’ve been working on for Christmas. This post and project were on that list. I’m happy to say I’m marking things off my list and I’m getting close to finishing many of the projects. Like me, I’m sure everyone has been busy with all the things that come with the Christmas season: making cookies, putting up decorations, holiday shopping, making and wrapping presents.

And of course, there’s the tree, with the presents underneath, where everybody will gather round on Christmas day. And every tree needs a star. In this post I’m going to show you how to make a beautiful Christmas tree star using some ordinary craft materials. This is a project to do over several days. If you have more than one tree, you could make a star for each one and perhaps experiment with different colors.

We need a star

For some reason we haven’t had a star for our Christmas tree for many years. We keep thinking how we need one, but we have never found the right thing. One year when I was younger we twisted a star shape from some chenille wire to wrap around the top of our little tree. It was kind of cute, but that sort of thing doesn’t exactly work for the big tree. Last year, I finally got it. I knew what to do to make a star for our tree. I was so busy that I didn’t actually get to make the star last year. But I did figure it all out and draw it up, so this year there wasn’t much left to do to get started. Finally, this year our tree has a star.

I have to say I’m rather proud of it. You see, I created a perfect star. Seriously, I mean mathematically. I did all the calculations to create a perfect five-pointed star that is 7″ across and 2″ thick at the center. Here is a picture of my intense calculations. It turns out that trigonometry actually has real life applications.

trigonometry calculations for a perfect five-pointed star

And so without further ado, let’s get on to the tutorial so you can make your own mathematically perfect star for your Christmas tree.

Materials and Tools

  • Perfect Christmas star template
  • Metallic gold foil poster board
  • Paper
  • Glue stick
  • Liquid glue
  • Gold glitter
  • Cutting mat
  • Scissors
  • Craft knife
  • Scoring tool (anything with a blunt tip should work)
  • Wooden skewer (see instructions for use)
  • Toothpick (or other item for spreading glue)

Instructions

Step 1: Cutting

Prepare your workspace. Lay down your cutting mat to protect your work surface. Then print out the perfect star template, making sure it prints at 100%. Cut out all the pieces. Using the glue stick, glue them to the back (not shiny side) of the poster board. Leave the poster board to dry completely. If you need to, you can put something heavy on top of it to keep it flat and smooth. Then use a craft knife to cut the pieces out. Make sure to also cut the two dotted lines. Use the scissors to trim any ragged edges. Trim the bottom corners of the stand so they’re slightly rounded and not sharp.

star template pieces glued to the back of poster board

Step 2: Scoring

Using your scoring tool, score along each line by pressing the blunt tip against the paper and slowly, carefully tracing the lines. A ruler may help you in keeping the scoring lines straight. When the lines are scored, they will become visible on the other side. This step is absolutely essential so that you can fold the poster board cleanly.

piece of star template showing scoring lines visible on gold side of poster board
star template pieces showing scoring lines on gold side of poster board

Step 3: Folding

Now fold along all your scored lines. With the paper side facing you, fold inwards along the blue lines and outwards along the pink lines. This is what your folded pieces will look like.

star template pieces folded

Step 4: Scraping

Since glue won’t hold on the shiny side of the poster board, you’ll have to scrape it off the tabs. Drag the craft knife along the fold of the tab. Don’t press down; you don’t want to cut all the way through, just through the top foil layer. You should then be able to easily peel off the top layer. Do this for all the tabs.

star template pieces with gold layer removed from gluing tabs

Step 5: Gluing

Now that all your pieces are properly prepared, it’s time for gluing. Using your toothpick to spread the liquid glue, start with tabs A, B, C, D, and E. Use the skewer to help press the tabs from the inside, all the way to the points. Make sure the edges are lined up as you glue. Then glue tabs F and G. After gluing each tab, set the pieces aside to let the glue dry so that they won’t come apart as you manipulate them.

star pieces glued together

After each piece is glued, glue them to each other. Start by gluing the big pieces together.

Then glue the last single piece to the rest. Your skewer will help you with sticking down the tabs on the inside.

star glued together

Last of all, glue the stand to the star.

gold star with base

Now set that aside to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Step 6: Glitter!

Now that the star is all glued together, it looks pretty good already! But we’re not quite done. This next step will hide the imperfections and ugly join lines, and it will add an extra touch of sparkle to finish off our star. It’s time for glitter!

Put a piece of paper underneath your star. If you’ve ever used glitter, you know how it gets everywhere and sticks to everything. The paper will keep the glitter contained as you work and will allow you to get it back into the tube. Remember: always be very careful when working with glitter and keep it away from your face. This isn’t cosmetic glitter, so you don’t want it anywhere near your eyes.

There is a little hole at the center of the star where the points didn’t quite meet. First we’ll have to use a dab of glue to fill it in. Next, spread a thin line of glue along the inner edges between the arms from the center point to the border of the star.

gold star with line of glue for glitter

Carefully pour glitter from the tube onto the glue. Turn the star over and tap it on the other side so the excess glitter falls off onto the paper.

gold star with line of gold glitter

Repeat for the rest of the inner edges and where the stand is glued to the star. You will need to be very careful not to touch the glitter while the glue is still wet.

gold star with glitter on all inner edges

Don’t hurry; let it dry often

After gluing the inner edges on one side, let the glue dry. Then do the same thing on the other side of the star. I initially intended to put glitter on the folds from the center to the points, but when I had made the star, I decided I liked the way it looked without it. If you like, you can put glitter on those edges. After the glue is dry, it’s time to put glitter around the border of the star. You will want to cover up all the joins.

Once again, let the glue dry. Afterwards, you can inspect the star and touch up any areas that need it. Then set the star aside and let it dry completely. In the meantime, you can use the paper to collect up the glitter and tip it back in the tube. Easy cleanup! When the glue is completely dry, you can carefully wipe off all the extra glitter that is clinging to the star by static.

It’s finished!

Isn’t that beautiful? I hope this tutorial inspires you to make your own star for your Christmas tree. It really is that easy. ♫ So hang a shining star upon the highest bough…. and have yourself a merry little Christmas now. ♫

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