Monday, December 2, 2013

Handmade Origami Stars

 Happy post Thanksgiving to you one and all.  Hope your holiday was happy and satisfying.  If you forayed into the black Friday madness, I hope you survived without incident.  I worked retail for too many years and I don't go near any place that entails shopping of any kind.  Period.  I have had my share of the madness.

I did spend time crafting and doing projects with the grandsons.  One of our projects was making these beautiful origami stars that I found on  Each piece of the star is called a beam and you can make them with 16, 14, or 12 beams.  The star pictured has 12 beams.  They are so fun and easy, even our 7 year old grandson made them.  Actually, he was going like a house on fire once he got the basic folds down.  He and his 10 year old brother made enough to decorate their Christmas tree and they are gorgeous!  They are such a nice add on to small ornaments.  They really make a statement.  In fact, our other daughter wanted to learn how to make them for their tree after she saw the ones we made.  We had a down home star making party.  It was lots of fun.

To make these stars, you can use pre cut origami paper that comes in 4 inch squares, or you can use scrap book paper and cut your own squares.  It just takes a little more time.  I bought a book of Christmas papers at Michael's that has lots of designs in it.  It was $19.99 and 40% off.  The papers are 12 x 12 so you can cut them into 4x4 inch squares easily.  Choose the papers you want for your star.  You can use patterns or solids, or a mixture  - whichever you prefer.  First, start with a 12 x 12 sheet.
I'm sorry the quality of the pictures is not great.  The red did not photograph well.  But, I hope you can get the idea.  If you have problems, go to  Back to the directions.  First, fold your paper in half.
Open it up and fold in half the other way so that you will have 4 equal squares.  Make your folds as crisp and flat as possible.
 Now, cut or tear along the fold lines so you end up with 4 equal squares.
You will need at least 12, 14, or 16 squares.  Now, take one of the 4 x 4 sheets of paper and fold it in half one way, and then in half the other so you have 4 small squares.
I started in the lower right corner.  Start wherever you are comfortable.  Fold the corner to the center to make a triangle.
Do this with all remaining corners, so that the paper looks like this.
Now, this is the tricky part and I will try to explain it the best I can.  Turn the square so it looks like a diamond.  Starting with the bottom left corner, fold it to the middle.   You are going to fold the top piece also so it looks like a kite.
Are you still with me?  It's easier to follow if you are folding while reading.  Now, flip the kite over so you have a solid kite facing you with all the folds on the bottom.
Put the top of the kite "up".  Fold the point down -from widest point to point, making it even across.
There will be an opening facing you in the flap you folded down.  Now, pick the beam up and fold it in half with the piece you folded down on the outside of the beam.
It looks like an inverted paper air plane.  It is actually a right triangle.  This is a completed beam and you want to do the same for all the pieces you are going to use.  If you hold the beam toward you, it should look like this.
The opening in the fold is where you will connect all the beams together to make the star.  After you get all your pieces folded, you will take the pointed end and place one point in each side of the open fold in a beam.
I am working left to right, so the openings will be on your right, the points to the left.  Push the beam into the opening as far as you can so it is nice and snug.
Continue around, making a circle.  You can made a pattern or group "like" papers together, however you want.  Here are a couple of others that we made.
You can make hangers using yarn or embroidery thread, a little hot glue,  and then hang them, or you can use the opening in the star and hang it over a tree branch.  These are all 12 beam stars.  My daughter made a 16 beam star that is stunning!  Would be a great tree topper if  you attached it to a paper cone to slide over the top of the tree.

Christmas is not Christmas at our house without doing some handmade projects.  I am so happy that the boys enjoy making these projects too.  Some of my fondest memories of Christmas's past are about projects that I made.  There are always hand made gifts for those I love.  How about you?  Do you do Christmas crafts or handmade gifts?

These beautiful stars would made wonderful gifts for teachers, co workers, or neighbors.  They would make beautiful package toppers that could be used as ornaments.  There are so many things you can do with them.  How about making a garland?  If you come up with some unique uses for these stars, please share with us.  I will be sharing many more projects with you in the days to come.  Here's wishing you a very crafty Christmas holiday.

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

Gift's from the hands are gifts from the heart.  They are the best kind.  donna