Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Handmade Holidays: Moravian Star Tutorial

After I posted my Christmas tree last week, I had a few requests for instructions on how to make the paper star.  I think it might be hard to write out, but here it goes...

- 4 strips of paper; 3/4" wide by at least 20" long
- Thread or string to hang

You will find large sheets of paper in an art supply store or the art section at Michael's or Hobby Lobby.  I like to use a medium weight paper - not quite card stock but not regular copy paper.

I use a self-healing mat, straightedge, and rotary cutter to cut the strips of paper.

1.  Cut both ends of paper strips like those in photo below.

2.  Fold each strip, not quite in half, but almost.  See photo below.

3.  Assemble strips in basket-weave pattern as shown in photo.

4.  Here's another photo from a different view.  See how the strips are entwined?

5.  Pull tight so strips of paper look like this:

6.  We are going to make a second basket-weave with our paper strips.  Take one of the paper strips at top and fold over.

So that your paper looks like this:

7.  Now take one strip on the left and fold over to the right.  Like this:

8.  Repeat with the strip on the bottom, and then the last one on the right.  For the last strip we need to finish off the basket-weave.  Do this by inserting it under the other strips.  See photo below:

9.  So now, your paper strips look like this:

10.  Now we are going to start making the points of the stars.  Fold strip on upper right hand corner to look like photo below:

11.  Now fold that strip straight down to look like this:

12.  Fold the entire strip over to the left.  Like this:

13.  Now fold strip under.  See photo below:

14.  Now your paper strips will look like this:

15.  Turn your paper strips counter-clockwise and repeat:

16.  Repeat with remaining two sides and your paper strips should look like this:

17.  Turn over and repeat with four remaining strips on back side.

18.  Fold strips so they look like those in photos below:

19. Now we are going to fold the 3D points of the star.  I think this part is the most difficult to explain - I hope the photos will help make sense of it!

Hold paper in your hand and fold strip like shown in photo below:

20.  Twist paper strip until it looks like photo below and insert under fold on the left.

21.  Use your thumb to help form the point while pulling strip on left hand side.  Pull tight, but not too tight until point is formed correctly.  This takes some practice!

22.  Turn star clockwise and repeat.

23.  Repeat until all four points are complete.

24.  Turn over and repeat until the other four points are created.  The folding is done - your star should look like this:
{ Yikes, don't mind my dry, ugly hands.  I had worked on a little project involving a saw and sandpaper earlier in the day, so that's my excuse! }
25.  Now you need to trim the ends of the paper strips.  carefully pull the strips tight and trim, careful not to cut your any folds on the star.

Your star is finished!  Use a needle and thread to attach a loop for hanging.

I made this green star a few years ago by using wrapping paper.  The paper was green on one side but white on the other so I use spray adhesive to adhere two two sheets of paper and then cut into strips.

Good luck - I really hope this tutorial makes sense!


  1. Alissa,
    I'm pretty sure if i show this to Middlest she would be all over it. Your instructions look very clear. I love them. Have a wonderful Christmas!

  2. What a beautiful craft! I love that! Wonder if I could make it?

  3. Great tutorial. Seriously impressive!

    1. I tried and failed. Don't know where or how! ...but - eh! I just improvised and used glue haha!

  4. You are just so cool, Alissa. I love these! Have you seen the ones made from a large circle punch? (

  5. Alissa you are the BEST that you posted this! I've always wanted to try to make a paper star! Thanks so much - can't wait to try :)

  6. I have always wanted to make these! They are so cool. Thank you for sharing the instructions! Have a great Holiday!

  7. Thank you so much! My Mom will be thrilled as am I! Merry Christmas to you and your family and all the very best in the coming New Year!

  8. wow what an awesome tutorial alissa! hope you have a very merry christmas!!

  9. This is so cool! Would it work on a large scale, to hang from the ceiling?

  10. Thanks for posting this tutorial, I love the Moravian star. Years ago I bought pre-cut strips and never did anything with them; now I have no excuse.
    Good luck with that new job

  11. Thank you for posting the instructions for these adorable stars. : ) I've been enjoying making them and plan to cover my first Christmas tree with them! : )

    FYI: These stars are technically not Moravian (as they should have 26-110 points to receive that distinction), they are actually Froebel Stars. Just thought you should know.

    Thanks again! : )

  12. Many years ago when I was in grade school, we made these to sell. They were dipped in melted wax and sprinkled with glitter. This brings back memories!

  13. If you ever re-write the directions or take photo directions again it would make it so much clearer for us if you would use 2 different colors of paper or follow the numbering of the strips all the way through your directions. Thank you

  14. My father taught me how to make these when I was a kid - I am now 64 years old. I have demonstrated this to my class as a student and years later as a teacher! For a time I lived in Singapore and was able to buy paper 'ribbons' by the roll - that made it easier because I didn't have to cut out the strips of paper to start the star. Thanks for sharing this craft. Karen C, dipping in melted wax and glitter makes an interesting addition.

  15. I buy adding machine rolls of paper which work very well and you don't have to cut large sheets of paper. They sell rolls at Walmart that are very inexpensive. Just use the measurements in the instructions for the length.

  16. Saw this on Pinterest. I've had the pattern for years. When I was a child of 5 my mom made these for us to sell to make some Christmas money. She would make them out of white paper, paint them with watercolor paint, dip them in wax and then we got to sprinkle them with glitter. She would use a pin to make a hole then attach a wire hanger to it. We sold them for a nickle each. I have relatives who still have them to this day. I am making some for my fellow teachers this year.

  17. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! For years I've had strips of paper for making these stars, but the directions I had were unclear and hard to read. This was just what I needed! Thank you for the pictures and your descriptions--they were perfect. Happy holidays!

  18. :) my granny used to make these out of the silver inside of coffee bags. :) i have a little box with some of them that she gave me. she died quite a few years ago now and the stars are looking a bit worse for wear - they are up every year all of advent and christmas. so i was getting a bit sad, thinking i wouldn't be able to make replacements for them. but :D here are the instructions! thank you so much <3


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