Christmas Stars…

I fell in love with these little stars the first time I saw them on Pinterest.

They’re called Scandinavian Stars or Scandi Stars, and they’re most often used as Christmas tree ornaments and gift tie-ons.  The origin suggests that they were originally made with paper.  

Since I had some scraps left from cutting the capsets for Zen Chic’s White Christmas Metallic, that’s what I used to make these.  Though once I got started, I also had to cut up some Christmas Figs by Fig Tree & Co..  (Both collections are in shops now.)

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

Here’s how it’s done.

Press all four strips in half lengthwise – so that it measures 1-1/2″ x 14″.  Then turn the edges to the center so that the strip resembles double-fold binding.  Press it well.

There are now four strips that measure approx. 3/4″ wide x 14″ long.  

Fold the strips in half and press lightly.  Some folks suggest a bit less than half so that one strip is longer than the other but I found it didn’t make any difference – I still had more than enough length.

Weave the four strips like so.  While I don’t think it matters, I positioned the strips so that the fold was on the inside edge – toward the center.  

The key here is to make sure that the four strips are going in different directions.  If it helps, this is the step that took me the longest to get right on successive stars.

Move the strips so that they are somewhat tightly woven – but without any pulls or puckering.  Pulling gently on the strips will help get this tight-close enough.

Starting on one side, fold each strip over going in a clockwise direction.  Don’t worry about pulling them tight yet.

The fourth strip will be woven under the first folded strip – this is where the hemostat or tweezers help.

Pull the strip close, then tighten up the three remaining strips so that the center is still nestled together.

Starting with one strip, fold the strip at a 45-degree angle as shown.

Now fold it down another 45-degrees to make a point as shown.  (The hemostat is there just so I can take the picture.)

Fold the triangle back on itself to form a point as shown.  

Secure with a binding clip.

Use the hemostat or tweezers to pull the tail of the triangle under the strip beneath it as shown.  Don’t worry if that strip loosens a bit, it can be tightened after the tail is threaded under.

After pulling the tail completely through, straighten, tighten and smooth as necessary.

Repeat on the three remaining strips.

Turn over the star and repeat the 45-degree folding on the four remaining strips.

Eight binding clips and some longer tails – the reason why some folks fold the strips unevenly.

This is also a good time to note that the strips I was working with were only 13″ long – that was the length-width of the scrap pieces I had.  As you can see, I have more than enough length on both sides… enough that I bet I could have cut the strips 3-1/2″ wide for a slightly bigger star.

Now it’s back to the iron.  Working on one side at a time, remove two clips and press the points flat.  (A bit of steam won’t hurt.)  When all four sides have been pressed, I pressed the entire star – and I gave it a lovely shot of steam to set it nicely.

Starch?  I experimented with that on one star and I don’t think it helped enough to do it again.

Now carefully – carefully! – trim the eight tails.  I found that folding the star along the center helped a bit, as did pulling on the tail a bit so that it went back under the folded edge after it was cut.

Repeat – carefully.  (You could ask me why I repeat this but I’m guessing you’ve already figured out the reason.)

Baste-it glue – this is optional.  I like glue and I like knowing that if one of the star points gets pulled, the star isn’t going to come apart.  So I slipped the point of the glue bottle under the edge after cutting the tail and put a couple drops of glue.  Then I pressed the star to set the glue.  

The glue is also useful if you accidentally cut through a strip.

Et voila.  Scandi Stars!

When the stars are complete, a strand of perle cotton or embroidery floss can be threaded through to make a string-loop so the star can be hung on a tree or added to a gift as a little tie-on.  Where to put the loop?  Between the two star points or in a corner – both work.

Sizes.  I did experiment with wider strips for different size stars and here’s what I learned-know:

  • Wider strips work nicely, it just means more length is needed.  How much?  That’s a guess because if there is a mathematical calculation for that, I don’t know what it is.  (And I’m too lazy to figure it out.)
  • The width of a cut strip is the approximate finished size of the star.  e.g., a 3″ cut strip yields a star that’s about 3″ across.    
  • I experimented with strips cut at 5″ x 21″ width of a fat quarter.  I think 16″ strips would have been enough… so 5-1/2″ or 6″ by the width of a fat quarter might be worth trying.  
  • The 5″ star – 5″ strips – is not floppy, it could be used as an ornament or package tie-on.  Depending on the fabric, I think a 6″ star – 6″ wide-cut strips – would also work.

I would like to share the two best blog-tutorials I found on making these stars.  They are:

Happy Friday!  

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28 thoughts on “Christmas Stars…

  1. This is a great project! I have a few left of my mother’s paper stars (German Heritage) she made when she was a kid during the Depression. They are more 3 dimensional and dipped in wax but I like the idea of making them with fabric because it represents my hobby of dressmaking and quilting. Thank you so much – I can see them as bows for presents as well as ornaments on the tree.

  2. So timely. Planning for a Christmas in July demo for BOM and this will be a fun project! Since July is also a patriotic month, a star demo will be very appropriate. Tour tutorial was very helpful. May even use a clover bias maker ( the largest one) for a tool demo…and add on sales. Bet it will make a cute little star

  3. I loved these from the first time I saw them~probably on Pinterest, too! I have tried to make these in the past & failed! I’m so thankful for your wonderfully detailed instructions! Thanks Carrie!

  4. Carrie, you rock! I love that you always come up with clever and beautiful ways to make lives happier and filled with joy. This will be fun to do with the older grandkids and will probably be the new ornament that each family gets for Christmas this year in colors that fit them. Thanks for the great tutorial!

  5. Please, oh please, could you add a PDF of this tutorial? I strongly prefer to work from paper than a screen, and this is so awesome!

  6. Super cute. Thanks so much for the tutorial, Carrie.

    By any chance did you cut any strips 10 inches long? And were the strips long enough? Asking cause I just purchased a layer cake of Zen Chic’s White Christmas Metallic. I can see a zillion tiny stars being made from a layer cake. Do you see them, too?

  7. Carrie, You share the best information, pictures and suggestions. I very much appreciate your sharing. Getting ready for a quilt retreat…these may just go on the list of projects! THANK YOU!!

  8. We did these at a guild meeting and sadly, I only finished one. My star points were just too loose and wonky, so I never tried any more even though I have the strips already cut. They are cute, but very fiddly.

  9. I tried my hand at these last year, but used holiday 12” square cardstock. We had a family Christmas get-together, and I made an ornament for each family. It took several tries and some practice to get them looking decent, the first few could have been in the Pinterest Fail Hall of Shame lol. This year I might give fabric a try!

  10. As always, your tute is fabulous! Thanks for the motivation to make some of these beauties.

  11. Hi Carrie… is there any way this tutorial could be offered in a PDF format? I sent it to my 85 yr old momma-in-law and while she uses technogy some (she texts!!) she said she’d love a paper copy of this! Please let me know if you know of one available to download or purchase! Thanks, Pris Phillips

  12. I knew this star when I was a child, 75 years ago — but it had extra points, four on each flat side, poking out of the small square areas;

  13. Oh WOW! These are amazing. Looks like I’m going to have to make up some for myself. And so grows my list. lol

    1. Hi Frankie –

      Not without re-formatting the blog page and that’s WAY beyond my skill-set. But I think we’ll have a PDF soon. 🙂

    1. Hi Judy –

      I don’t think so… they’re not that flat. Even the largest star I made is still just a big uneven. While it might work for a large, heavy flat-bottom glass, I’be be hesitant to use it for anything other kind of glass. And I’m a girl who uses coasters!

      1. Thank you so much for your speedy reply. I was afraid of too much bulk.
        My daughter’s in laws are Scandinavian, and I thought they would be so cute for Christmas coasters. Maybe I can improvise someway.

        1. My family makes the traditional paper ones and I read somewhere about using ribbon to make them. You might be able to use ribbon to make coasters. The quilting weight cotton is a lot of bulk. I made one a couple of years ago. It would be really cool as a coaster if you could find a thin enough material. Or use paper and mod podge. Thanks for the inspiration! 🙂

  14. Thanks so much for the inspiration and the tutorial. When I was little my mom had paper Scandi stars, and I always loved them. So happy to now know how to make my own!

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