How to Fold Paper Christmas Stars (Julestjerner)

Not quite a recipe video this week, but in the Holiday spirit I wanted to share one of my favorite Christmas DIY projects: folding paper stars.

In Denmark it's quite common to have "klip og klistre dag" (directly translated as "cut and glue" day) in schools, where you are encouraged to make paper decorations, like paper stars and hearts to decorate your classroom.

Learning to make this version of the paper star is really tricky and took me quite a few tries to get right, but once you've mastered it, it's actually quite addictive to see how small you can get them! They're fun to make and easy to decorate with for Christmas.

How to Fold Paper Christmas Stars (Julestjerner)

Folding paper stars is one of my favorite Christmas crafts and DIY projects during November and December. The first time around, it's difficult, but once you've got the hang of it, they're fun and addictive to make.

For one star, you'll need 4 long strips of paper, folded in half, and a scissor. You can make these out of craft paper. 

The paper should be sturdy, but pliable. You need to be able to fold it easily. Once you're more practiced, you can make these out of most anything - for example, wrapping paper, origami paper or even ribbon. In Denmark, you can buy the paper ready-cut in packets, with instructions on the back. 

Part I: The Base

With your 4 equally sized long strips of paper, that are folded in half, use your scissors to cut off the ends at a slant to make them easier to weave. 

Watch how I weave the strips through each other to join them as a square. It looks a little like a windmill. 

Think of it like a compass. I'm facing you, so your South is my North. Open the East-facing strip and lay the North-facing strip in it. 

Open the South-facing strip and lay the East-facing strip in it. Open the West-facing strip, and lay the South-facing strip in it. Then insert the pointed ends of the West-facing strip into the North-facing strip.

Tighten until you've got your square. Tighten too little and your star won't stay together well. Tighten too much, and you'll have a lot of trouble weaving in later stages. Tighten just enough. 

Part II: The Triangle Sides

Fold the first side of every paper strip over the square and, with the last one, weave the pointed end through, so it becomes a reinforced square. 

Working from the North, take each strip on the right side, fold into a triangle and weave through the first square. 

Fold into a triangle, fold into another triangle, fold onto itself, then weave the pointed end through the first square.

Continue with all the four right-side strips, until each of them has been folded into a triangle and woven through. 

Turn your star upside-down and repeat with your "new" four right-side paper strips. 

Now both sides should look identical, with triangles enveloping your sqaure. 

Part III: The 3D Effect

Now, we're going to add some 3D definition to this star. Take one of your strips protruding from the square and fold/twist it into a triangle shape. Weave the pointed end into the square. It will come out one of the triangles at the side.

Continue with the remaining three. Then turn upside-down and repeat.

Give your triangles a little pinch at the top to help them stay nice and structured. This is where it helps to have some thicker paper. 

Cut off the ends of your strips, taking care not to cut into the star. 

It can help pulling the ends out slightly, without warping the star too much. This way, the ends will retreat back into the triangle, and look much neater.

There you have it, your very own Christmas star/Julestjerne!

You'll be a pro at making these Julestjerner in no time!