Google+ House Revivals: Make a Woven Star from Vintage Book Pages, Tutorial Part One

Friday, November 12, 2010

Make a Woven Star from Vintage Book Pages, Tutorial Part One

We've had a lot of interest in a tutorial for the woven star.  
Thank you all for your sweet comments about these!


This star is made from vintage book pages.  Traditionally, this type of ornament would be made from reed, or birch bark, or wood veneer, though some crafters like to use cardboard.  I think folded paper works really well -- it's more flexible than cardboard, but has enough body to hold it's shape well.



The woven star is a very old traditional pattern that goes by many names.  Here is a picture of a Swedish Window Star that has been in my friend's family for nearly one hundred years!  Isn't it stunning?  


People have been weaving similar versions of the woven star for a long time.  Most commonly, I see it called a Finnish Star or an Advent Star or Poinsettia or Window Star.

**Important copyright information about the woven star:  The woven star concept is an idea and ideas cannot be copyrighted in the US.  A person can only copyright their own expression (for instance, your own words or pictures) of an idea.  The idea itself is not copyrightable.   For more information, see this important post about copyrights.


To make your own star, locate a supply of paper.  You can use anything from old grocery bags to sheet music to scrapbook paper to junk mail to old maps -- just get creative, and use what you have lying around. If you are using thin paper, you will need to fold your strips into several layers, as I will show you here.


If you just don't have the patience/time/energy for that, you can achieve a similar look with cardstock, such as  Vintage Chic Double-Sided Cardstock 12"X12"-Textbook 25 per pack.  Just cut the cardstock into strips.



I tore large sheets out of this huge vintage gardening book.  This will be perfect to create a Christmas gift for my mother-in-law, who is an amazing gardener.  I've already picked up several garden themed gifts for her, so this will go nicely!

Each sheet was folded in half, then folded in half again, to create eight sections.


These sections were then cut apart and folded lengthwise into quarters.  Secure the folds with a thin bead of glue.


This particular paper really needed to be four folds thick to have enough body for the star to hold its shape.  Your paper may not need as many thicknesses, or it may need more.  My strips are about a quarter inch wide by about eight inches long.  You may want to choose different dimensions for your strips, to optimize your paper use



Truly, creating the strips was the most time consuming part of this project.  I created enough strips to make about a dozen or so ornaments, and it took an entire Lifetime movie on Hulu to do them.


Make sure all your strips are the same length, for the best end result.  Then find the center on each of two strips, and glue them at right angles to each other, as shown.  If you are doing several stars, just work assembly line style.

Next, add two more pieces, as shown here, alternating over and under.  Glue in place and clip, using paper clips or clothes pins.

Now, do the same thing in the other direction.  Try to be as precise as possible, and space the strips evenly, but as you can see here, the strips are not totally straight.  All the folding and gluing stretches the fibers in the paper, so sometimes you may have to fudge things a bit.

                                                                                                                                                                    The next step is probably the trickiest part of the whole project.  Take two corner pieces that are perpendicular to each other and glue the tips together, overlapping one on top of the other.  This example shows this step implemented correctly. The strips have to be twisted, to meet like this:

Right
In this picture the strips are glued together incorrectly.  (Not that I would know anything about that, cough, cough)
Wrong

Glue all four sides in the same way.  Do you see that little aluminum clothes pin?  Those are absolutely the best for crafting with paper.  There springs are not very strong, so they won't mar the paper, and they are not very heavy, so they don't weigh down the paper and cause it to become misshapen.  The paper clips are marginally okay.  I used to be able to find the aluminum clips in China Town, but all I can find are the plastic ones, now.

Once you have two sides glued, you can put them together as shown here.  Just turn one over on top of the other, same sides facing, but with the top one rotated 45 degrees.

Now, begin to weave the remaining strips under the points you glued together previously.


It may seem like the strips are too long, but resist the temptation to trim them (sorry, it's late, and I just love Pirates of Penzance)!

Take the end of each remaining strip and add a drop of glue...


Secure with a clip while the glue sets.

First the top four points...

... then the bottom four points.

While the glue is setting on your star, you can create a hanger.  Take one of the extra strips and glue the ends together, as shown here.


See how the points look a little sloppy where the single strip overlaps the point slightly?


Just trim those points up with some scissors.






Here, the trimmed star looks much nicer.



Now you can glue the hanger to one of the points, and clip, as shown.


Now, your star is finished.  You can glitter or embellish it any way you please.


You may want to glue dots on the tip of each point for a nice finished look.


Here, I added a fringed rosette of tinsel and paper, to cover the bottom of the hanger.  I just took a strip of paper and cut a fringe into it, then rolled it up and wrapped it in a bit of tinsel.  I used Gorilla Glue for this, as it works well on nonporous materials like tinsel. 


Clip the rosette to the star until the glue cures.


Add a bit of glitter, if you like (how can you go wrong with glitter?)...

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial!  Watch for the tutorials for the other two stars in the next few days.


Trust me, the hard part is done!  The other two stars are just adaptations of the first design.


If you're not already a follower, you may want to click "follow" in my side bar, so you don't miss the other tutorials.

Edit 2012:  Here is yet another woven star tutorial

Another style of star made from vintage book pages can be found here.

Or try these honeycomb style ornaments made from vintage book pages.


edit: part two of this tutorial is now available here
edit: part three of this tutorial is now available here



If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to House Revivals in the sidebar, so you won't miss the fun projects we have planned. Find us on Facebook, too, so you can catch all the "in between" stuff, and see what I'm working on throughout week on Instagram. Feel free to link today's project to your favorite social media sites.

Thanks so much for stopping by!
~Amanda

74 comments:

  1. These are beautiful, hope to have the patience and enough clips to give this a try. Thanks for the tutorial

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  2. Oh Wow!!! Very impressive & beautiful! I'm a new follower & would love for you to stop by my blog... I'm having a giveaway!!

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  3. Gorgeous! They look time consuming but gorgeous!

    Visiting from Finding Fabulous link party!

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  4. Oh, how I love all things book-page-craft related!!! How cool are these? Thank you for the step by step tutorial, it looks time consuming, but so, so adorable. (Sorry if I am gushing!) Can't wait to see the other two. Glad I am already a follower! :)

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  5. Oh My heck!!!
    This is fantastic!!!!
    Thank you so much for linking up at Paper Issues!!!
    =)

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  6. I came over from Frugal Friday....this is gorgeous and so ornate!

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  7. Beautiful!!! I love how it has a celtic knotwork kind of feel! I will have to try this...or something similar!

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  8. WOW. this is stunning. And fits so well with what i posted, you're right! I have to admit that you have a lot mor patience and skill than i have - these stars are so carefully done! Have a great weekend!

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  9. This looks like so much fun...Maybe the baby will give me time to try it before Christmas :)
    Thnx for a great tutorial...Look forward to seeing how to do the other two stars

    Kelsie

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  10. I love this! Thanks so much for linking to Finished for Friday. There's another blogger who made music-covered candles. She posted a link to music pdf pages to print out for free. That would work great for this.

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  11. Those are unbelievably AWESOME!!!! Thank You for joining my blog :) Hugs Jamie

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  12. I have just sat and read from start to finish. I am now going to lie down in a dark room and breath. They are amazing just wish I had the patience t make thank you .

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  13. Hooray! The tutorial has landed!!

    And it's, as always, a great one. Your Christmas craty ideas will DEFINITELY be up in our house!

    Thank you so much.

    Sarahx

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  14. I have an old dictionary just waiting to be transformed into something beautiful. Thanks for the great idea!

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  15. Thanks for the fantastic tutorial. I'm going to try this. Looking forward to the rest of the stars.

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  16. Amazing. I was waiting for this tutorial. You make it look so easy I think I may be able to do it! Thanks a million.

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  17. What a magnificent tutorial! Thanks for the visit and the opportunity to reach
    here and to know your work. I loved it! Congratulations!

    Hugs Cidinha

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  18. How gorgeous! I love the printed paper you used and how elegant they are!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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  19. This is beautiful. Great job! I am your newest follower:) You can find me at www.bouffeebambini.blogspot.com

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  20. I have a hallway/library section of my home where these would be beautiful, and just perfect, for the holidays!! Can't wait to try them!! Thanks for sharing the tutorial, and Happy Holidays to you! ~tina

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  21. Clever, clever, clever! What a great idea for an ornament and they really turned out pretty. Thanks for sharing the tutorial.

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  22. These are beautiful! I can't wait to try. I am now a new follower and looking forward to your other tutorials. Thank you so much!!!

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  23. How very lovely! I'm going to try them!

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  24. Those are lovely! On my to-do list now! Thanks for sharing!

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  25. I have teenage girls visiting next week and this looks like a fun project to get their interest. Thanks for sharing!

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  26. Gorgeous! I am going to have to try this, thanks for the tutorial!

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  27. wow...I am fascinated with these! Just gorgeous...can't wait to try :)

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  28. This is gorgeous. It looks so sparkley! I might make one for the top of my tree :)

    great job! Popping by from the DIY Showoff :)

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  29. Thanks so much, your tutorial is very detailed and I think I will be able to reproduce your beautiful work. Thanks again for sharing.

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  30. Hey, fancy meeting you here. Instead of preparing for tomorrow's HS co-op lesson, I decided to procrastinate and check out "Made by You Monday." I will miss recieiving one of your amazing handmade oranaments this year. I'll have to follow your tutorial....only after I prepare for tomorrows lesson. I miss you friend.

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  31. I miss you, too! Funny, I was just thinking about you all this morning.

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  32. Thank you so much for this tutorial! I can't wait to try it :)
    Kerry
    www.thegraphicaddict.com

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  33. Amazing would love to have you link this up also at Trendy Treehouse! I think I might make some of these. Thanks for the beautiful tutorial.

    http://thetrendytreehouse.blogspot.com/2010/11/creative-share-blog-hop-turkey-cookies.html

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  34. Very very very cool. These look incredible beautiful, and not that hard, just very time comsuming. However my oldest son, LOVES working with paper, and with your fantastic tutorial, I could get him to make me a whole bunch of these beauties.

    Would you PLEASE share these over at my special party **6 weeks 2 JINGLE**, its all things Christmas, and I am tracking down all the coolest projects, to be on there.

    Oh btw, I am your newest follower, found you on HOH features today!! Love her too, what great features, but yours was by far my favorite.

    Thanks again,

    Bella :)

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  35. Absolutely gorgeous!!! Thank you for sharing. I love to use old papers for vintage looks and this is a perfect project. I am a new follower too. Hope you will come and see my whimsical world.

    Hugs,
    Regi

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  36. Yep, I'm stealing this. Those are really amazing and cool!

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  37. You must be a super patient person to sit and fold all those strips of paper. ;) Your paper ornaments are incredible! I love every design.

    Thanks for linking to my party. I look forward to having you join me each week.

    By the way, I just joined you as a follower.

    Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage
    http://thebrambleberrycottage.blogspot.com/

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  38. Love these! I am featuring them today on my friday favorites with a link to you. Thanks for sharing this great idea. Feel free to grab a featured button if you'd like.

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  39. Perfect for our Book Club ornament exchange. What size paper did you start with?

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  40. Love it! We just made 6 of them! It was so much easier than it looks. Your tutorial was perfect! Thank you for the idea!!

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  41. I just wanted to stop by and let you know that I linked to this post today from the Home & Garden channel at Craft Gossip. :)

    Your feature will appear in the main Craft Gossip RSS feed, on the main home page and can be found directly here
    http://homeandgarden.craftgossip.com/9-star-projects-for-christmas/

    If you would like a "featured by" button, you can grab one here!
    http://homeandgarden.craftgossip.com/grab-a-craft-gossip-button/

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  42. Coming to you from 'Made by you Mondays.' These are beautiful. I am planning to make some to decorate the tree that we put on my grandmother's grave (a happy tree, not a morbid one!). She made all her ornaments from paper the first year of her marriage because it was the 30's and they were broke; these have always been the favorites to put on the tree every year since. I think she would love the resourcefulness of these!
    I want to try to make these more weather resistant. What do you think? I could make it with paper and spray with poly, but that would be tough to get under the various layers. I could also make it out of some sort of waterproof paper. Do you think that craft foam sheets would be too thick? Would plastic folders (for school projects) be too stiff? So many fun ideas! Thanks for the inspiration.

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    Replies
    1. From PattiBeth. Could you spray with that weatherproof spray people put on boots before going outside in the rain. Forgot the name of it. A shoe store or repair shop might know.

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  43. Wow! Those are so cool-- I will definitely follow for more tutorials, thank you!

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  44. These are so beautiful. I made one and brought it to work and they ooohed and aaahhed and then said I had way too much free time. : ) I have a question though. When you folded the individual strips at the beginning, did you glue them together? They look so nice and flat and my strips were sort of opened. Does that make any sense at all?
    Laura

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  45. WOW!! I can't wait to try these! They are GORGEOUS!

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  46. OK!!! I tried can I please please send you a pic! I can NOT STOP LAUGHING! Alie keeps laughing and saying "mama whats funny"

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  47. thank you Amanda, I made one for my tree today.
    http://colestoucan.blogspot.com/2010/12/star.html

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  48. I want to use this as one of my monthly crafts for my New Year's Resolution to do (not just try) a new craft every month! Thank you for posting this!!!

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  49. I love this craft... and I am going to do a little different take on it and use the weaving pattern to create a fascinator. I will be using a type of millinery wire. I have a fashion blog and I this will fit perfectly with it! I am a new follower of your. Jane from http://tickleberryfarm.blogspot.com sent me over here! Cheers!

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  50. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  51. Linked to your blog post on my blog at upcycledpurpose.blogspot.com! Thanks for the great tutorial!

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  52. Thanks so much for your great tutorial! I've made about a dozen so far! http://theambitiousprocrastinator.blogspot.com/2011/11/pinspired-by-paper-ornaments.html

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  53. Thanks so much Amanda... I really enjoyed making them and your tutorial is fab and so easy to follow. I far prefer the picture tutorial to a video! I'm going now to link your post to my blog and sign up to follow! Thanks again
    JoZarty

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  54. Love this Vintage Star! Made 8 with my two Gran Angels last nite from news paper and then sprayed them silver this morning. Tonight we put silver glitter on them. Great project, easy tutorial to do with my 4 and 5 yr old. They loved it! I was going to post a picture cause they turned out Beautiful! Deborah

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  55. Just pinned this - I had seen the version "borrowed" without credit at the other site - sad.

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  56. Tip: With (quick-dry)Adhesive that I got @ Michael's, I don't need the clips. You just press it together for a few seconds and it holds. It really sped up the process for me. Enough that I can make gifts of sets of the 3 different ones, instead of just 1 each. It is not normal to be this excited about glue. LOL I also use spray adhesive to put a light dusting of glitter on the whole ornament.

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  57. A really beautiful star! Thanks for the great instructions - I'm going to try this today! Have a lovely Xmas!

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  58. This is all so cool and pretty! thanks for sharing!
    JoAnn

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  59. i'm a librarian, n i love books n reading them n craft with them, too.
    thanks a lot!!!!!! from argentina!!!!!

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  60. I'm going to try this during Christmastime and make one for my handbell teacher. Great tutorial, and beautiful starts. Want to make one of each. Thank you!

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  61. These are so beautiful! I just made one using hot glue, and it worked great. It dried so fast, eliminating the need for all the clips.

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    Replies
    1. I was tempted top use my glue gun but decided shandy it glad to know it is an option thanks!

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  62. Thanks so much, your tutorial is very detailed and I think I will be able to reproduce your beautiful work. Thanks again for sharing.

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  63. I had to try this right away and my star came out beautifully despite a small learning curve. I made it out of sheet music and it looks so good!

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  64. I found your tutorial last night and made my first one from plain cardstock. This morning I made a smaller version. Thank you for providing such clear directions. I look forward to seeing your new designs.

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  65. I found your tutorial last night and made my first one from plain cardstock. This morning I made a smaller version. Thank you for providing such clear directions. I look forward to seeing your new designs.

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  66. I found your tutorial last night and made my first one from plain cardstock. This morning I made a smaller version. Thank you for providing such clear directions. I look forward to seeing your new designs.

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  67. WOW! These are gorgeous! I will be making these thanks to you are your clear tutorial. Love your blog :) xx

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  68. i have made some and find using "glue tape" the best option. not messy and instant bond! not sure what they call it where you are but it is a scrapbooking necessity i think and is like double sided tape in a dispenser.

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