Google+ House Revivals: Weave a Celtic Inspired Star from Vintage Book Pages

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Weave a Celtic Inspired Star from Vintage Book Pages

I think you all know how much I love working with vintage book pages.... and I'm pretty sure most of you know I love to weave traditional Scandinavian stars from folded strips of vintage book pages, right?  Well, last Christmas, my husband and I were at an Irish pub on the coast, listening to a favorite Irish band, when I started to notice the lovely Celtic crosses all around.

I thought it would be fun to weave a Celtic cross design into one of the woven stars I was making.  I LOVE how it turned out! I think it looks great made completely from vintage book pages, but maybe next time I will use a contrasting material for the cross portion. What are your thoughts on that?

I like to include a little history about woven eight-pointed stars in my tutorials. Pictured below is a woven star that has been in my friend's family for several generations. This was the advent star they would hang in their window in Sweden at Christmastime. You can read my friend's story at her blog, Life is Good.

Here is an antique star my friend Kristine picked up in a Swedish antique store back in the eighties or early nineties.

These stars were woven from birch bark or veneer. Birch bark crafts have been around for a very long time. In Scandinavia, when it became popular to hang an advent star in the window at Christmastime, it was only natural for craftspeople to make them from birch! Some Swedes have commented that they were weaving stars long before the Advent Star tradition! Crafting woven stars experienced a resurgence in the seventies and eighties. In 1973, Sunset Magazine featured a woven star in an article about Swedish Christmas traditions.  In the early eighties, my friend Jill started making a version of the woven eight-pointed star that she calls the Vermont Snowflake (find Jill's beautifully crafted stars here).

My friend Tina, who is in her seventies, shared with me how she learned to weave stars as a child in Sweden. My friend Helmuth says he learned to weave similar stars in Germany as a young boy. My friend, Paul, from the Nordic History Museum says that many of his relatives in Sweden still have their old woven stars.

Weaving the "Celtic" version of an Advent Star is very similar to weaving the other stars I have shared.  You will need sixteen fat (mine were on-half inch wide) strips and eight skinny (mine were one-quarter inch) strips. I used folded vintage book pages, but you can cut strips of scrapbook paper or anything you like. To see how I fold my strips, go to this tutorial.

Find the center of each skinny strip and glue pairs together, intersecting, as shown.

Next, glue two sets of pairs together to form a Celtic Cross, as shown here.

Now, weave the fat strips onto the cross base, as shown.  Treat the two skinny strips on each arm of the cross as one strip.  Glue each intersection to secure.

Twist the adjacent fat corner pieces together, weaving the tips. Glue to secure.

Place one side on top of the other side, and weave the arms of the cross under the tips.

Glue to secure.  Trim, as necessary tidy up the points.

Add a hanger, if desired. You can simply use a pretty piece of ribbon or twine, or use a loop of paper, as I have done.

Embellish with glitter, if desired, or leave the star plain. Either way, it will be beautiful!

If you love woven stars, but would prefer to use a kit, my friend Penny Marble designed these kits to make fabric "snowflakes".  They are so pretty!

Are you inspired to weave a Celtic Star?

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