November 26, 2011

Make a German Paper Star to hang on your Christmas tree!

Do not fear, the making of the German Star, young Jedi.

With the force, guide you I will.

Wise I am!

Oh yes, the classic paper German star!

Traditionally, these are hung on the Christmas tree.

Recently, I have become the master...master of disaster...I mean, master of the German Star!

Such beauty and bewilderment created with just 4 strips of paper!

From the time I was little, I have been FASCINATED with these works of art, but I never knew how to make them.

If you'd like to try, I will guide you....step by after photo...showing you exactly what to do.

No sweat man!

Before we start, you will need 4 strips of paper. I use basic 8 1/2 in. x 11 in. computer printer paper. You can use anything you like as long as the paper is not thick and/or stiff. For the smaller star in the above photo, cut 4 strips 1/2 inch x 11 inches. For the larger star pictured above, cut 4 strips 1 inch x 11 inches. Keep your remaining paper scraps handy, we will have to lengthen our strips for the final step. In the future, you can lengthen them at the beginning, or if your paper is longer than computer printer paper that's great. Ideally, you would want about 6 extra inches tacked on to the 11 inch length. The purpose of me extending the strips later is to help you to understand that it is no big deal to extend the strips to complete the star. This will free your imagination to use pretty scrapbook paper or brown paper bags...and not to worry about the size of the paper. Just at least start with the measurements I gave you.

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3



Step 4

Ok, let's stop for one second. So now your project looks like this.

Ok, moving on!

Step 5

*You can trim the strip of paper if it is giving you difficulty fitting through these small spaces. I always have to do a little trimming here and there throughout.

Repeat with remaining sides.
*Tip, with the remaining sides you will now have a flap of paper in the way that you will just move aside while working and then just lay it back down when done.

Here is the flap I am talking about.

Ok, continue working your way around the star...

and now your project will look like this.


Take a breath, relax, you're making progress!

Step 6

Lift only these 4 strips upward.

For each side, fold flap to the left, covering each point of the star.

Continue on until all points are covered.

Ok, let's stop a second...this is where we are at. Does your star look like this so far?

Ok, good! Moving on!

We now have to lengthen our strips of paper. You actually can lengthen your strips before you start. However, I did this on purpose so you will see that no matter what size you want to make your star...even if your strips of paper are too can make them longer without any trouble so you can finish the job!

Take your additional strip and add some adhesive to the very end.

Attach the strip to the very end of the existing strip.

Ok, the photo below shows the extended strips of paper.

Ok folks...this is the trickiest part!!

Take your time and you will succeed! :)

Continue until your star looks like this.

Trim only the strips that you have just pulled through.

Ahhhhh, now we are making progress!

You have completed one side of the star.

This is what your star should look like at this point.

Take a breath and congratulate yourself!

You rocked it!

Now, flip the star over

and repeat steps 4 through 7

Remember step 4?? Go back and take your time, you can do it!

*Tip: any time you are feeding a strip through, it may be a bit too wide, just take your scissors and trim a teeny tiny bit of the strip and it will go through just fine. I usually run into this a few times while making these stars.

I won't walk you through the rest of the steps now continue on with steps 5 through 7 and you will be done!

Finished product!

*Fun fact..I shot 204 photos for this post. Out of 204, I used only 59 photos!! Sometimes blogging is a labor of love!!

Enjoy making these stars!!


  1. Wow, that is a lot of folding. It's hard to believe it's only four strips of paper!

  2. We made stars like this is German class in high school...I was wanting to know how to make them again! I'd call that a detailed tutorial! :) Thanks!

  3. OH. .they are SOO cute. .but still not sure I could master that. .even with the 59 photos :-) How many do you hang on YOUR tree?? I'll bet they are adorable on there!!

  4. I've seen these before but had no clue how to make them. Thank you so much for the tutorial and all the pics. I'll make at least one of these for our tree this year.

  5. Oh my! You are too cool. I wanted to make theses last year but never made time. I love theses. I read on line that on lady dipped them in hot wax. I think she hung them outdoors. I can't believe you took 204 photos! Wow! You are so dedicated to your readers! Ha ha! I wished we lived next door. We could have so much fun.
    You always have the best ideas and the best food!
    Thanks so much for sharing this!

    Check this site out :

  6. Thank you so much - this is the best tutorial for making these that I have found! I use to make these when I was younger but forgot how.

    You have a great blog !

  7. Oh, my gosh, this looks so difficult! You should get a masters after learning how to do this. Beth

  8. Oooh.... that is a lot of photos and I know it takes a lot to put them in a post. Thanks for the great tutorial. I lived in Germany as a child for 2 years so this is fun! I think I'd like to try it with fabric after I try in paper. Have a Merry Christmas!

  9. I did it! It took an hour and a half but i made one!

  10. I am going to do this with my boys! Thanks Bonnie:)

  11. Thank you for this! My friend and I made them last year, but somehow we lost the instructions and forgot how to do it. I can't wait to make some more for decorating gifts.

  12. I'm in the UK and learnt how to make these 50 years ago and got excited when I saw them at a German Christmas Market.

    Does anyone know the origins I as my childhood memory thought that a group of IT people invented them using computer paper tape.

    My dad continues to show cubs how to make them even now!

    1. We made these in Germany in kindergarten! Yep! Little kids could do that.... think maybe our fingers were more nimble? lol Also made those foldes woven paper hearts and beautiful folded paper stars.... two parts...glued to gether..... miss crafting during the x-mas season....

  13. Thank you for sharing, so pretty!
    Do you know how to make Strohhalm Sterne?
    If you do can you make some and show us?

  14. Thank you for the careful tutorial! We did it!!!!

  15. I've first started making these in the 60's when I was a little girl. I recently about 4 years ago started hunting for the star paper we used to use. That's what they called it. We used to buy it at the local newspaper. They stopped selling it when they quit using the old print press. I was able to find it on line from a vender out of PA. The purchased one of those old printing presses. We melt paraffin and sprinkle glitter on them and they lasted forever! I still have some of the original ones I made 50 years ago! I never new you could use regular paper and just lengthen it! Thank you for your pin!

  16. My mother made them sixty years ago, we lived down in a holler in southeastern Ohio and she did the paraffin and glitter too. A few were salvaged and we cherish them. Martha Stewart sold kits for making these about 10 years ago, the paper was pink, very light brown and white. They turned out wonderful. I made them and sent them to all my sisters and brother as they remembered our mother making them when we were children. I'm making more this year. Thank you for posting such thorough directions and photos! Happy Holidays.

  17. Thank you for the detailed instructions! I still have some I made as a child that we had dipped in paraffin and coated in glitter too (roughly 30 years ago) I look forward to making some with my kids this year.