How To Create Swedish Advent Stars Using Recycled Book Pages

paper swedish christmas book page stars ornaments tutorial how to make diy crafts reycle

Handmade straw and wood ornaments are a long standing tradition in Sweden and many other Scandinavian countries. I always look forward to receiving a handmade ornament from Sweden from my Mother and Father-in-law every Christmas. Advent stars are one of the items that are commonly made. When I was recently looking at a pic of antique woven star, I was inspired to make my own version using recycled book pages that could be used as a decorative hanger not just for the Christmas tree but for any time of year.

I started with a 5X7 inch paperback book that was ready for recycle. I tore out a page, folded it into four equal sections (width wise) and cut.

Borei Design: How to make Swedish Advent Book Page Star. DIY recycled craft tutorial.

I then took one of the quarter pieces and folded it evenly three times (width wise) to make my first strip. Between each fold I added a little white craft/school type glue to help hold it together. I suggest covering your work surface in wax paper during the process to keep the pages from sticking. I then repeated the process to make a total of 21 strips (20 strips for the star plus one additional to create the hanger).
How to make swedish recycled book page advent stars. DIY craft tutorial.

Once I had all my strips folded it was time to start the weaving process. I joined two strips together with a small dab of hot glue. I then added two additional strips on each side of one of the center strips, alternating under and over. Once I had a total of five strips, I added 2 more to each side of the other cross strip (alternating over and under). I secured the strips with additional dabs of hot glue. I created two of these for the two separate sides of the star.

paper swedish christmas book page stars ornaments tutorial how to make diy crafts reycle

Then I took the two strips on each corner, rolled them inward and secured with glue. I then took the next strip and again folded it inward and secured with glue. I repeated this process on each of the four corners. This left the original center strips free. This completed one side of the star. I then repeated the entire process to create the second side of the star.
DIY craft tutorial: how to make recycled book page Swedish Advent Christmas star ornaments.

The next step is a little hard to explain but very easy to do.  I laid the two sides of the star on top of each other, lining up the loose center strips on one side with a set of loops on the other side.   I then threaded the loose center strips (from one side) into the corresponding loops (on the other side), This essentially locks the two sides together. I then secured each center strip with a dab of hot glue. See pics below.
DIY craft tutorial: how to make Swedish Advent Star Ornaments from recycled book pages.

I then trimmed the ends of the center strips even with the loops using scissors. You can see in the pic below where I started to trim the center strips even. I had snipped it even on the right side and was about to snip the left side.

Recycled Crafts: How to make a Swedish Advent Star ornament from old book pages.

To make the hanger I took my last strip, made a hoop, glued it closed and cut it off, leaving a little extra on the end. I then secured it inside one of the loops with more hot glue.

How to weave recycled book pages to make a Swedish Advent Star Ornament

I then coated the entire star with a coat of satin finish Mod Podge, allowed to dry and I was finish! These stars look cute as is or you could also add a dusting of silver glitter that is also seen on many of the Swedish straw ornaments. You could also play around with making the stars larger or smaller and using different paper for your strips such as scrapbook paper, sheet music or etc. I hope you enjoyed, an early “God Jul” to you and happy crafting my friends!

DIY Craft Tutorial: How to make Swedish Advent book page star ornament

Update: Want to see another Swedish craft using book pages and other recycled materials? Be sure to check out my new post: The Makings of An American Dalahäst

Update: This project has been featured on Hometalk , Redbook Magazine & MSN Lifestyle

Topics: #swedish #star #book #page #directions #tutorial #how #to #make #recycled #upcycled #crafts #ornaments #christmas #instructions #sweden #advent #jul #advent


  1. I love to repurpose and what a beautiful creation to do with old books. Thank you for the How To.


  2. Anonymous10/14/2015

    This is gorgeous, and I am going to give it a try! Thank you for sharing!

  3. Anonymous10/16/2015

    I really like this project and hope to try it soon...very cleaver. I have made a number of other paper crafts over the past couple of years, but I have not seen anything like this.

  4. So glad you liked it guys and thanks so much for stopping by! :)

  5. Would like to make a big one as a tree topper. Any suggestions as to the best way to add a cone to put the tree top in?

  6. Hi Penny and thanks for stopping by! You could always try making a paper cone and glue it to the back but I think I would just try wiring the star directly to the top of the tree using floral wire. Let me know how it works out! :)

  7. I'm so glad I found your blog (on Pinterest). A lot of interesting things here. It made me especially glad to find some Swedish influence, since I live in Sweden. I have some of these Christmas Ornaments, but made of birch bark. Very traditional here.

    1. Wow! I would LOVE to see them! My hubby's family is from Sweden. His uncle who still lives there loves them too. I'm always looking for ways to combine our traditions. Native Amercians also use birch bark as well so I would REALLY love to see some! :)

  8. I have crafty, talented Grandest Daughters. Trying to find projects that will interest and challenge them is difficult. These Stars are a perfect project for them and a good wway to upcycle my old med books. Thank you so much.


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