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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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