Paper Moravian Star


This paper Moravian Star is a traditional creation which has existed for over a hundred years. It is not clear who created the first paper star of this type but the star is also called Froebel Star in honor of Friedrich Frobel, a German educator who promoted paper arts as a mode of teaching children. The star has a series of other names:
German Stars
Polish Stars
Swedish Stars      
Nordic Stars
Pennsylvanian Stars     
Bethlehem Stars
Danish Stars
Advent Stars
Christmas Stars


The original Moravian Star had 110 spikes and was probably designed as a geometry lesson for school-aged boys. Later the star became a symbol of Advent and was/is displayed during Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany.

In modern times, Moravian Stars are reduced to have 26 spikes and can be purchased online. They are still prominently displayed in locations where German / Moravian influences prevail.

The paper Moravian Star is much more simple in construction.
  • They have 16 points and are made with 4 strips of paper.
  • The paper is of ratio 1:24. This means if you use a strip of paper that is 1" wide, it needs to be at least 24" long. Or, if you use a strip of paper that is half an inch wide, it needs to be at least 12 inches long. You can buy paper strips here.
  • The size of the star after it is completed is 4 times the width of the paper. If you use a paper that is one inch wide, the star will be 4 inches wide from tip to tip.
  • You can stop the project midway and get variations which are either completely flat, or is flat on one side. These flat versions of the paper Moravian Stars allow you to attach them to gift boxes or to assemble them into baskets or balls.
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It takes about 15 minutes to make one star, so let's get started!

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Get Papers Ready

Step 1a:
Start with 4 strip of papers of ration 1:24 or greater.

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Step 1b:
Fold the papers in half.
Cut the ends so they are tapered. (this makes it easier to weave later).



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Make First Central Square

Step 2a:
Place the first strip from left to right with folded edge on the left side.





Step 2b:
Place second strip top-to-bottom with folded edge near the top. Place it so strip 1 lies in between the layers of strip 2.





Step 2c:
Continue with strip 3: place it horizontal from right to left with folded edge on the right. Make sure the paper from strip 2 is in between the two layers of strip 3.





Step 2d:
Place strip 4 in up-to-down orientation. Strip 3 should be inside the layers of strip 4. Weave the ends of strip 4 in between the layers of strip 1.





Shuffle and slide the papers to tighten the central square.



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Make a Second Central Square.

Step 3a:
Start from the top-right: fold one layer of strip 1 towards the left.







Step 3b:
Fold one layer of #4 down.









Step 3c:
Fold one layer of strip #3 towards the right.









Step 3d:
Lastly, fold one layer of #2 up and weave it under strip 1a.







This is how it looks like. The central squares are quite secure.








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Make First Set of 4 Points

Step 4a:

Start at the top-right. Fold the paper at a 45 degree angle towards the right. Fold it back or behind (mountain fold).
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Step 4b:
Fold the paper at a 45 degree angle down (valley fold).
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Step4c:
Fold the paper to the left so it overlaps the central square.
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Step 4d:
Lift the strip of paper and weave it under the layer of paper directly underneath. See images below.
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In transition.
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Pull through.
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Quarter-turn clockwise.

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Step 5:
Repeat step-4 three more times until all 4 corners are done.


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This is how it looks like when the first 4 points have been completed.


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Rearrange Papers

Step 6a:
Bring strip #1 towards the left.

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Step 6b:
Fold #2 up.



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Step 6c:
Fold strip #3 towards the right.


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Step 6d:
Lift strip #1 a little and fold #4 down.

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This is how it looks like after all the strips have been re-aranged.


This next section is the hardest part of making the paper Moravian Star. Most first-time folders will have trouble here and you might need to tinker with it to figure out the correct way to make the paper Moravian Star. However, once you've figure it out, you can make these stars with minimal effort.







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Make 4 Perpendicular Points

Step 7a:
Start at the top-right. Fold the paper at a 45 degree angle so the free end is pointing towards the right.
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Step 7b:
Bring the free end of the paper back towards the left and weave it under the paper as shown below.
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Weave tip under the paper.
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The tip comes out of the point made in step 4.
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Pull through. Quarter-turn counter-clockwise.
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This is how it looks like when done.

Step 8:
Repeat step 7 three more times until you have all 4 perpendicular points.




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Two perpendicular points completed.

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Three perpendicular points completed.

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Four perpendicular points completed.

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Step 9:
Cut off excess strips of paper.

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Step 10:
Turn the model over and repeat steps 4 through 8 on the back side of the paper Moravian Star.

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This is how it looks like after step 4
(4 points made).

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This is how it looks like after step 6
(papers have been re-arranged).

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This is how it looks like after step 8
(4 perpendicular points made).

Cut off excess paper.



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Paper Moravian Star is done!

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Side view.

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Using two different colors.



Variations

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One variation is to make the first four points (step 4), turn the model over, make the second set of 4 points and then snip off the excess paper. This gives you a flat, 8-pointed star. These can be made in different sizes and stacked to make cute decorations.


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If you stop after step 7, you will get half a paper Moravian Star. The flat back allows you to stick the star on a gift or a card.


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If you make 6 paper Moravian Stars, you can connect them into a ball. Click here for instructions.





If you make 8 paper Moravian Stars, you can connect them into a ring or wreath. Click here for instructions.