How to Make a Paper Moravian Star


People have been folding Moravian stars for over 100 years. The stars have been folded to represent Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, specific heritages and even folded to teach geometry lessons. The original Moravian star had 110 spikes, but modern versions have become much smaller. Take about 15 minutes and fold a 16-point star from four strips of paper to create a star to hang as a Christmas ornament or use to decorate a gift.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Pin (optional)
  • Wire (optional)

Preparing the Paper

  • Cut four strips of paper that measure 1-inch wide by 24-inches long.

  • Fold the paper in half lengthwise so they are now 1/2-inch wide.

  • Snip off the corners at an angle of one end. The end should have a flat point like a crayon or a tall tapered candle.

Making Central Squares

  • Place a strip (strip 1) on the work surface horizontally with the folded edge on the left side and the tapered ends on the right. Take another strip (strip 2) and slide it vertically over strip 1 so strip 1 sits in between the layers of strip 2. The folded edge of strip 2 will be at the top – pull the strip flush with the edge of strip 1. Position it about 1 inch away from the left edge of strip 2.

  • Take another strip (strip 3) and place it horizontally over strip 2 with the folded edge on the right. Strip 2 will be in between the layers of strip 3. Pick up the last strip (strip 4) and hold it vertically in between your thumb and forefinger with the folded end at the bottom. Slide strip 4 over strip 3 so that strip 3 is in between the strip 4’s layers. Take the ends of strip 4 and slip them in between the layers of strip 1. There should be an open square in the middle of the strips of paper.

  • Slide the strips towards the middle to close the open square. When the squares have all reached the middle, there will be four squares that make up a large square shape with a strip in each direction.

  • Fold the top layer of strip 1 towards the left. Pick up the layer and cross it over the middle square, crease and fold it down. Proceeding counter-clockwise, fold a layer of strip 4 down over the square in the same manner. Fold the top layer of strip 3 to the right. Fold the top layer of strip 2 upwards towards the middle square. Weave it under strip 1 that was folded across earlier. You will have a center square with two strips off of each side.

Making Four Points

  • Take the top right strip and fold the paper backwards at a 45-degree angle. The end should be pointing to the right and parallel to the two right strips. Crease the fold. Fold the paper at a downward 45-degree angle. The strip should now lay on top of the two right strips.

  • Fold the strip inwards to the left so that it is on top of the center square. Press the fold flat. Pick up the end of the strip and slide it through the top right small square of the center square. Pull through. There will be a point above the top right of the center square. Turn the project clockwise a quarter of a turn.

  • Repeat the two previous steps until four points have been made.

  • Fold the right strip to the left and crease. Fold the bottom strip up and crease. Fold the left strip to the right and crease. Fold the top strip down, slide it underneath the strip folded across the center square and pull down.

Making Perpendicular Points

  • Take the top right strip and fold it down at a 45-degree angle. The end of the paper will point to the right. Crease the paper.

  • Grab the free end and bring it to the left and slide it under the left square of the center. Pull the tip through. This will create a point sticking straight up.

  • Turn the project a quarter turn clockwise. Repeat until you have a total of four perpendicular points. Snip off the tapered ends of the paper.

  • Turn the project over so the points are facing down. Use care not to squish them. Repeat steps 1 through 4 in Section 3 and steps 1 through 3 in Section 4 to create four points and then four perpendicular points.

  • Create a pinhole on one of the points. Thread wire through and hang as an ornament, if desired.

Tips & Warnings

  • Stop after Section 3 to create half a Moravian star. You can use these flat stars on gift packages.
  • The more stars you make, the neater they will be. Keep practicing.
  • If you make eight Moravian stars, you can connect them to make a wreath. Six Moravian stars can make a festive ball.

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  • Photo Credit HottShott/iStock/Getty Images
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