Pinterest Project: Paper Stars

Welcome to my new segment!  If you couldn’t tell from the title, it’s called Pinterest Projects.  Each week I’ll detail my adventures in trying things I find on Pinterest.  “Projects” may be a bit of a misnomer since some things I try will end up being pretty simple, but fuck it, its alliteration.

This week, I’m writing about paper stars.  Lucky stars or paper stars or origami stars or lucky paper origami stars as they’re sometimes known, are a phenomenon that have been sweeping the internet as of late.  Today, I’m going to first, tell you a bit about the origins of lucky stars then I’m gonna teach you how to make them.  Exciting!

There’s not a lot of information about how or why lucky stars came to be, but thanks to the internet, I do have some information about the origins of these cute lil’ buggers.  Apparently, paper stars themselves have been around for quite a while, but the act of folding a specific amount and giving a jar of them as gifts didn’t really take off until the late 1980’s.  According to an answer on Yahoo Answers by Miss_Po, a Chinese movie in which the main female lead gives a jar of these paper stars to the male lead for luck really brought the tradition to the forefront of Chinese culture.

The meaning behind giving a certain number of stars came from the meaning the people giving them as gifts assigned to it.  Lucky stars became a popular gift to give between couples, so a lot of the meanings deal with love and romance.  Here’s a handy little graphic I found:

3462730102_3e58bffe31_b

Aside from the romantic implications of specific numbers of stars, folding and giving someone 100 or 1,000 lucky stars allows the recipient to make a wish.  This was the original meaning that I learned from the pin I found that inspired me to try my hand at folding these origami stars.

Personally, I like making these, filling all sorts of jars and containers with them, and simply displaying them around my room.  When I do give them as gifts, I’m not particularly attaching any specific meaning to them outside of “Hey, check out this cool thing I made for you; it’ll look great in your living room!”

Now, my dear readers, if you’d like to learn how to make your own jar of stars, read on and learn!

Lucky Star02Gather the items you’ll need to make the lucky stars.  Scissors, strips of paper (you can cut yourself or buy online; I get my paper exclusively from yeestore on etsy), and a bottle or container of your choice.  I got this potion bottle from Michael’s.

Lucky Star03

Start by making a ribbon shape.  I always think of it like the shape that awareness ribbons usually are.

Lucky Star Fold StepsA

Next steps are to make a knot out of the ribbon.  Do this by pulling the short end through the loop.  Pull the paper tight-ish without ripping, then fold/flatten the knot.  Fold the short end in.  Cut the end if it’s too long to fit within the main pentagon.

Lucky Stars Fold StebsB

Next, I’ve flipped the star-in-the-making over.  Take the long end (white, in the top picture) and fold it over, following the natural lines of the main pentagon.

Lucky Star Fold Steps

Then, just fold the long end over and around and over and around, continuing to follow the edges and lines of the main pentagon.  When you get to the end, cut the remainder down if it’s too long to make another full fold around, then tuck it in the creases created by your folds.

Lucky Star Puff Star Steps

Then, take the pentagon in your fingers (I’m was also the photographer, so I’m only using one hand, but you should use two, using the two forefingers and thumb of one hand and the index and thumb of the other) and gently squeeze the pentagon to puff it out.  This works really well when the folds have been well-creased.  Next, use your thumbnail to push in along the edges of the puffed out pentagon to get that star shape.

And voila!  You have just made your own lucky star!

Lucky Star18

Lucky Star01  Lucky Star19

And a bonus picture of the finished product with my boy, Disco in the background.

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