Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Simple Origami Stars

Ten years ago one of my favorite people in the world gave me this sweet, simple, wonderful Christmas story.  'Bear's Christmas Star' by Mireille D'Allance.
I love the charcoal and pastel illustrations, so inviting.  The story is a familiar one (I think it happens every year at our house with the little ones).  It's time to trim the tree and guess what?  The kiddos want to help... too much. 

I don't like it when something that's supposed to be a wonderful traditional Christmas memory turns into "Don't touch that!"  "Not that way!"  "Sweetie, you're too little" but sometimes it happens.  I think the key is organization, you know- having certain things ready for the kids to do.  Alas I'm not great at that organization thingy.  Anyway, as in the book, it all seems to always work out in the end (with not too many shattered ornaments...)

Today for an activity to accompany this delightful picture book I'm going to teach you how to make the most simple and wonderful chubby little origami stars- join me!   (my little sis taught me how to make these last year and I just think they terrific!  You'll love them.)


Step 1:

Cut 1/2 inch wide strips of regular weight paper (don't try card stock, won't work).  I used old construction paper we had laying around.  When cutting paper I usually get out my sewing supplies- it's easier for me to cut exact measurements with my rotary cutter and template.  (of course this is a job for an adult... one day several years ago I cut the tip off my pointer finger using this tool.  It can be very dangerous) 
Step 2:

Take your paper strip and tie a knot in one end.  Yes just a regular old knot.  Of course you need to be delicate as to not rip, wrinkle or tear the paper.  See my knots below.
Step 3: 

You can see that your knot created a hexagon with two strips of paper jutting out- now its just a matter of wrapping the strips around your hexagon and finally tucking the last bit into a fold in the paper.  At this point older children can definitely start helping out, though you want to keep your hexagon tight.  My six year old enjoyed helping with this step.  The next four pictures show me folding a hexagon.
Step 4: 

Transform your hexagon into a star by pinching in the sides.  Just stick you fingers on the edges and squish them in.
Here we have a bunch of finished stars.  So creating the stars may be more of a big kid or adult activity but once the stars are created the possibilities are endless...
When we went to the tree lot and picked up our tree this year my six year old found this discarded branch... to him it was his own personal tree.  The stars we made were the perfect decorations for his sweet little tree.  We just inserted some Christmas tree hooks into several of the stars and...
...Voila!  Decorated miniature tree.
I think they are adorable.
My four year old had already decorated his "Christmas tree" so we decided to make a garland with his stars.  We used a large basting needle and a bit of clear elastic thread.  I poked the stars and he pulled them onto the string.  Then we hung it up with our other 'little things' on display in my old printers drawer.  Don't you think it turned out delightful?
We liked it so much we decided to make another one.
Lastly (to geek out a little) for any other Mario fans out there in cyber space... Don't these puffy little stars make the best little Lumas ever?  It was actually my six year old that morphed trimming his tiny tree into a fantasy game about Lumas- I loved it!

Hope you get a chance to make stars, and please let me know what you do with them!  I would love to hear your ideas - Robyn

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