Tuesday, January 1, 2013

How to Fold a Danish Paper Star

Happy New Year!
This is a beautiful Danish Folded Paper Star.  My Danish friends tell me that these are very commonly used to decorate for the Christmas holiday, but I thought it would be a great way to start off the New Year here at SunScholars.  They are somewhat complicated to make, though not difficult once you get then hang of it.  So, I'm hoping that by giving a visual how-to, you might be able to create them too!

Supplies Needed
  • 4 Strips of Paper, perfectly cut to the same width
  • Scissors
The paper strips have to be PERFECT!  If not, the folding of your star could be impossible.  If you are unable to find pre-cut paper strips, I would recommend using a ruler and an exacto knife to cut your strips.  The strips that I used measured 15mm by 450mm.

1. Fold each of your 4 strips in half.  Fold the ends in on each strip as shown in the image below.  This will make it easier to push strips between strips of paper when you are folding later.

2. Slide strip #1 through the fold of strip #2.

3. Slide strip #2 through the fold of strip #3.

4.  Slide strip #3 through the fold of strip #4.  Slide strip #4 through the fold of strip #1, to form a square.

Gently pull the four ends of each strip so the folded ends secure a square, as shown in the photo below.  Now, note that under each number marked in the image below, there are two paper strips... one for each side of the star (front and back).

5.  The square created is for the back-side of the star.  Now you need to create a square for the front-side.

Fold the top strip #2 upwards (as in the image below).  Next, fold the top strip #1 to the left, over strip #2 that you just folded.  See image below.

Fold the top strip #4 down, over strip #1 just folded to the left.

Now you will secure your new square.  Do this by taking the top strip #3 over strip #4, but sliding it  underneath strip #2 that was folded upwards.  Pull strip #3 all the way through to create the second square.  See in the image below.

6.  Now we will create the outer points of the star.

Take strip #2 at the top, and fold it behind making a 45 degree fold.  Flatten your fold.

Next, take that same strip and fold it down and front-wards into a second 45 degree angle creating a point as in the image below.  Flatten your folds.

Fold your newly formed point in half, so the paper strip lines up with the strip below it (in this case, the #2 strip will lay on top of the other #2 strip).

Gently open the folds just created, and slip the end of strip #2 through the slot created by strip #1 as shown in the first image.  Be careful to have your paper strip turned the right way so when you pull the strip through it will easily fall back into the fold you created.  If done properly, it will look like the image on the right.

7. Repeat Step 6 three more times (using strips #3, #4, and #1) to get the finished result below.

8. Now you need to create the outer star points for the other side of the star.  Flip your star over, and repeat Step 6 for all four sides of your star.

When finished, your star will look like the image below.  Notice that there is now a folded point underneath each hanging strip.

9.  This is where it might seem a bit tricky.  I am told, if you have done something wrong in the early stages, THIS is where you realize it!  So fingers crossed, we have done it right up to here.  We are going to start folding the star shape on the top of the star.

Pull back strip #4 so it is out of the way for this next step.  (Don't fold it back, just move it out of the way as in the image below.)

While holding back strip #4, pick up strip #3 and wrap it around as shown in the images below, and tuck it through the slot UNDER strip #4.  Notice that the loop made with strip #3 bends down and not up!

Gently pull strip #3 through.... and as you do, you will shape your star points.  Pinch a crease at the inner fold created at the end, as in the image on the right.

When you have pulled the strip all of the way through, it will look like this...

10. Repeat Step 9 for the other three points you will create on the front of the star.  For the next one, begin by pulling back strip #1 to move it out of the way.  You will take strip #4 (that was held out of the way for the first point), pull it around into a loop, and tuck through the slot UNDER strip #1.

Your star will look like this as you are making your last fold on this side...

And the folds on this side are now finished!

11.  Now flip your star onto the other side, and repeat Step 9 for each of the four points on the other face of your star.  When finished, both sides of your star will look like this.
Now all you have left to do is to carefully snip the excess strips off.  Cut along the line of your star folds.  And your star is complete!

The Danish hang these on the Christmas tree.  What would you use them for?  I'm thinking they would look gorgeous covered in glitter!

So pretty, don't you think?

Happy Folding!


  1. When my dad was a kid, he and his sister made a bunch of these, dipped them in paraffin wax, sprinkled them with glitter and sold them around the neighborhood for Christmas. Several years ago, my Grandma found a few that were left over and sent them to me. We thought it would be fun to recreate the moment and make them together as a family. Can't wait to use your tutorial to create a memory for our family!

  2. Just found this.....my children make them nearly every year...often as gifts. My husband is a Dane, so grew up making them as well.......so simple, so lovely. I plan to show him the instructions and see what he says....the ones on the packages we receive from DK are not the best :) Thanks for taking the time to share.....blessings from a farm in MN!


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