Introduction: How to Draw a 5-point Star

Picture of How to Draw a 5-point Star

When you build things a lot, you tend to take for granted the things you have picked up over the years. This Instructable is one of those things for me -- which is how to make a symmetrical 5-pointed star. This trick can be used on all kinds of materials, but I have found that it works best on paper and card stock, which you can then use as a template to transfer it to other more durable materials.

All you need for this Instructable is a straight edge or ruler, a circle-drawing compass, a protractor, and a pencil.

Step 1: Draw a Center Line, Then a Circle

Picture of Draw a Center Line, Then a Circle

For this Instrucatble, I used a graphics editor in an image 800x800. But for your star or stars, you'll simply decide, based on your project, how big you need the star to be. The largest I have ever made is on a 4.5" radius for a Captain America shield, but you can go as big or small as you need.

First: find center of your circle and draw a center line through it at least the length of the diameter of the size you need for your star. A little big is better.

Second: draw the circle of the radius size for your star.

Step 2: Measure the Angles for the Star Points

Picture of Measure the Angles for the Star Points

For those who don't remember this from geometry, a circle has 360 degrees. If a 5-point star sits inside a circle, that means each point is 360/5 = 72 degrees away from its neighbors.

This next step is to mark the points of the star on the circle using your protractor. The center line you drew is step 1 is your zero-degree mark. Measure one hash mark at 72 degrees, and the next at 144 degrees, counting counter-clockwise. Flip your protractor, start at zero degrees again, and make the same measurements in a clockwise direction. the two sides split by the center line should look like mirror images when you have them complete.

Step 3: Connect the Dots

Picture of Connect the Dots

The rest, as they say, is travelling music. Simply connect the dots as shown using a straight edge, and you will get a very clean and straight 5-point star.

When it is complete, do yourself a favor and cut it out with a sharp box cutter and a straight edge. If you use scissors you will not like the wavy cuts you get, and as a template it will be less than satisfying.

A sample of one star I made using this technique is shown above. Enjoy!

Comments

TheFrankTurk (author)2017-04-21

Here's a note from me, the author of this instructable:

I have some very useful Instructables posted, and I am utterly stunned that this one has the most views by a factor of 3 vs. the Winter Soldier costume, and a factor of 60 vs. my very-impressive TARDIS model.

I had no idea this would be this useful to people. :-)

ramafono (author)2017-04-21

Thanks.

Lisa-JayneS (author)2016-06-22

What if i don't have a protractor? :-(

TheFrankTurk (author)Lisa-JayneS2016-06-22

It's a good question. One option is to print one from on-line.

https://www.google.com/search?q=protractor&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjnybz3zLvNAhXHiSwKHWBKDWIQsAQIIw&biw=1920&bih=993

Another option is to use your compass to draw the points of the star independent of each other and then connect them -- an obviously-complicated process. To get a star which looks vaguely like this one, draw a straight base line of 100mm, and then adjust your compass to 85mm. Use the ends of the line as two center points, and draw the arcs which will intersect above the center of the 100mm line. Connect the intersecting point to the ends of the 100mm line, and you will roughly have one point of the star which will measure to 72 degrees (it will be slightly less).

My method really doesn't need a compass though. The GiMP graphics editor is free to download, and it can easily be used to create angled lines as described in the tutorial. You can also massively cheat the whole process and download my finished star as a template and make it smaller or bigger to suit your need. :-)

Ángel J (author)2015-09-15

Thanks, just what I was looking for.

peppypickle (author)2014-11-18

thanks for this star-drawing tutorial! very helpful!

About This Instructable

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Bio: I make things so you can make things. Out of stuff.
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