Picture of Paper Gold Star Tree Topper
Need a glorious star to top your tree, but you just don't have one? You can make your own! It doesn't take that long and if you're new to origami or papercraft, it's a nice little introduction to the wonders of folding paper.

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Step 1: Supplies

Picture of Supplies
For the star's construction, I used Bristol board that I then cut down to 8.5" x 11" pieces so I could print on them. Any letter-sized piece of paper will work, but the thicker the better.

For the painting, I used Krylon® Short Cuts® Gold Leaf, Krylon® Glitter Blast, and Krylon Crystal Clear Gloss

Step 2: Print and cut

Picture of Print and cut
Download the PDF below and print out at least 5 copies. You might as well make it 6 or 7 if you're new to this type of stuff. The thicker the paper the better. In fact, I'm using Bristol board which is basically card stock.

Once you've printed them out, cut out around the whole shape and the little black line in the middle.

Note: the file looks different because I updated it with the instructions on the page itself.

Also, I made the template as big as I could for a letter-size piece of paper. This makes a big star, about 17" wide. Since others would likely want smaller stars, I also made 2 other PDFs at 66% (11.5") and 50% (8.5") the size of the original. This allows for more pieces to be printed on each sheet.

Step 3: Fold 'em

Picture of Fold 'em
The four dotted lines coming out from the top will be valley folds, folds coming towards you. The two other folds are mountain folds, folds going away from you. Be careful to make the folds in the right spot and crease the fold to make it clean.

In the PDF, the folds are marked with red and blue lines. The blue lines are valley folds and the red lines are mountain folds.

Since I'm using thick paper, I used a bone folder to score the paper first. This helps a lot and is well worth the few bucks it costs.

Step 4: Gluing

Picture of Gluing
For each piece, glue the small flap on one side to the opposite side. The result will be one point of the ultimate star. Do this first for all 5 pieces. I used Aleene's Tacky Glue for this.

With the pieces ready to go, apply glue to the top of the two flaps that are now sticking off of the bottom of the star point. Connect the star point to the next star point, as sen in the second picture, and press together until the glue is holding it together. Repeat until you have all 5 pieces together, like in the third picture.

Step 5: Completing the star

Picture of Completing the star
Here's the tricky part, getting it all to come together. Since you can't get your hands inside any more you'll have to compromise.

I've seen other ways of doing this, but for me, I only glue the bottom inch or so of the remaining flaps and then squeeze that together. It works.

Step 6: Paint!

Picture of Paint!
For the shininess to make the star extra glorious, I used three types of paint, in this order:
  1. Krylon® Short Cuts®
  2. Krylon® Glitter Blast™
  3. Krylon® Crystal Clear Gloss
As always, make sure to use spray paint in a well-ventilated area. I also strongly recommend using a respirator. I never paint, even a touch-up, without one.

Step 7: Top the tree!

Picture of Top the tree!
I cut out a small hole in the back bottom of the star and stuck the top of the tree inside the star. This works fine in my living room since the tree is in a corner. If the tree is more in the middle of the room, try cutting a notch at the bottom seam so that the tree is right in the middle of the star.

Thanks for checking this out and happy holidays!
I have been looking to try and see how the calculations for the template are made, can you help with the calculations ??

How did you make the template ?
capricorn3 years ago
Thank you for haring, the template will be most useful
RanaRavens3 years ago
I'm excited to try this one out. We just got our first tree and the top is bare! :)
Amazingly, this is the first time I have actually followed an instructable (rather than simply being inspired or impressed by it). Our little table-top tree is pretty pathetic and needs help. And now that I have made my star, I realize the star is almost as wide as the bottom of the tree. :P derp

So, I tweaked two pieces of the star just a little so that the hole was cut before I glued the pieces together. You can see, I think, in this picture, how I did this. It also helped when I was closing up the last seam.

Great instructable!
fungus amungus (author)  kewpiedoll993 years ago
Thanks! Nice tweak there. It does make it a little easier to plan ahead.

As for the size, it's true, it's very large for smaller trees. I made a couple more PDFs with smaller templates and added them to Step 2.
Cool! I might get some more heavy paper tomorrow (today I used manila folders that I cut down to 8-1/2x11 for printing) and try again with a smaller template. I was thinking that these would be cool with fancy paper as well, you could hang them from the ceiling using fishing line. Oh the possibilities!
hammer98763 years ago
Brilliant! And a perfect star for the kids to make. Congratulations on being featured. It looks like it's about 17" (about 43 cm) which is pretty big for my little four foot (1.22 m) tree. What's a good way to cut this down to a smaller size?
fungus amungus (author)  hammer98763 years ago
You're right, it is rather large. I meant to add smaller sizes, but forgot. I just added 2 more PDFs at smaller sizes to Step 2. Even better, more pieces can fit on one sheet of paper.
you could print it at 50% size to get a star half the size. 66% would be about a foot across.
Love it, that looks so great!
sunshiine3 years ago
Thanks for sharing! I love the star!
raviolikid3 years ago
This is lovely! I'll give it a try. Thanks for the clear instructions.