Introduction: Lucky Stars

3D stars without glue? It seems impossible. However, this can be accomplished with practicing the Ancient Japanese tradition of origami! These cute little stars can be used as decorations or a gift. It only takes a few minutes to make one and it is so much fun. This project becomes a little tricky at times, but rest assure that the effort is definitely worth it.

Step 1: Materials

These are the things that you will need to start on this simple project:

a. Scissors

b. Printer Paper (8 ½ inch x 11inch)

c. Pencil or Pen

d. 12-inch Ruler

Note: You may skip the next four steps by buying lucky star paper from stores that sell origami-related items or the Internet. It is recommended that you stay away from the shiny paper because it tends to be very slippery and not ideal for beginners.

Step 2: Measure and Mark

1. Lay the piece of printer paper (8 ½ in x 11in) on a flat surface so that the shorter side is closest to you.

2. Set the ruler on top of the paper. The ruler should be laid down so that one long side is closest to you. See image above on the left.

3. Line up the short edge of the ruler along the left edge of the paper.

4. Draw a small dot at the half-inch mark close to the bottom of the page. See image above on the right.

5. Draw another small dot at the half-inch mark close to the top of the page.

Note: If you want to make smaller stars, it is recommended that you draw dots at the one-centimeter mark instead of at the half-inch mark.

Step 3: Draw

1. Take your ruler and set it down on top of the paper so that the position of the ruler looks like the above left image.

2. Make sure that the metal or tapered side of the ruler is aligned with the two dots you made in the previous step.

3. Using your writing utensil, draw a straight vertical line from the bottom to the top of the page while connecting the two dots.

Step 4: Cut

Take your scissors and cut along the line you just drew. You now should have two pieces of paper: one skinny strip and one larger sheet. You can put the leftover paper to the side to create more stars later.

Step 5: Bend Around

1. Take your skinny strip of paper and pinch the top with your right hand. With your left hand, hold the rest of the paper strip about three inches away from right hand. See the first left image above.

2. Take the part of the strip that is being held in your left hand and twist it slightly to the left while bringing the pinched part of the strip straight down with your right hand slightly. See middle two images above.

3. The paper should resemble the last right image above.

Step 6: Re-adjust Your Hold

1. Slide the part of the paper that is being held with your right hand under your left pointer finger until the parts overlap. Make sure this overlap is being held tightly with your left hand. See the first image on the left in the first row.

2. Release the paper with your right hand.

3. Turn your left hand to the left so you can see the part where the paper overlaps. See the above image, second row, on the left.

4. Pinch the overlap portion of the paper with your right hand and let go with your left.

5. Replace your right hand with your left hand so it looks like the above image, second row, on the right.

Step 7: Loop

1. Take the shorter end that is sticking out and insert the short end of the paper through the hole. See image above on the left

2. Pull on the strip of paper that is now sticking out of the hole with your left hand while simultaneously pulling on the long strip so that you get a pentagon shape at the end of the long strip of paper. See image above in the middle.

3. Pull tight so that the pentagon is snug at the end, but not so tight that the paper is flat and it rips. See image above on the right.

4. Cut off the short end of the strip that is sticking out of the pentagon so that there is no longer any excess paper.

Step 8: Wrap

1. Hold the pentagon with your left hand. See the first image above on the left.

2. With your right hand, raise the long strip behind the pentagon. See top image above on the right.

3. See the diagram on the right labeling the sides of the pentagon.

4. Bend the long strip over the top right side to the front side of the pentagon.

5. Bend the long strip over the left side to the back of the pentagon.

6. Bend the long strip over the right side to the front of the pentagon.

7. Bend the long strip over the top left side to the back side of the pentagon.

8. Bend the long strip over the bottom side to the front side of the pentagon.

9. Continue this process until you run out of paper.

Note: Wrap the long strip around the pentagon snuggly. Do not wrap it so tight that the pentagon is flat.

Step 9: Tuck

Tuck the excess paper that could not completely cover the pentagon under the flap from your wrapping. See the above images on the left and second from the left.

Note: If you are having difficulty locating where the excess paper should be tucked, lightly press the sides of the pentagon until the opening appears. If there is still excess paper after tucking the paper strip in, you can cut that piece off. See the above images third from the left and on the right.

Step 10: Pinch

This is the most important part because you are almost finished. Now, you have to make your work-in-progress three-dimensional.

1. Hold the pentagon by one of its corners with your left hand using your thumb and forefinger. See image above on the left.

2. Take your right hand and pinch any of the other corners not being held by your left hand. When you do this, the center of your pentagon should start puffing out. See top image in the right column above.

3. Continue to pinch the remaining four corners until your star is fully puffed out. See middle and bottom images of the right column.

Note: Be careful not to flatten your pentagon while pinching the corners.

Warning: When you pinch the corners of the pentagon, it might not become puffy and look like a star. It's alright! This often happens. There is a solution for this problem. Slip a pin through the star’s gaps and gently push the paper out from the inside. If this doesn’t work, you will need to restart. Once you get the hang of creating stars, the stars should start puffing up. The important thing is to keep practicing and not give up!