Introduction: The Impossible Pentagram (optical Illusion)

This little project will show you how to draw an 'impossible' pentagram. It is an optical illusion inspired by the 'Penrose triangle' (if you don't know what that is, go check it out here)

It might look hard but it is actually very easy to draw this special type of pentagram, if you follow the correct steps. I would like to ask you to pay close attention to the correct angles and distances though! A minor deviation from one of the angles or distances might ruin your drawing and you will not end up with a perfectly symmetrical figure.


You will need the following items to complete this drawing:

  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • Permanent marker with a small tip (I used 0.7mm)
  • Something to accurately draw angles
  • A long ruler
  • Sheet of paper

This being said, let's get right into it.

Step 1: Getting Started

The first thing you want to do is to draw a pentagon on your sheet of paper. Use your pencil to do this and don't pressure the tip too hard because we will need to erase all the pencil lines afterwards. To make the pentagram fit on the sheet I suggest you use A4 paper and let the pentagon have sides of 10cm.

If you are using the A4 paper as suggested, measure 10.5 cm from the sides of the paper and about 5 to 10 cm from the top. This will be the middle point of the first line of the pentagon. Now draw the first line of the pentagon (10 cm long if you are using A4 paper and about half the width of the paper if you are using a different size)

At one end of this first line, measure angles of 108° and draw another side of the pentagram. Then repeat this step on every new line you draw until the pentagon is closed.

Step 2: The Pentagram

When you've finished the pentagon it is time to start drawing the pentagram. Do this by connecting the corners of the pentagon with lines like in the first picture. Make sure the lines are a little bit too long (about 2 cm).

Now the basic pentagram shape is ready. The next step is to draw lines parallel to every line of the pentagram as shown in the second picture. Every line should have two lines next to it, at about 0.5 cm (you could do anything between 0.3 cm and 1.0 cm I think). The bigger the distance between the parallel lines, the 'fatter' the pentagram will be. The only thing that is really important is that the distance is the same for every parallel line.

If you are ready drawing the parallel lines you have to finish every corner of the pentagram. Make sure that in every corner of the pentagram there is an intersection between the outer parallel lines and the lines of the original pentagram. If you don't understand exactly what I mean look at the fourth picture, that is how it should look after this step.

Step 3: Finishing the Drawing

Now we need to draw a line to connect the intersections we made in the previous step, do this for every corner of the pentagram. Look at the first two pictures if you don't understand.

Finally we are ready to put the pentagram in permanent marker. The easiest way to do this is to redraw some of the pencil lines in permanent marker. Look at the third picture to see which lines should be in permanent marker and which ones should remain in pencil. Try to copy the lines in the picture as closely as possible, if you draw the permanent marker lines too short or too long, the illusion isn't as good as it could be. No do this for every corner separately until you've had all 5, if you've done this last step correctly, you should have a complete pentagram and there should be no 'interruption' when you follow it over the edges.

The only thing left to do now is to erase every pencil line that is still visible, et voilá. The drawing is finished, congratulations. If you plan on using this drawing to decorate your wall, make sure one point of the pentagram is pointing down. That's the way it should be!

Feel free to contact me with any questions/concerns regarding this Instructable, but please be constructive.

I hope you enjoyed this. Goodbye.