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.
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Step 1: 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
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
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!