Simplified Star





Introduction: Simplified Star

About: Construction grade lumber is cheap and readily available, with a little thought and effort it can be transformed into a piece of art. - Ryan and Viviana.

Low cost, 28.5 inch tip to tip, triple decker star.

Step 1: Over View

I am not good with angles at all, almost failed geometry! So I looked up the angles on a star and dumbed the build down. These stars cost about 7$ and look like a million bucks.... in my opinion, hahaha.

Step 2: Materials and Tools

Really simple.

2x2 boards, bought at lowes - finished size 1.5x1.5

Miter saw, nail gun, 2 inch nails, paint, stain, glue, orbital sander, rub on polyurethane. Pretty basic stuff.

Step 3: Prepping Materials

I started by sanding all my materials, take down the edges, and all the lumber mill markings.

It's crazy how big a difference a minute under a sander does.

Then I paint the boards. So much easier to paint and distress full boards rather than a completed star.

Tip, use cheap paint, way easier to distress, one pass with the sander and they are ready to go.

Hit the boards with the sander, I use 120 grit. Just enough to bring the grain back out.

Step 4: Cutting

Cut 10 equal pieces for each star. For this star I used 11, 9 and 7 inch pieces.

Put a 36 degree angle on one side, leaving the totally length of the piece.

Put a 18 degree angle on the other side. A standard Miter saw isn't designed to cut a steep angle needed for a star. Reference the picture to see how I do it. Probably not the safest way, but it works for me. Get ready to make a lot of saw dust!

Step 5: Assembly

Before assembling I hit the sides real quick with a piece of sander paper, it is really hard to clean them up when the star is assemblied.

Attach the pieces at the 36 degree angle. Apply some glue, a nail, I only use one nail to leave some adjustability when the whole star gets put together. They go together pretty easy. Then attach the pieces at the 18 degree angle, some more glue and 2 nails. Reference the pics.


Now repeat for the other 2 stars.

Line the two big stars up and connect them with some nails from the back side of the biggest star. Line up the smallest star and attach it with some nails through the back the middle size star.

Step 6: Stain and Poly

I use minwax special walnut stain. Rub it on, I start with the white star, sometimes the red and blue stain the rag and transfer the color on to the white.

I then apply the rub on satin polyurethane by minwax.


Step 7: Conclusion

Pretty simple project. I know i put a lot of steps, realistically, the cutting and assembly takes under an hour.

This is the type of gift that costs next to nothing but the receiver will never know and appreciate the effort you put in.

Please don't be afraid to give this s try. Great thing is the materials are cheap and if you mess up your only on a couple bucks and can retry. Post some pics of your results, I would love to see what you come up with. These steps work for materials we different de signs as you can see, the pic with 3 different stars.

Thanks for showing interest!



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24 Discussions

Thanks for showing interest! You give it a try yet?

Finished pic,used outdoor glue.Ive made alot of similar projects for outside,they just keep looking better the more they age.

2 replies

Thanks again for the design.I just ordered a laser guide for my miter saw,thinkin it will speed up the angle cuts.Going to try a different spin on the star thing,Pottery Barn has a wooden distressed star for 150.00$ Im thinkin I could make it for about a dollars worth of electric.Maybee Ill make an instructable.

Nice,I'll give it a shot with pallet wood.Thanks for the instructable.

3 replies

Hough,a quick heads up on building this out of pallet wood.I couldnt figgure out how to nail the stars as the wood is to thin.Long story,ended up using a power stapler on the backside to hold the shape untill I could nail it together.I also built a sled for my miter saw for the 18 degree cuts(like my fingers).It truned out great thanks again.

Thanks, great info on the thin wood. 3/4 inch think is the thinnest I have gone, no problems there. If you can post a pic of your pallet star!

This really is a great project. I'll probably use exterior wood and hang on the outside.

Question...Why do you apply stain after the pieces are already painted? I feel I'm missing something here. I do understand applying the polyurathane.

Again, great job. Looks fantastic.

2 replies

Oops forgot part to answer part of your question. I stain after painting because it darkens the paint, taking away the brightness and adding depth and richness, adding to the overall distressed look.

Yes, I paint the wood, lightly sand over removing some of the paint and bringing the grain back through, then stain.

Thanks for showing interest

Just to make sure I understand, when you made the stars and lay them on top of each other, they overlap? By how much? Since the lengths are 2" smaller than the next size up, I would think there would only be about 1/2" overlap.

3 replies

That is correct, about half inch overlap. Pretty easy to get a couple nails in there to secure them.

Thanks for showing interest

My "interest" turns into several projects. My wife saw them and wants me to try and make some and she told my daughter-in-law.... and so it goes.

I'll post some pictures when I get them done. Yours look super!

Awesome, when you get going you will be surprised how easy and smoothly it goes. Look forward to some project pictures.

That's what I thought. You can you the same build with 1×6 boards on a single star and they stand on there own. Make a good center piece.

Thanks for showing interest