Surprisingly sparkly, these star ornaments really catch the light and show off your patterned paper at the same time. The 36-gauge aluminum is thin enough to cut easily, but once it's glued together in layers with the paper, you get a fairly solid object.
This was my 2010 Christmas ornament design. I made a lot of them, so it was worth it to buy three star punches, though it's also possible to only use two sizes, depending on whether you want the small metal star in the middle. You could also experiment with cutting the aluminum by hand. It's fine for your scissors—in fact, it sharpens them!
3 sizes of star punches (I used Fiskar's star squeeze punches, which seem not to be available anymore on their site, though I do see some of them at Amazon.)
1/4" circular hole punch
toothpick or other stick, to apply glue
36 gauge aluminum tooling foil (available here for instance)
Step 1: Cut Out and Emboss the Stars
Cut out: four aluminum stars using the large punch; two paper stars using the medium punch, and one aluminum star using the small punch. The little aluminum star can be omitted if you want to show off the paper, but I it does add more sparkle to the finished ornament.
Starting with the four big aluminum stars, use the ball-point pen to emboss three of them. I found simple dots to be the easiest and prettiest.
Two of the four stars will be facing forward (though the center of one of them will be covered), two will be facing backward. I put the year (remember, in reverse!) on the very back star. What you will be doing is making a rightside-up star sandwich and an upside-down star sandwich, and putting the upside-down one inside the rightside-up one (and then adding the paper and final metal star).
Step 2: Glue the Stars Together
First, glue a front big star and the plain (back) big star together to make the upside-down star sandwich.
Glue this sandwich on top of the very back star (the one embossed with the year).
Glue a paper star on top of this.
Glue the last aluminum star rightside-up on top of the stack.
Glue the second paper star on top of the stack.
You can stop here, or glue the small aluminum star on top.
Step 3: Attach the Hanging Ribbon
Once the glue has set a little, punch a hole in the top point for the ribbon (punch it a little lower than you think, centered on the top of the point of the paper star, so it doesn't break through). Thread the ribbon, and tie an overhand knot directly on the star, and a square knot further up.
Enjoy your star ornament!
And do post a photo if you use or are inspired by these instructions, I'd love to see what you make!
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