Starman Tree Topper




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Give your tree invincibility with this glowing Super Mario Starman tree-topper. It's simple to make with some basic sewing knowledge and utilizes LED Throwie technology. Even if you aren't a gamer, this cute plushy star will light up any Christmas!

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Step 1: Materials

This project is made in two parts -- the plush and the electronic. It could be made equally as cute without the electronic part, but really it's so simple, there's hardly a reason to skip it! You'll need:

  • Vinyl: yellow (approx 2 sheets of 8 1/2" x 11"), scraps of black and white
  • Glue
  • Batting to fill the star
  • Needle & thread
  • Coin cell battery
  • Two yellow LEDs
  • Stranded wire
  • Tiny switch
  • Filament packing tape
  • Sewing machine (opt)

Step 2: Cut the Materials

To make a pattern, I simply printed out an image of the Starman that I found by searching online. It doesn't have to be high-res, you just need to stretch it out to fill a page.
Otherwise, just cut out a star shape from some paper.

  • Trace pattern onto back of yellow vinyl with a pencil. Add a 1/2" border all the way around for seam allowance.
  • Cut two of these stars
  • Cut two eyes from black vinyl with no seam allowance
  • Cut two tiny ovals from the white vinyl

Step 3: Glue on Eyes

I found it easier to put the eyes on before sewing, since I could lay the vinyl piece directly over the picture I printed out and get the placement exactly right.

  • Lay vinyl face-up on top of pattern
  • Glue black eyes directly over placement on pattern
  • Remove vinyl from pattern to see where to glue white ovals

Step 4: Sew Star

  • Place the two vinyl stars together, face to face.
  • Pin along the stitching line you drew
  • Using smallish hand-stitches or a sewing machine, sew ALMOST all the way around the star, pivoting at each point, and leaving one side of one point open so you can turn the star right side out
  • If you're particular about these thing, as I am, go back and stitch over all your points and inside corners again. We're going to trim away the seam allowance, and this will help insure that the stitches at these places don't pop
  • Trim away excess fabric at points and inside corners so it will turn right-side out nicely and won't bulge at the points or pull at the corners
  • Turn your creation right side out

Step 5: Make a Throwie - Add a Switch!

Using the diagram that Randolfo made me and the LED Throwies instructable, I was able to make a super simple device for the inside of the star. Granted, it took me three different versions to land on this most basic one, but it was well worth the learning.

  • Test your LEDs: The longer LED lead, called the anode, should be touching the positive terminal (+) of the battery and the shorter LED lead, called the cathode, should be touching the negative terminal (-) of the battery.
  • Check out Randolfo's diagram for a clearer picture of what's about to happen.
  • Twist together the two long LED leads (anode, +)
  • Twist together the two short LED leads (cathode, -)
  • Cut two small lengths of wire. Solder (or just twist super well) one end to an outer switch prong and the other end of the same wire to the shorter LED leads (cathodes, -)
  • Take the other wire and solder to or twist it up with the middle prong of the switch
  • Cut a piece of tape about 8" long. Tape the longer (anode, +) LED leads to the battery by wrapping tape 2-3 times around both sides of the battery. Keep the tape very tight as you wrap.
  • To make the unit more compact, loop up any extra wire and tape to the battery as well. (opt) [see 1st picture in step]

Step 6: Stuff Your Star

Time to pile it all in! Grab that beautiful star you just made.

  • Stuff star with small bits of batting, and use a pencil to push into the corners
  • Add some more stuffing to fill out the middle a bit
  • Insert the LED unit you just made, making sure the switch sticks out
  • Turn the LEDs on to see where you need more batting
  • Finish stuffing star and align switch with opening in star
  • Hand sew the opening of the star shut, running it through the little holes on each side of the batter to keep it from slipping back inside

Step 7: Place Wherever Invincibility Is Needed


This star looks great in combo with the 1up Mushroom Ornaments!

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    28 Discussions


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I love this idea.  I want to try to build one using the last 2 or 3 bulbs at the end of a string of LED Christmas tree lights instead of the embedded throwie.  That way I won't have to have a separate power source and I can switch it on and off with the rest of my tree.

    1 reply

    5 years ago on Introduction

    Dobby fabrics surely have beautiful texture and good for furnishing. I recently bought few fabrics on discount from and they really have great collection of fabrics.


    5 years ago

    I really want to make this. How did you attach it to the tree?


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome instructable. My wife made this one. She hated the Santa topper I bought and I hated the angel we used to have. There are a few differences from yours. It's made of two upholstered pieces of cardboard (pizza box). They're put back-to-back and then the edges sewn together. It has 10 lights on a string from Michael's, powered by 2 C cells. I extended the wire to the battery box (which has the switch on it) so it hangs low enough for her to reach it easily, and put a Velcro tie on it, to attach it to a branch. I added a wire cone made from coat hangers to hold it upright.

    I would love to have made this so it could plug in to the tree lights, but the little battery-powered string was cheap ($1.50) and available. And I would LOVE to have made it so that it glowed as it does now, but had a microphone and could detect when the "star invincibility" theme from Mario was playing on the TV. If it detects the theme, it would flash like Mario does when he's invincible. I have no idea if this is possible and no idea how to do this technically. I'm hoping some electronics guru could pick up the gauntlet.

    Thanks so much for the idea! We love it!

    July2010-Oct 2010 034.jpgJuly2010-Oct 2010 032.jpg

    9 years ago on Step 7

    very nice, very creative an as you already pointed it looks great combined with the mushrooms.
    beware of Nintendo charging you for the rights !


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Maybe the eye of the star can be the switch.... lol!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    This was so great I hit up Radio Shack on the way home for the materials. Do you have an online source for the vinyl? I can't seem to find stuff that looks like it will work.

    1 reply

    10 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome! I love it so much! I wish I had some more time to make one. Do you have an etsy or something like that? This is very much worth buying. Yeah, yeah, I know...DIY and all...but I won't make one and the next best thing is supporting a diy-er!

    2 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Well, if you get on soon, let me know! I'm having a gaming party in the last week of this month and the star would be an awesome addition. :)


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Cute! I was wanting a tree topper, but found nothing I like.. I'm seeing a video game tree next year. : )