It’s most helpful to look at this process as a series of repeating patterns. So, we’ve put this tutorial together focused on the patterns, which create a star. The diagram below is another tool to help you visualize the process, and the video will allow you to see the motions we refer to below.

danish paper star instructions

Step 1

Accuracy is really important. Begin by making your cuts. You’ll need four pieces of paper cut to either 3/8" x 17” or 9/16" x 19”, depending on the size of the star you want to make. The width of these strips needs to be consistent with each other in order to make the folding process go smoothly. (We recommend using a paper cutter. If you choose to do this, follow all safety precautions.) We’ll be referring to these pieces as 1, 2, 3, and 4 as in the diagram above. You may find it helpful for following this tutorial to number your paper strips on both ends. The ends will be cut off later, so the numbers won’t effect the finished product.

Step 2

Next, cut the end of each piece so it is at an angle (refer to the picture below). This will help later when you’re threading the paper through itself.

Step 3

Now it’s time to begin assembly. Think of this step as if you are threading one piece of paper through the “needle hole” of the next piece.

  • Thread 1 through the “needle hole” of 2
  • Thread 2 through the “needle hole” of 3
  • Thread 3 through the “needle hole” of 4
  • Thread 4 through the “needle hole” of 1

You’ll end up with a square shape. Pull the ends of each piece so that the folded ends create a square shape. (You’ll want to pull them fairly tightly.)

paper for danish stars

Step 4

Now we’re creating the square. Fold each strip down and across going in a counter-clockwise direction. In other words, move backwards through the numbers 4, 3, 2, and when you get to strip 1 fold it over 2 and thread it through 4.

fold stripstep 4: danish stars

Step 5

In this step you’ll be making four of the outer points. Beginning with the bottom left strip, you’ll be working your way clockwise around the circle:

  • Fold under and to the left, then over towards the top (this creates a point); fold in half towards the right; bend the triangle down so that you can thread the tail underneath the square directly in front of it (for strip 1 you’ll be threading it under square 4).
  • Rotate clockwise.
  • Repeat for the 2nd and 3rd pieces.
  • When you get to the fourth piece, you'll be threading the tail through the square underneath the tail of the first point.

outer points of star

creating christmas starpaper christmas star

threading the tail

Step 6

In this step you’ll be making the additional four outer points of the star. (At the end of this you’ll have 8 points total.) Flip your piece over and repeat the pattern from step 5, starting with the bottom piece and rotating clockwise.

  • Fold under and to the left, then over towards the top (this creates a point); fold in half towards the right; bend the triangle down so that you can thread the tail underneath the square directly in front of it.
  • Rotate clockwise.
  • Repeat for the 2nd and 3rd pieces.
  • When you get to the fourth piece, you'll be threading the tail through the square underneath the tail of the first point.

fold danish star

folding danish star

Step 7

Now, bend all the pieces back so they’re not overlapping. In other words, hold up strip 1 and bend back strip 4. Then, bend back strips 3, and 2, and finally bend back strip 1.

Flip your star over and repeat this on the opposite side.

flip star and repeat

Step 8

Now you’ll be making the first four 3D points of the star. Begin with strip 1 pointing down (or towards you) as the first piece. Fold the piece over to the left and turn it up on its side. Note the top side of this piece (the one that’s facing away from you) and the bottom side (facing towards you.) Curl the tail around and turn it flat on the paper so that the “top side” is facing up. Tuck it underneath the folded back paper to the right (this will be strip 2) and pull it through. It will come out between the folds of one of the outer points.

  • Rotate the start clockwise
  • Repeat for the second point
  • Repeat to form the third point
  • Repeat to form the fourth point

3d danish star

Step 9

Flip your star over. You’ll be making the second four 3D points of the star, making eight total. Begin with one piece. Fold over to the left, turn it up on its side, curl the tail around, tuck it in and pull it through. It will come out between the folds of one of the outer points.

  • Rotate the start clockwise
  • Repeat for the second
  • Repeat to form the third point
  • Repeat to form the fourth point

Step 10

Cut all the little pieces sticking out of the points on the side.

If you want to hang these starts from your tree, you can thread a needle with some festive string and make a hole in one of the outer points. Thread the string through and tie it so it forms a loop you can use to hang the star from a tree.

danish paper stars dihy