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Paper Christmas Stars

As part of my move to a new country a couple of years ago, I gave away all my Christmas stuff. Yes, it was hard to do. I don’t want to acquire more. But of course decorating for the holidays is fun and heart-warming. So this year I’ve been experimenting with various paper stars.

Origami stars

There’s a story behind the origami stars in this picture. The person who made them was in a foreign land, alone and with not much money. It was Christmas time, but a pretty bleak holiday for her. So she made stars. Lots of them. This year she gave a few to me.

I decided to try to make some. I’m only using scrap paper, not buying anything special. These look so pretty! Mine didn’t come out so well. When I try to squeeze them to plump them up, they don’t “plump”. Newsprint is too flimsy, while the glossy paper from magazines is too rigid. Regular printer paper seems to work the best but I need more practice…

My more (and less) successful origami stars

I also experimented with Froebel stars. This kind of folded paper ornament has a long history and many names. It’s also challenging. I had many failures before getting some to come out right. But the process is meditative and satisfying, and the results are fun.

My objective was to achieve pretty decorations using supplies I had on hand, without buying anything new. And without starting another collection of precious things that I’d want to save from year to year. Since these stars can be made with scrap paper, left-over gift wrap and ribbon and probably other readily available materials, they’re ideal for that purpose.

My lack of manual dexterity and my less-than-perfect eyesight made both of these projects more difficult than I expected them to be, but also probably good for me and certainly rewarding. The internet offers so many tutorials on these and other holiday projects that we can do for entertainment, as family activities, and to decorate for the holidays in an earth-friendly way.

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