How to Make a Star Jar

Learn to make a jar of paper stars! These little star jars are sweet decorations or gifts, and they also a make a great craft activity for a New Year's celebration: you can write your resolutions and wishes for the new year on each slip of paper you use to create a star, gradually filling the jar with hopes and aspirations.

For this tutorial, you'll need:

  • A small jar
  • A pair of scissors
  • A ruler and pencil to mark your strips (or a paper cutter if you have access to one)
  • Paper to cut into strips. These paper stars work best with thinner paper such as printer paper, not a thicker cardstock.

1. Start by measuring and cutting your paper strips. For this tutorial, we cut sheets of 8.5” x 11” paper into strips that are half an inch wide by eleven inches long. The thinner your strips, the smaller your stars will be. The wider your strips, the longer they will need to be. 

If you have access to a paper cutter, you can use that to cut your strips quickly. If not, measure and mark the strips with your ruler and pencil, then cut them with scissors.

2. If you want to write New Year’s resolutions or wishes for a gift recipient, now’s the time! Write them down on your paper strips. 

3. Now we’ll begin to fold the stars. Taking one strip of paper, cross one end of the strip over the middle to create a loop.

4. Now bend the short end of your strip back underneath the cross and through the loop you made, creating a paper knot.

5. Gently pull the short and long ends of the knot away from each other so the knot tightens. You may have to wiggle and manipulate the paper strip to get the knot to tighten. Tug the edges as close together as possible without tearing the paper strip. The closer you get them, the neater your finished star will look.

6. Once the sides of your knot are close together, press them down to flatten and crease the edges.

7. Now you’ll fold the short end of the paper strip over the edge of the knot you’ve created. You’ll start to see a pentagon shape appear.

8. If the end of your short tab extends past the edge of the pentagon, you can trim it with scissors or fold it back.

9. Now we’ll begin folding the long end of the paper strip. Fold the long end of the strip over the edge of your paper knot to create the last side of your pentagon, pulling it tight and creasing the fold. Now the long end will extend past the opposite side of the pentagon, in between two of the pentagon’s points.

10. Flip the star over and fold the strip across the pentagon again, repeating step nine. Each time you fold the paper strip, pull it tight and crease the paper as neatly as possible. Continue this step until you only have a short tab of paper left.

11. Fold the remaining tab over the side of the pentagon to create a crease. Now open the fold again. Your previous folds will have created a small triangular pocket on the pentagon. 

12. Gently slide the end of the paper strip into the pocket to complete your pentagon. (If the end of the strip is too long, you can trim it.) Now you have a complete pentagon shape with all the ends tucked away.

13. To create the points of the star, gently press your thumbnail into the side of the pentagon, between two of its points. Repeat on all sides of the pentagon. The center of the pentagon will begin to puff up as you push the sides in to form a star shape.

14. Now you’ve made a star! Repeat the process as many times as you’d like to fill a small jar. You can use your star jars as table decorations, give them as gifts, or keep them as a reminder of all your dreams for the new year.

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