Being able to build a wooden star of any size your wish gives you the power to fill your heart’s desire. This tutorial can be used to build any star you want using any material you have handy. We are going to focus on a 5-point start but modify them to fit your needs.
This tutorial will go step by step through building wooden stars, this star will be as large as a wash tub and could be as small as a watering bucket — Get it? You are limited only by your imagination. We will also include a short video to show the process. These stars can be used on a Christmas tree, placeholder, and all types of décor.
Materials needed for this project:
- Star material could be wood, cardboard, plastic, or foam board.
- Tape Measure
- Straight edge
- Jig Saw or Scroll saw or scissors or box cutter
- Template material could be Cardboard, butcher paper, poster board, wood, basically anything big enough for your star
- Anything you can think of to make a circle, your star will be the same size as the circle. You can use a compass, String and pin, washtub, bucket, flower pot, bowl, or anything circular.
How do I make a Star?
The tutorial is going to use cardboard for the template material and a washtub to create the circle to locate the outer points of the star.
Step 1. Outline the size of the star.
First place the cardboard on the work table then place the wash tub on the cardboard. Now we will trace the circumference of the wash tub, drawing aSte circle around the rim of the wash tub using a number two pencil. Before moving the wash tub lay twine down along the border of the washtub.
Step 2. Locate the position for each point for the star
Measure the length of the twine, then divide the total length by 5. This will give you an equal distance between each point around the circle. Now we need to measure and mark the length of the twine to match the value gotten from the division above.
i.e. The wash tub measured 69.5″ divided by 5 = 13.9 or just a little more than 13.7/8″. I will measure and mark the twine every 13 7/8″. The less rounding done will help ensure better results in the placement of the 5 points for the star.
Step 3. Draw the lines between each point on the star
Next, it’s time to connect the dots. We are going to use a yardstick and draw from the first point to the third point, skipping point two. Next, connect point two to point four, then point three to point five, then point four to point one, and then point five to point two.
If we had drawn the star on the material we were going to cut the star from we would skip the next step and cut along the border lines inside the circle to free the star from the circle.
Since we have drawn our star on cardboard to create a pattern that will allow us to use smaller pieces to assemble a larger star, we must continue drawing a few more lines. These lines will begin at the point and proceed directly to the intersecting lines between the lines that come to the point. From point 2 to the intersecting lines between points 3 to 5 and 4 to 1. If this were a stick figure we would be drawing a line to the armpit of our stick figure.
There are now four more lines to draw, they are from points 1,3,4,5. As shown in the photo below, I erased the lines that divide the star points to prevent any confusion while cutting the pattern.
Step 4. Cut out the pattern for each piece of the star
We are ready to cut our pattern pieces from the cardboard. I have a straight edge and box cutter to perform the task of cutting the pieces from the cardboard. This is another time that accuracy makes for a better star.
Step 5. Trace and cut out each piece of the star.
Once we finish cutting the pieces out we will trace them to the material we plan to create the star. I placed the pattern on the wood, and at each point, I made a dot on the wood then removed the pattern and connected the dots using a straight edge and a marker. I have found this to be better than tracing the pattern.
We will cut along the edges until we have our five pieces. If you are using a jig saw it is advisable to finish each line cutting from the same direction. If the foot of your jig saw isn’t perfectly set to zero changing direction will make it very difficult to join the pieces while you are assembling the star. Experience has given me the authority to make this disclosure.
Step 6. Assemble the star
Now it is time to assemble the star; we will be using tape and glue. It’s best to dry-fit the pieces first. This will give you time to find the best placement to reduce poor alignment and the best contact between pieces before applying any glue.
Notice that I had to shim two pieces to maximize the fit of the pieces. Once you have found the best fitment begin applying a thin layer of glue on both edges of two pieces, then fit those two together. Then apply glue to the next piece on both edges and fit it to the next until all five pieces have been placed.
Now it’s time to apply the tape to the outside edges of the star, moving around the star one piece at a time. As you type each piece double check the alignment of all parts. It’s easier to make small adjustments until you have completed taping all the pieces together.
After the glue has dried it’s ready to be displayed
More Pallet Projects
If you have pallets laying around there are so many uses for them! You can see how to easily disassemble a pallet without breaking the wood in this tutorial. Some other pallet-related projects are: