Thursday, December 23, 2010

Filipino Christmas Stars

I first stumbled upon Filipino Christmas Stars last year at Urban Organica. They looked like so much fun, with their shimmery cellophane paper and shiny star garland that I knew I wanted to try making them in our home. I filed the project away as something to try later.

So, as I was browsing through my holiday craft projects file this year I came across the link again and decided to start gathering the necessary items.

Urban Organica suggests using bamboo strips. Unable to locate this, I went with balsa wood strips. They worked out, if proving a bit tricky. Be advised, you'll want to buy extra balsa wood in case some of your frame support decides to bend and break, like mine did twice. I'm not going to show every step of the process, because the link I provided has superb photos and directions, but I did take photos of our progress.

Here is our first star frame all lined up. The balsa wood strips are all equal lengths, woven together and secured at the points with small rubber bands. We made two of these.

See? The ends secured with rubber bands. I had a hard time locating tiny rubber bands - so I picked up a multi-pack and wound the band several times. Next year I'll go to a beauty/hair supply store and see if I can find any.

Next we secured the criss-crossed segments with twisty ties:

We took both star sections pieces and lined them up so all the ends matched and secured the pointy parts loosely with another rubber band. I didn't get a good photo of this step, but the link shows exactly what I'm talking about.

We used copious amounts of hot glue to secure the cross beams. These are smaller pieces of wood placed at all 5 cross points in the star to open it up and give it the 3 dimensional look. This is where I broke several of the frame pieces and had to undo the project and start again. I recommend making sure your two frame pieces are loosely held together at the points so that you have a little more give in your frame if you're using balsa wood.

The Little started covering our frame using white glue and cellophane. This was his favorite part of the project. You can see in the photo the little bridge I added so that an LED tea light can illuminate the star at night. We left the back middle section of the star open to get the tea light in and out.

We just cut large sections of cello paper out and laid them on the sticky frame. I didn't worry about trimming until everything was dry.

We added silver and gold star garland to the top and the middle points of the star for shimmery, sparkly effect. Here's a not-so-great picture from last night when the lighting was a bit too low:

And the finished project by light of day hanging in our front window:

Such a fun craft! There was definitely a learning curve to the process. Ours is a little messy, with a lot of goofs, and perfectly imperfect in all it's shimmery glory. The whole project took about 2.5 hours from start to finish.

Wishing you and yours light and love this holiday season.

Simple Mama


  1. Thanks for the love, SImple Mama. It came out beautifully. Next year, if you send me an email, we'll send you a kit, so you can try it with the bamboo. Maligayang Pasko * Merry Christmas! Maya

  2. Oh Maya that would be fantastic! I tried finding a "contact me" link on your blog, but I couldn't locate one - or a comment feature.

  3. This is amazing. Thank you so very much for sharing. I look forward to making these with my grandchildren!

  4. You coul use the bands that are used on braces...Any dentist can get u a bunch cheap...Great idea.

  5. You can get bands they use for braces at a dentist for very cheap...Love the projects..

  6. Please consider making and selling these! I would purchase as I am not gifted in the art of hand-made crafting.