How To Make A Filipino Christmas Star
Stars are a major theme at Christmastime. Crafted after the Star of Bethlehem, the star-shaped, ornamental parol is said to encourage hope and goodwill during the season. Hope and goodwill? We can totally get behind that theme, so we decided to make ours in the most colorful papers and maybe even keep it up in the house throughout the new year. Historically, Filipino parol’s were illuminated with candles, but we’re going to just stick with hanging it in a window and letting natural light shine though.
What You Need
- Bamboo or balsa wood sticks (I used 6 balsa sticks that were 3’x 1/2″ )
- Craft glue or glue gun
- Tissue paper or cellophane
- Lots of rubber bands
To make two complete stars, you’ll need a total of 10 sticks cut to whatever length you prefer, and an additional stick to cut 5 short pegs from.
1. Begin forming the points of the star by connecting two sticks to form a “v” shape. Secure at the point with a rubber band (do not glue!). Do this once more, so you have two sets of connected “v’s”.
2. Take the two “v” shapes and position them across each other to form a new “A” shape, the points should be facing up. Connect the open end with a rubber band.
3. Complete the star shape by adding in one single length stick. Connect to each open end with rubber bands. Carefully adjust the shape of the star so that it is to your liking.
4. Repeat the steps above to create another identical star shape with the sticks.
5. Lay the stars on top of each other so that they line up perfectly. Connect both layers by wrapping rubber bands around each of the five points. Be sure not to wrap the bands too tightly; they need to be able to flex enough to allow the pegs to be inserted in the next step. I ended up wrapping my bands twice, so they were just tight enough so they wouldn’t pop off.
6. Cut 5 short sticks (pegs) from your extra stick, and be sure each peg is exactly the same length. These pegs can be anywhere from 2″-5″ depending on the material your sticks are made of. If using a soft, delicate wood like balsa, stick to a shorter length. If using a stronger wood like bamboo you should be able to push the flexibility of your star a bit more. I ended up trimming my pegs down to about 2.5″ based on the flexibility of the balsa and tightness of the rubber bands.
7. Carefully pry apart the layers and insert the pegs into each corner of the pentagon. The resistance from the rubber bands should hold each peg in place, but it’s a good idea to secure them in place with craft or hot glue.
8. Decorate each side of the star with craft, tissue paper, or cellophane, leaving the sides open to let light shine through the star.
1. Begin by taking a large (apx 2′) sheet of tissue paper and folding it into a triangle shape.
2. Fold down into a smaller triangle.
3. Fold one more time into yet a smaller triangle.
4. Take the top point of the triangle (in this photo it’s shown at the bottom right corner) and fold across to the opposite side, as shown in the photo below:
5. Along the open side, cut slits that are approximately 1″ apart, and 1″ from the folded edge.
6. Unfold, being careful not to tear the paper.
7. Using a button or a small round piece of cardboard (about the size of a quarter), make a slit and slide a piece of wire (a twist tie works great!) or string through.
8. Place the circular cutout inside the parol at the center (the top point of the paper when folded) and feed the wire through the top so that the paper hangs around the cutout like a dress would hang around a hoop skirt.
9. Attach the tail to the bottom point of the star by wrapping the wires through the center of the two layered stars.
10. Make another tail and hang from the other bottom point of the star. Decorate the star as much, or as little as you like. Some people choose to decorate each point of the star with many different colors and layers of tails.
11. Add a wire or decorative ribbon at the top point of the star for hanging and place it in front of a window to let the light shine through the layers of paper.
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