DIY Inspiration: Moravian Stars

DIY Inspiration: Moravian Stars

Anna Hoffman
Dec 14, 2011

Moravian stars are such beautiful and evocative holiday decorations. You can buy glass or plastic electrified versions as a tree topper or as a regular light fixture, but why not turn it into a craft project for a chilly weekend afternoon? Here are a bunch of sources for materials and instructions for making your own paper stars.

We've looked before at the history of the Moravian star as a holiday decoration: back in the 1830s, a math teacher at a Moravian boarding school in Herrnhut, Germany had his students craft the stars as part of their geometry lesson around Christmastime. The students turned their classwork into Christmas lanterns, and the local Herrnhut community soon began manufacturing glass versions for a wide marketplace. (Click here for a more in-depth history of the Moravian star and for more information about the shape itself.)

If you want to make the same long-pointed star as the original Moravian version, you can order a kit from Herrnhut that comes with the polyhedron core and several cones that you assemble. There are also beautiful electrified versions that require minor or no assembly available from

But if you're feeling up to some folding and looping, you can make your own! Origami Moravian stars are made from even strips of paper that you can cut yourself or order pre-cut from various sellers, including the Origami Resource Center and Starcrosses on Etsy. The classic origami technique yields small paper stars that look a bit like round gift bows. After you finish making them, paint them with glue and add glitter or sequins! You can find step-by-step how-to's here and here, but I'm partial to this video:

If you have a little more patience and time — like, say, a blizzard — then you might want to try to make the gorgeous striped star in image 5. Featured on Design Sponge last year, it can be made using this PDF template that you can print out. This may be beyond my capabilities, but it is so beautiful, and, like all Moravian stars, can be used as year-round decor.

Do you think you'll make any stars this year?

Images: 1 Fade Into Bleu; 2 A Subtle Revelry; 3; 4 Dana Gallagher photograph via Bernstein & Andriulli; 5 Schindler Salmeron via Design*Sponge.

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