I thought of this folding pattern about ten days ago, just as I was falling asleep. If I had realised how many times I would fold it in my imagination that night —checking to see if it really worked— I would have gotten out of bed and folded a test model right away.
This is the test I finally folded in the morning. I used a strip of paper cut from a hardware store flyer to prove that the star can be folded out of just about anything!
In an effort to make it easier to keep the fold symmetrical, I made a pattern.
If you want to try folding this star, you can download and print the Interlace Stars pdf. It should fit on either A4 or 8.5 x 11 inch card stock. Cut out a star to use as a pattern. (There are six of them, so several people can work at the same time if you are doing this as a family activity.)
Clamps of some sort will come in handy. I have clothes pegs and mini clamps, and chose to use the former. Paper clips might also work, but I haven’t tested them.
You will need strips of paper —one per star— 2.5 cm/1 in wide by about 46 cm/18 in long. Before folding a star the strip needs to be folded lengthwise. I folded mine in half, then in half again. Next, I opened the strip flat and by reversing one of the outer folds, folded the edges in to meet in the middle (Upper strip in image.) The last step was to fold the strip closed so that the edges are hidden inside. (Lower strip in image.)
Begin folding your star by placing one end of your strip over the pattern and clamping it in place. The end of the strip should project slightly beyond the top of the pattern.
Turn the pattern and strip over.
Trim the end of the strip to match the top edge of the pattern, then turn over again.
Fold the free end of the strip up and to the right, matching the pattern. Clamp the fold to the pattern to hold it in place.
Continuing to match the pattern, fold the free end over to the left and clamp.
Fold the free end down and to the right, still being careful to follow the pattern. Move your first clamp from the ‘head’ of the star to the most recent fold.
Slip the free end of the strip under the first section of the star. (You can remove the bottom clamp to make this easier.)
Fold the free end of the strip up and left to meet the top of the star. Use the clamp from the bottom left ‘leg’ to hold the fold in place.
Slip the end of the strip under the section just above the recent fold, as shown below.
Tuck the end of the strip behind the trimmed end you started with, and fold forward to match.
To make the final step easier, undo the fold at the top and trim the edge of that section at an angle. Don’t cut the angle past the fold line.
Tuck the angled end back behind the end you started with. The strip has two pockets in the end, created by the lengthwise folds. Tuck the folded end forward into the front pocket of the strip in front.
Since it is possible to fold this out of newsprint, you should be able to make these stars out of any thin paper. Here’s one folded out of a bit of wrapping paper from the end of a roll.
If you do not have paper long enough to fold the star out of a single strip, you can join sections. Make connections at the tips of the star the same way the end of the long strip is tucked into the beginning.