Byopia Press Advent Calendar 2020: Day Thirteen and Wax Paper Stars

Today we will re-visit a (slightly up-dated) post from December 14, 2017.

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Decorative stars folded from sheets of translucent paper make a great seasonal window decoration. There are many sites on the web that offer folding patterns, and most of them suggest using kite paper. Since I am trying to limit materials in these daily stars to things that you might have around the house, I made my star out of regular kitchen waxed paper.

The star is made out of modular units, each folded from a square. You will need 8 squares of your chosen paper: kite paper, dyed tissue-weight washi (if you are being very posh), a crisp tissue paper, or plain waxed paper. I used 20 cm (8″) squares and my finished star is 40 cm (16″) from tip to tip. You can use smaller squares, but I wouldn’t recommend anything below 10 cm (4″) when using waxed paper. You will also need a glue stick.

Start with one square and fold it in half along a horizontal line.

Open out your square, then fold it in half along a vertical line.

Open the square again, then fold each corner into the middle.

I used a little dab of glue stick to keep the corners in place.

Fold the side corners into the middle. I used the glue stick again on these corners.

Repeat the steps above with the other seven squares.

Assemble your star by working clockwise, gluing each module to the previous one as shown below.

I attached my star to the window (smoother side out) with little dabs of glue stick at the tips. If you are using a nicer paper and want to re-use your star next winter, I would suggest using tiny squares of removable poster tape for mounting. They will peel off both the window and the star.

There are many patterns that can be made. This German site has a good selection and clear photographic instructions.

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In case you wish to have some colour in your stars, you might try adding melted crayon. Here are my instructions for wax paper hearts, written for a Valentine’s Day post. It should be possible to fold the double-layered wax paper, or you could just cut out star shapes.

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To make the ‘stained glass’ all you need are some crayons, a pencil sharpener, wax paper, an iron, old newspapers, and a flat surface to iron on.

I was working on my kitchen counter which is relatively heat-resistant, but I put a cookie sheet under the bottom layers of newspaper just in case.

Peel some of the paper off your selected crayons. (This is easier if you slit the wrappers with a knife first.) Sharpen the crayons over a piece of wax paper. When you have the colours you want distributed over the wax paper —I did a fairly random distribution— cover the shavings with another piece of wax paper.

Lay some sheets of newspaper over the top —I started with two, but added a third sheet when the wax started to come through— and iron the stack with your iron on its lowest setting. Check frequently to see how the melting is progressing. I started by just resting the iron in one spot then moving it to another after a few seconds, but this trapped some air bubbles, so I would suggest ironing from one side to the other or out from the middle in smooth strokes.

Your ‘stained glass’ will be ready when all the crayon shavings have been completely melted. Time to cut it into shapes. With Valentine’s Day approaching, hearts seem appropriate. You can find a printable template with outlines of hearts here. Print out the pdf on card stock, then cut out the heart(s) you want to use.

I started with the third smallest heart and then cut it down to the second smallest heart. I drew the first outlines with a sharpie but it didn’t show up all that well against the darker colours so I switched to a mechanical pencil with a 2H lead for the last hearts. (The sharpie lines show up better in the photo, but in real life the pencil outlines were easier to follow when cutting.)

You now have lots of hearts (or perhaps just one big one) and you need to display them.

They look more impressive with light behind them, so mounting them in a window is best. You can just stick them to the window glass with a dab of glue stick, like the window stars, or you can make bunting. I chose the latter.

I laid out my hearts in a pleasing order along the edge of the kitchen counter, then laid a white sewing thread over them and taped down the ends.

The hearts were then taped to the thread with small pieces of invisible tape. The only window large enough to accommodate my bunting is in my downstairs studio, so I hung them there.

About Byopia Press

I have been working in the book arts field for more than twenty years, and operating Byopia Press with my husband David since the late 1990s. I began producing artist's books and altered books in 2004.
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3 Responses to Byopia Press Advent Calendar 2020: Day Thirteen and Wax Paper Stars

  1. lcmt says:

    I want to make this one! In our family for the Christmas windows, we have always cut snowflakes from thin white paper (cheap typing paper works pretty well) and I think these stars would look fantastic interspersed with snowflakes!

    Like

  2. Pingback: Last Post for the Year and an Index for the Byopia Press Advent Calendar 2020 | Byopia Press

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