Origami wishing stars, or lucky stars, are a symbol love and luck originating in Japanese folktale. A traditional gift for weddings and anniversaries, origami lucky stars are fun and easy-to-make and can be used for decorations, craft projects, and party favors. Scattered on wedding tables, they add DIY-detail to your wedding decor. You can use them as table scatter for bridal showers, baby showers and birthday parties too. String them together to make a hanging garland or beaded curtain, or create decorative wreaths and jewelry.
If you don’t know how to make them, grab your nearest piece of scrap paper: a take-out menu, a paper bag, junk mail—and give it a try.
Before you start, cut your paper into 11 inch long x ½ inch wide strips. To cut our paper strips, we used a ruler, x-acto knife and craft cutting mat. If you’re working with 8 ½ x 11 inch sheets of paper, mark both ends of the paper in ½ inch intervals, make sure you have your ruler lined up with the marks and cut with the blade against the ruler. If you want your stars to be larger or smaller than ours, you can increase or decrease your paper size—just keep the size ratio of 1:22.
Loosely knot the strip of paper as close to one end as possible. Pull both ends of the strip until the edges meet to form a pentagon. Gently flatten. Do not make your crease too sharp—you’ll want to puff it out at the end.
At this point, you’ll have a very short tail and a long tail. Tuck the very short tail into the pocket of the pentagon. You can trim or tear the tail, if necessary, to make it fit better.
Turn the pentagon over. Fold the long tail along the pentagon so the edges line up and the pentagon’s shape is maintained. Turn over. Fold again. (Be careful not to make your creases too sharp.) Continue folding until your long tail is short enough to tuck neatly into the pocket you made.
Hold the flat star between your thumb and index finger. With the thumbnail of your opposite hand, gently push into one of the sides of the pentagon. Rotate and push each side to puff out your star.
There you have it! A finished star.
Don’t get discouraged if your first few stars don’t look like ours—it takes a little practice. Once you get the hang of it, you can upgrade to fancier paper (like the polka dotted paper we used for this tutorial), but you don’t have to. This is a great way to recycle junk mail and old magazines. And because it requires only paper, it’s a very mobile hobby. You can sit a coffee shop and make these. It’s meditative. It’s a very accessible way de-stress and clear your mind, without investing a lot of time. Imagine: a rainy day activity that doubles as an exercise in mindfulness. So grab a cozy throw and an old magazine, and give it a whirl. Let us know how yours turn out in the comments.