Learn how to make traditional Scandinavian star decorations using folded fabric. This simple and fun tutorial is ideal for using up fabric scraps. No machine sewing is necessary – just a stitch at the end to attach a string for hanging.
I used traditional red and white fabrics to make my star decorations, but you can use any fabrics you like to match your holiday decor. It's easier to create two-tone ornaments, so I recommend trying that first.
This tutorial is long because it has a lot of images, but it should only take you about 5-10 minutes. Once you've made your first one, you won't be able to stop!
This blog post has been converted to optional PDF optimized for printing. Find it here. The free Scanindavian Star tutorial is included in the blog post below and is free to read, print and sew! Simply press CTRL+P on your computer to print. The print-optimized PDF download for $3 is optional. Did you know that you can organize ALL print-optimized PDF files into one library and access them at any time?
These pretty ornaments also make thoughtful gifts. You can present them with a plate of cookies or attach one to the top of a wrapped box.
My technique for making these folded star Christmas ornaments is different from other tutorials I've seen. I found the simplest way possible to prepare them because my brain likes simplicity! If you think this tutorial is also simple, please share it. I would love to see the stars you create, so be sure to tag SewCanShe on social media.
How to Make Folded Fabric Scandinavian Stars
You will need:
- 4 strips of fabric 4″ x 15″ (start with two of one color and two of another color)
- Iron and ironing board or mat
- Wonderclips or small clothespins
- fabric glue
- string, embroidery floss or hanging thread
- a large-eyed hand sewing needle for attaching the string
Using fabric glue is optional, but I recommend it so your stars don't unfold. I like Fabric fuse for projects like this. It's easy to take it out of the bottle; and the bottle has a pointed end. Any liquid glue that dries clear will work great, including inexpensive school glue.
Fold and press the fabric to create 1″ wide strips.
1. Fold each 4″ x 15″ strip of fabric in half lengthwise (wrong side to wrong side) and iron. Then open it and fold the long edges towards the center, press.
2. Fold the strips in half again and press to make a folded strip of fabric 1″ x 15″ long.
Weave the strips to make the center of the star
The center of the star will have three layers of weave.
1. Lay the two darker strips horizontally on your work area. Then place the two lighter strips on top, arranged vertically.
Weave the strips together as shown above, so that the darker strips are on the upper right and lower left.
This is the first layer of weaving. Center the strips as best as possible so that the woven part is in the middle.
You will move clockwise and fold every other strip for the second layer of weave.
2. Fold the top right (white) strip down.
3. Fold the bottom right strip (red) to the left.
4. Fold the bottom left (white) strip upwards.
5. And then fold the top left (red) strip to the right, sliding it under the first white strip you folded.
Each strip should be folded over itself, with the shorter ends of the fabric strip on top.
Gently pull all the strips so they fold together perfectly. Flip the piece over so the longer ends are now on top. It's time to move on to the third layer of weaving.
6. Fold only the top layer of the top strip (white) down.
7. Fold the top layer of the right strip (red) to the left.
8. Fold the top layer of the bottom strip (white) upwards.
9. And finally, fold the top left (red) strip to the right, sliding it under the first strip you folded on that side.
Pull on the bands to make them all snug. It's time to make the star points!
Fold the star points in any order
You can fold the star points in any order, as long as you remember a rule.
You can fold a strip into a star if you can tuck the end into a woven strip of the opposite color just below. Otherwise, just flip the coin over and then you can make your point with this strip. Keeping this rule in mind means that it will be very easy to make your point.
If you followed my instructions exactly, you can rotate and flip the star, always bending the top left strip to one point.
1. The top left strip should have a woven strip of the opposite color just below it.
Fold this strip to the left (away from the center), forming a 45-degree angled crease as shown. Bend the crease with your fingernail.
2. Bend the strip down to form a nice pointed tip. Use your fingernail to fold the crease.
3. Fold the tip in half on itself, with the end of the strip resting on the opposite colored woven piece.
Use a Wonderclip to hold the tip secure while you hide the end of the strip.
4. Gently tuck the end of the strip under the opposite color strip underneath.
5. Pull the strip a little too far, so you can cut the end and when you let it go, it will be hidden under the red strip above.
You should be able to cut and discard about an inch of fabric.
Now you know everything there is to know! Repeat to turn all ends of the strip into stars.
In this case, I decided to fold the adjacent white strip next. Since there was a white “bump” under this strip, and not a woven piece of the opposite color, I turned the entire piece inside out.
With the right side up, I folded the strip first to the left, then down, and finally over and secured with a Wonderclip.
I slipped the strip under the red woven piece underneath, pulled it a little too far so I could cut off the excess, and smoothed it flat again. Perfect.
Then I'm going to rotate the piece counterclockwise and make some red dots…
Keep rotating the star and flipping it so you can score all the points.
Remember, you can fold a strip into a star if you can tuck the end into a woven strip of the fabric. opposite color just below. Otherwise, just flip the coin over and then you can make your point with this strip.
Pretty soon all the star points will be folded nice and neatly and secured with clips.
Finish your Scandinavian star decoration
1. Bring the star to your ironing board. Remove the clips and press firmly on both sides to secure all the creases.
2. Squeeze a drop of glue under each of the center pieces on both sides. This will prevent the star from unfolding when hanging on the Christmas tree year after year!
3. Thread a large-eyed needle with an 18-inch-long piece of string or thread.
4. Pierce the needle through the fabric near the center of the star so that the hanging loop is securely attached. Pull the string or thread through it. Remove the needle and tie the ends together.
This year, now make folded fabric stars for all your friends and family. You can because they are so easy!
Disclosure: Some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of these links, I may receive a small commission, so please support SewCanShe when you shop! All opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂