Friday, December 10, 2010

Strawstar Tutorial

As promised - FINALLY - here comes a tutorial on how to make these strawstars.

These stars are a traditional decoration here in Germany and they always remind me of my childhood as I was making them as a kid with my mother.
I love decorating with them!

By now you can buy them for little money over here in many stores. But the bought ones look slightly different ... and also ... well, they just are not homemade.
It is different to have real homemade ones!
I am still dreaming of one day having enough time to make so many that I can decorate my whole Christmas tree just with homemade straw stars and lights.
Well, maybe some gingerbread, too.
But that's it! :-)

So if you want to try to make some, too, here is how to do it:

What do you need?
Not much.
- straw for crafting
- thread
(I like red or silver one, but really any color is fine)
- scissors

If you have bought (or only can buy) straw that is still "round" - not as in the picture above - then you need to prepare your straw before you start with crafting.
If you have flat strips of straw you can just skip ahead to the actual making of the stars.

Okay, so if you still have the "real" straw what you do is
-slit the straw open with a sharp knife
-let soak in water for about 15 minutes
(I however had to soak mine alot longer. Do not know why.)
- then iron the straw open

You should end up with strips of flat straw that probably have varying width.
You can make the strips narrower if you want to just by cutting it with the scissors.
I do not find this step too much fun, so I would recommend buying the flat strips if you can.

Now making the stars.

Of the flat straw strips cut 4 pieces to the same length.
If you have never made strawstars before try to choose straw pieces that have roughly the same width. That will make it easier.

Then you make an "x" out of two straw pieces and hold it between your thumb and index finger.

With the other two straw pieces you make a "cross" and put the "cross" above the "x" as in the photo above.
Do not let go!

Now it will get a bit complicated. But once you have mastered this part you are almost done!
 With (a long piece of thread) you weave around the middle of the star as shown above. You have to be careful to weave in a way so the star will not fall apart.

This is hard to explain in words - but you will know what I mean when you try it. For example the thread should not be UNDER the top straw piece but ABOVE it - like seen in the photo - otherwise the star will fall apart once you let go.
You can click on the photo above to make it larger and see more closely where the thread should go.

Do not let go before you have knot the thread! ;-)

I always weave one round and knot. After that I weave a couple more rounds but that is ALOT easier cause the star can not fall apart anymore.

This is what your star should look like from the front if you have weaved around the middle once.

This is a photo from the back of the star after weaving around the middle a few times.

Now comes the really fun part.
You gotta cut the ends of the straw to make a star.
You can do this any way you like ... round, pointed, ...
And then you are done!

Wasn't that hard, was it?

Of course you can vary the look of the stars if you want to. You can user longer pieces of straw or shorter ones. Or both together ... You can make really big or very small stars. You can put two stars on top of each other to make one fancy one.
Here just a few photos for inspiration:

A smaller and a larger star put on top of each other.

A very basic star.

Star made off narrow and wide straw strips.

A very small star. My favourite! I would love to make a whole bunch of these! :-)

Just a photo so you can see how small it is.
(Of course you could make even smaller ones.)

And just so you see that it is not THAT hard - this is a star that little bear - my 5 year old daughter - made with a little help with the weaving.

Well, and while making some stars I wanted to try something new ... and tied a button to the middle of a star.
So this is the first button-strawstar I have ever seen. :-)

I do kinda like it.
I think it would look really awesome to have a bunch with red buttons. Unfortunately I was out of red buttons ...
Maybe when I have more time on my hands I will try this.

Now what do you do with your stars?
Well, you can put them ANYwhere.
On a tree.
On a wreath.

This is my wreath in our living room.
You could also use them for gift wrapping - very cute!

I hope you will have fun trying this!
Let me know if you have any questions!!!!


Anonymous said...

Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [11 Dec 01:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

Sue said...

What a great little star and tutorial! You're definitely a pro:)

pam said...

These are beautiful! Thank you for the tutorial for making them - I have wanted to learn how to make them for years. This year I found some at Ikea (made in China) but just not the same as they would be if made by hand.

Yours are just lovely. I hope I will have time before Christmas to make some. If not, I will make them to celebrate the 12 days of Christmas!

Shanna of Fiber of All Sorts said...

What a great tutorial. These are lovley!

Little Lizard King said...

Super cute tute, and congratulations! You are one of the winners of my sewing pattern giveaway sponsored by Sew Mama Sew. Feel free to select any pattern from my shop; let me know which one you would like, and I'll email it to you.
Happy sewing!

Fowl Single File said...

They look great on the wreath! I like the smaller, chunkier one, too! Thanks for sharing how to make these.

Anonymous said...

I am back! As I was reviewing some of the new blogs I have added to my reader this morning, i came across this tutorial again. You just don't know how happy it makes me to know there are actually people out there who craft with wheat straw. Sometimes I feel like the lone ranger!!

Again, thank you for this lovely post.

Ms Muffin said...

@ Pam

Glad you liked it! :-)
I thought that there would be quite some people making things with straw ...
What do you make out of it? Am curious! :-)

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