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Easy tutorial to make a Froebel Star: Folding and weaving paper

Updated: Jan 9


Often called the Froëbel Star - after its German creator Friedrich Froëbel, this fabulous little 3 dimensional star is also known as a German or Moravian star. The design incorporates techniques from origami and weaving. This tutorial will show you how to fold and weave your paper strips to make a Froebel star.



Each step is described, then demonstrated in a video. Play the video step as often as you need to work along with it.


Paper strips are available for purchase, but often in large quantities. I have inexpensive kits available here with strips to make a selection of stars, along with links to all of the instructions and information that you need.


The setup - to make your Froebel star

You will need: 4 strips of paper. Either 1cm x 30cm or 1.5cm x 45cm. I suggest starting with 1.5cm width x 45cm length - this creates a star approximately 7.5cm in diameter. Your paper strips will be folded in half, so it is possible (for each 45cm strip) to use two strips each 23cm in length and use a small piece of sticky tape to join them together.

Use a pair of scissors to cut a slant into the ends of your paper strips.



The Central weave

Place one folded strip pointing towards 12 o'clock. Open a second strip, point towards 3 o'clock and place the layers above and below the first strip.

The third strip points to 6 o'clock, place it to the right of 12 o'clock and the layers above and below the second strip.

The forth strip points to 9 o'clock, place it below 3 o'clock, and the layers above and below 6 o'clock, then through the middle of the first strip (pointing to 12 o'clock).

Gently pull on each strip until you have a woven square in the centre of your strips. Things weave quite tight as you move on with the star, so try not to make the central weave too tight, a small amount of wriggle room is ideal.

View this video, repeat it by clicking the play button until you have comfortably created the central weave. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIjfVbsmWDA


Locking the central weave

weaving and folding to make a froebel paper star

Take the top layer of the 12 o'clock strip and fold that down towards 6 o'clock.

Rotate your star one quarter turn clockwise.

Take the top layer of the 12 o'clock strip and fold that down towards 6 o'clock.

repeat turn, repeat fold, repeat turn, repeat fold

Now take that last folded strip and feed it through the pocket on the central weave to anchor the weave.


Watch the video to see this step in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P43-dZbxeOw


Folding the side points

This next step folds the side points of the star. There are eight points in total. You will fold four from the top layer, and then turn the star over to create four from the bottom layer.

At this stage you have two strips pointing in each direction. Use the right hand strip for each of the four points on this top layer.

Take the right hand 12 o'clock strip. Fold to the back and towards 3 o'clock, making a diagonal fold close to the central weave.

Fold in front and towards 6 o'clock, making a diagonal fold and a point where the two folds meet.

Fold the point in half back on itself. Tuck the remaining strip into the pocket immediately below the created star point.

Rotate one quarter turn clockwise. Repeat the folds for the point. Continue until all 4 points have been folded and tucked in.

Note that as you tuck in the fourth point, there will be an extra flap in front of the pocket. Just make sure you tuck securely into the pocket.

Next turn over your star, and repeat these folds using the top strip in each position.


Watch the video to see this in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DuR3jZtdV8


The quick little fold that makes all the difference!

This next step is very quick. Not all guides to making these stars use it. But for me, at least, it makes the final step so much easier because everything then seems to work at the right angle! Just watch this one...



Final step - points top and bottom

weaving and folding to make a froebel paper star

The final step is to make the points at the top and bottom of the star.

Starting with the 12 o'clock strip, roll it to the front and cross to 3 o'click. Do not make a fold, just a roll. Keeping the same side pointing upwards, turn the end of the strip around to point back towards 9 o'clock.

Tuck the end of the strip through the pocket in the central weave.

The strip will appear between the folds of the side point, when you can, pull the strip to make a point in the centre of the star.

You will repeat this for each of the four strips on the top and the bottom of the star. Watch the video below which goes through the action for each point. You can click play again to repeat the video as often as you need.

The final step is to trim the ends of paper strips in line with the side points.


And this is the video for this final section: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SV0Uhyy17uA


Your star is now complete - congratulations. Repeat, repeat, repeat and enjoy the results.

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Guest
Dec 03, 2023

The Froebel stars look really complicated to make. However, using your kit purchased at Acorn School Advent Fair together with this video, I have made two and they have turned out really good! Thank you very much. A really clear video and all the steps are shown and explained so well that with some concentration and a few pauses, I managed to follow it easily. Looking forward to trying other new creations with you!

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