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How To Make A 3D Christmas Star Lantern

Updated on January 7, 2016

Create a Traditional Three-Dimensional Christmas Star Lantern

Some of the star-shaped Christmas lanterns I am familiar with are made from bamboo sticks and comes in a large variety of sizes and designs. The design, the star shape, is sometimes mixed with other shapes too. We see stars at Christmas because they symbolize the star seen in the town of Bethlehem around the time our Lord,Jesus Christ was born. That shining star is what led the three kings, called Magi, to the baby Jesus in the manger. Stars are also said to symbolize hope and even triumph over the difficult and dark trials we have to deal with during the rest of the year.

The Star Lantern is a medium difficult craft project, but it is worth the extra effort.

You can create a unique lantern, not just a plastic one you picked up at the store. Your lantern will stand out during the holiday season. You can use your natural creativity to decorate it as only you can. So, if you are ready for a crafting challenge, this Christmas Star Lantern might be just what you are looking for.

Read this entire page to see what you need and to read the directions before you start making a star lantern.     Then ...Gather all materials needed for this tutorial.
Read this entire page to see what you need and to read the directions before you start making a star lantern. Then ...Gather all materials needed for this tutorial.

Supplies You Will Need To Make A Star Lantern

To make this Star Lantern you will need:

  • A pack of wooden skewers
  • Yellow cellophane
  • Green crepe paper (I chose green and red - you don't have to..they are Christmasy)
  • Red crepe paper
  • A piece of cardboard
  • Galvanized steel wire a little over 1 1/2 inches long - several pieces
  • White craft glue
  • A long nose plier
  • Scissors
  • A hot glue gun and glue sticks

Gather all your materials before you start the project. This way you won't be distracted when you are making your Star Lantern.

Snip the sharp end off the skewer with your pliers.
Snip the sharp end off the skewer with your pliers.

Step 1. Snip off the top of the wooden skewer with your long nose pliers. The pliers will give you a nice clean finish on the skewer.

Loop the wire around the edges of the skewers.
Loop the wire around the edges of the skewers.

Step 2. Put the wooden skewers together using a piece of galvanized steel wire. Loop the wire at least twice around the skewer so they remain connected, but also leaving enough room for a slight bit of movement...the skewers do need to be a little mobile.


Take another skewer and wire them together.
Take another skewer and wire them together.

Step 3. Take another skewer and tie it at the other end of one stick. Loop the wire the same way you did in step 2 with these two skewers.


Check this picture to make sure you are following the details.
Check this picture to make sure you are following the details.

Step 4. You should be able to partially open the wooden skewers as shown in the picture...that way you will know if you are doing it correctly.


Continue to connect the skewers with the wire.  You will need 5 skewers to make a star.
Continue to connect the skewers with the wire. You will need 5 skewers to make a star.

Step 5. Keep adding skewers to each other in this manner until you have a star shape. It takes 5 skewers looped together to form a star.

Connect the center connections with wire.
Connect the center connections with wire.

Step 6. Look at the inner body of the star. You must tie those intersections to limit any more movement in the wooden star shape.

Make another star the same way you made the first one.
Make another star the same way you made the first one.

Step 7. Now repeat the steps and make another wooden star. You want it to look exactly like the first star.

Put one star on top of the other.  Using wire connect the two stars.
Put one star on top of the other. Using wire connect the two stars.

Step 8. When you have completed your second star, put it on top of the first one. Using the wire, loop the ends of the stars together.


Cut 5 small pieces of wood.
Cut 5 small pieces of wood.

Step 9. Cut 5 - 3/4" long sticks from the wooden skewers.

Insert small pieces of wood to make your star three dimensional.
Insert small pieces of wood to make your star three dimensional.

Star 10. Be careful with this next step. Insert the 3/4" stick in between the inside intersection of the wooden star. What this does is make this plain star a three-dimensional object. Now repeat this step at every intersection.

Use a hot glue gun to connect and secure the wood pieces.
Use a hot glue gun to connect and secure the wood pieces.

Step 11. To keep the short 3/4" sticks in place, glue them in between the intersections using the hot glue gun. You don't want those small sticks popping out!

Add white craft glue to the wood to hold the cellophane...spread the glue evenly with your fingers.
Add white craft glue to the wood to hold the cellophane...spread the glue evenly with your fingers.

Step 12. Put some white glue onto the small sticks. It's best to spread the glue with your fingers, it spreads it more evenly.

Stretch the cellophane over the glued wood star.  Read the directions and be careful.
Stretch the cellophane over the glued wood star. Read the directions and be careful.

Step 13. Get the cellophane and stretch it carefully at the top of the star with glue. Place the cellophane on the body of the star. Do this slowly. Be sure to make sure the cellophane is sticking to the wooden stick BEFORE YOU let it go. Now repeat this same step on the other side of the star. This is an important step. If you are having trouble stretching the cellophane or just feel unsteady doing it yourself, ask for help.


Clean up any excess cellophane by carefully cutting it away.
Clean up any excess cellophane by carefully cutting it away.

Step 14. Snip off the extra cellophane in between the edges of the star.

Cut 10 triangle shaped pieces of cellophane.
Cut 10 triangle shaped pieces of cellophane.

Step 15. Cut the cellophane into 10 triangle shaped pieces. These triangles are going to be the corners of your star. You can figure out the size you will need to cut these triangles by looking and measuring them on the corners of your star.

Add white craft glue to the corners of your star.
Add white craft glue to the corners of your star.

Step 16. Apply your white craft glue liberally on and around the corners of your star.

Place your cellophane triangles on the corners of the star, stretch the cellophane as you place it.
Place your cellophane triangles on the corners of the star, stretch the cellophane as you place it.

Step 17. Take your triangle pieces of cellophane and slowly place it over the corners of the wood star...stretching it while you place it on. Do this same step on each of the corners until the entire star is completely covered.

Once again, cut away any extra cellophane with your scissors.
Once again, cut away any extra cellophane with your scissors.

Step 18. If there is any extra cellophane, cut it off with the scissors. Be careful.

Cut your red crepe paper into strips.
Cut your red crepe paper into strips.

Step 19. Take the red crepe paper and cut a strip. The strip should be about 1 1/5" wide.

Fold the strip lengthwise - this will create some short vertical cuts in the folded part of the crepe strip. Now unfold the strip and fold it on the opposite side with the same orientation. Folding it this way will insure that the cuts pop out.



Wrap the red crepe paper around the pointed tips of your star...wrap it two to three times.
Wrap the red crepe paper around the pointed tips of your star...wrap it two to three times.

Step 20. Take the red crepe strips and wrap them on the pointed tips of your star. Wrap it two or three times and then glue the end of the strip. Repeat this on each of the 5 tips of the star.


Does your star look like this?
Does your star look like this?

Step 21. Look at the picture - your Star Lantern should look like it when you have placed the red strips around the corners.


Cut two squares out of the green crepe paper.
Cut two squares out of the green crepe paper.

Step 22. Now get the green crepe paper and cut two squares. The squares should be 3.14 inches by 3.14 inches. (that's 8 cm X 8 cm).


Fold the green squares over to make a triangle.
Fold the green squares over to make a triangle.

Step 23. Fold each of the green squares diagonally. Check the pictures.


Fold the green crepe paper one more time and you should have a triangle like the one pictured.
Fold the green crepe paper one more time and you should have a triangle like the one pictured.

Step 24. Make one more diagonal fold. Use the middle of the square as a reference for this folding step. You should now have a green triangle.


Make curvy cuts in your green triangle.
Make curvy cuts in your green triangle.

Step 25. Look at your pictures to get the details correct. Make curvy cuts going in opposite directions starting at the very center of the square (that's the tip of the triangle). Now do the same thing on the other green triangle.


Cut a strip of the red crepe paper about 1/3" wide.
Cut a strip of the red crepe paper about 1/3" wide.

Step 26. Now cut a strip from the red crepe paper and make it about 1/3 of an inch wide. Make sure your strip is longer than the total length of the green square. Once again, check the picture to see what you should be doing.


Cut two circle shapes from the cardboard.
Cut two circle shapes from the cardboard.

Step 27. Take your cardboard and cut 2 circular pieces from it. The diameter of your circle should be about 1.5 inches. Again, the exact size depends on your star, so measure before you cut.


Unfold the green crepe paper into a square.  Glue the cardboard circle in the center of your square.
Unfold the green crepe paper into a square. Glue the cardboard circle in the center of your square.

Step 28. Carefully unfold the green squares. Place one of the cardboard circles in the center of each one. Using your hot glue gun, glue the circles to the center of the green square.


Glue red crepe paper strips to the center of the cardboard circles.
Glue red crepe paper strips to the center of the cardboard circles.

Step 29. Next, glue the red crepe paper strips on the end (tip) of the circular cardboard piece. Glue the strips to the center part of the circle. You will be doing this with anywhere from 8 to 12 pieces.


Flip the tail around.  This piece will be one of the tails on your star lantern.  You will need two tails.
Flip the tail around. This piece will be one of the tails on your star lantern. You will need two tails.

Step 30. Flip the circle upside down. Hold the part where you can see the green paper. This is going to be the tail of your star lantern. You will need two of these tails.


Make a hole in the middle of your tail and slip a wire hook through it.  Use your long nose pliers to form this hook.
Make a hole in the middle of your tail and slip a wire hook through it. Use your long nose pliers to form this hook.

Step 31. Make a hole in the very middle of the tail. Insert a wire hook through the hole using your long nose pliers. Do this on each of the star tails.


Place the hook at the pointed edge of the star and use your hot glue gun to secure it.
Place the hook at the pointed edge of the star and use your hot glue gun to secure it.

Star 32. Be CAREFUL with this next step. Insert the tail on the pointed end of the star through the hook. Using your glue gun, hot glue the tail from the base all the way to the main body. This will make your star strong and stable. When you are done with the first tail, do the same thing to the second tail.


Make a sturdy loop that will be your star lantern hanger.
Make a sturdy loop that will be your star lantern hanger.

Step 33. You are now going to insert a long wire on the tip of the very top of your star. Make a loop, a sturdy one. Cut any extra wire away with your scissors or pliers. Make sure this is looped and sturdy...it's your Star Lantern's hanger.

Step 34. Tada! (as my granddaughter would say!) You've done it! Your Star Lantern is ready to decorate your home or porch. Pat yourself on the back, you've done a great job. Making a three-dimensional Star Lantern is challenging, but it's worth it...isn't it?

Step By Step Recap

Step 1. Snip off the top of the wooden skewer with your long nose pliers. The pliers will give you a nice clean finish on the skewer.

Step 2. Put the wooden skewers together using a piece of galvanized steel wire. Loop the wire at least twice around the skewer so they remain connected, but also leaving enough room for a slight bit of movement...the skewers do need to be a little mobile.

Step 3. Take another skewer and tie it at the other end of one stick. Loop the wire the same way you did in step 2 with these two skewers.

Step 4. You should be able to partially open the wooden skewers as shown in the picture...that way you will know if you are doing it correctly.

Step 5. Keep adding skewers to each other in this manner until you have a star shape. It takes 5 skewers looped together to form a star.

Step 6. Look at the inner body of the star. You must tie those intersections to limit any more movement in the wooden star shape.

Step 7. Now repeat the steps and make another wooden star. You want it to look exactly like the first star.

Step 8. When you have completed your second star, put it on top of the first one. Using the wire, loop the ends of the stars together.

Step 9. Cut 5 - 3/4" long sticks from the wooden skewers.

Star 10. Be careful with this next step. Insert the 3/4" stick in between the inside intersection of the wooden star. What this does is make this plain star a three-dimensional object. Now repeat this step at every intersection.

Step 11. To keep the short 3/4" sticks in place, glue them in between the intersections using the hot glue gun. You don't want those small sticks popping out!

Step 12. Put some white glue onto the small sticks. It's best to spread the glue with your fingers, it spreads it more evenly.

Step 13. Get the cellophane and stretch it carefully at the top of the star with glue. Place the cellophane on the body of the star. Do this slowly. Be sure to make sure the cellophane is sticking to the wooden stick BEFORE YOU let it go. Now repeat this same step on the other side of the star. This is an important step. If you are having trouble stretching the cellophane or just feel unsteady doing it yourself, ask for help.

Step 14. Snip off the extra cellophane in between the edges of the star.

Step 15. Cut the cellophane into 10 triangle shaped pieces. These triangles are going to be the corners of your star. You can figure out the size you will need to cut these triangles by looking and measuring them on the corners of your star.

Step 16. Apply your white craft glue liberally on and around the corners of your star.

Step 17. Take your triangle pieces of cellophane and slowly place it over the corners of the wood star...stretching it while you place it on. Do this same step on each of the corners until the entire star is completely covered.

Step 18. If there is any extra cellophane, cut it off with the scissors. Be careful.

Step 19. Take the red crepe paper and cut a strip. The strip should be about 1 1/5" wide.

Fold the strip lengthwise - this will create some short vertical cuts in the folded part of the crepe strip. Now unfold the strip and fold it on the opposite side with the same orientation. Folding it this way will insure that the cuts pop out.

Step 20. Take the red crepe strips and wrap them on the pointed tips of your star. Wrap it two or three times and then glue the end of the strip. Repeat this on each of the 5 tips of the star.

Step 21. Look at the picture - your Star Lantern should look like it when you have placed the red strips around the corners.

Step 22. Now get the green crepe paper and cut two squares. The squares should be 3.14 inches by 3.14 inches. (that's 8 cm X 8 cm).

Step 23. Fold each of the green squares diagonally. Check the pictures.

Step 24. Make one more diagonal fold. Use the middle of the square as a reference for this folding step. You should now have a green triangle.

Step 25. Look at your pictures to get the details correct. Make curvy cuts going in opposite directions starting at the very center of the square (that's the tip of the triangle). Now do the same thing on the other green triangle.

Step 26. Now cut a strip from the red crepe paper and make it about 1/3 of an inch wide. Make sure your strip is longer than the total length of the green square. Once again, check the picture to see what you should be doing.

Step 27. Take your cardboard and cut 2 square pieces from it. The diameter of your square should be about 1.5 inches. Again, the exact size depends on your star, so measure before you cut.

Step 28. Carefully unfold the green squares. Place one of the cardboard circles in the center of each one. Using your hot glue gun, glue the circles to the center of the green square.

Step 29. Next, glue the red crepe paper strips on the end (tip) of the circular cardboard piece. Glue the strips to the center part of the circle. You will be doing this with anywhere from 8 to 12 pieces.

Step 30. Flip the circle upside down. Hold the part where you can see the green paper. This is going to be the tail of your star lantern. You will need two of these tails.

Step 31. Make a hole in the very middle of the tail. Insert a wire hook through the hole using your long nose pliers. Do this on each of the star tails.

Star 32. Be CAREFUL with this next step. Insert the tail on the pointed end of the star through the hook. Using your glue gun, hot glue the tail from the base all the way to the main body. This will make your star strong and stable. When you are done with the first tail, do the same thing to the second tail.

Step 33. You are now going to insert a long wire on the tip of the very top of your star. Make a loop, a sturdy one. Cut any extra wire away with your scissors or pliers. Make sure this is looped and sturdy...it's your Star Lantern's hanger.

Step 34. Tada! (as my granddaughter would say!) You've done it! Your Star Lantern is ready to decorate your home or porch. Pat yourself on the back, you've done a great job. Making a three-dimensional Star Lantern is challenging, but it's worth it...isn't it?

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