Learn how to make traditional Scandinavian Star Ornaments using folded fabric. This fun and easy tutorial is great for using up fabric scraps. There’s no machine sewing needed – just one stitch at the end to attach a string for hanging.
I used traditional red and white fabrics to make my star ornaments, but you can use any fabrics you like to match your holiday decor. It’s easiest to make 2-color ornaments, so I recommend trying that first.
This tutorial is long because there are lots of pictures, but it should only take you about 5-10 minutes to complete. After you have made your first one, you won’t be able to stop!
This blog post has been converted to an optional PDF that’s 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! Just hit CTRL +P on your computer to print. The Optimized for Printing PDF download for $3 is optional. Did you know you can get ALL the Optimized for Printing PDF files organized in a library to access anytime you want?
These pretty ornaments make thoughtful gifts too. You can present them with a plate of cookies or tie one to the top of a wrapped box.
They will go perfectly with all the Christmas gnomes you sew up this year, like:
- Free Christmas Gnome Sewing Pattern
- Free pattern for a Gnome Christmas Ornament
- Free Gnome Quilt Block Pattern
Or see all my Free Gnome Sewing Patterns.
My technique for making these folded star Christmas ornaments is different from other tutorials that I’ve seen. I came up with the easiest possible way to make them because my brain likes easy! If you think my instructions are easy too, please share them. I’d love to see the stars you make, so be sure to tag SewCanShe on social media.
How to Make Folded Fabric Scandinavian Stars
You will need:
- 4 strips of fabric that are 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 yarn for hanging
- a large-eyed hand sewing needle to attach the string
Using fabric glue is optional, but I recommend it so that your stars don’t come unfolded. I like Fabric Fuse for projects like this. It is easy to squeeze out of the bottle; and the bottle has a pointed tip. Any liquid glue that dries clear will work great, including inexpensive school glue.
Fold and Press the Fabric to Make 1” Wide Strips
1. Fold each 4” x 15” fabric strip in half lengthwise (wrong sides together) and press. Then open it and fold the long edges to the center, press.
2. Fold the strips in half again and press to make a 1” x 15” long folded fabric strip.
Weave the Strips to Make the Center of the Star
The center of the star will have three layers of weaving.
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 top at the top right and the bottom left side.
This is the first layer of weaving. Center the strips as best as you can so that the woven part is in the middle.
You’ll move clockwise and fold every other strip for the second layer of weaving.
2. Fold the top right (white) strip down.
3. Fold the lower right (red) strip over to the left.
4. Fold the bottom left (white) strip up.
5. And then fold the upper left (red) strip to the right, tucking it under the first white strip that you folded down.
Each strip should be folded over onto itself, with the shorter ends of the fabric strip on top.
Gently tug at all of the strips to so they fold snugly together. Turn the piece over so that the longer ends are now on top. It’s time for the third layer of weaving.
6. Fold only the top layer of the the top (white) strip down.
7. Fold the top layer of the right (red) strip to the left.
8. Fold the top layer of the bottom (white) strip up.
9. And finally fold the upper left (red) strip over to the right, tucking under the first strip that you folded on this side.
Tug the strips to make them all snug again. 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 one rule.
You can fold a strip into a star point if you can tuck the end into a woven strip of the opposite color just below. If not, just flip the piece over, and then you can make a point with that strip. Keeping this rule in mind will mean that making the points is very easy.
If you have followed my instructions exactly, you can rotate and flip the star, always folding the top left strip into a 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), making a 45-degree angled fold as shown. Crease the fold with your fingernail.
2. Fold the strip down, making a nice sharp point. Use your fingernail to crease the fold.
3. Fold the point in half onto itself, with the end of the strip laying over the woven piece of the opposite color.
Use a wonderclip to hold the point secure while you hide the end of the strip.
4. Gently tuck the end of the strip under the strip of the opposite color below it.
5. Pull the strip through a little too far, so that you can cut off the end and when you let go it will be hidden underneath the red strip above.
You should be able to cut off and discard about an inch of fabric.
Now you know everything there is to know! Repeat to make all of the strip ends into star points.
In this case, I decided to fold the adjacent white strip next. Since there was a white ‘bump’ under that strip, not a woven piece of the opposite color, I flipped the entire piece over.
With the correct side facing up, I folded the strip first to the left, then down, and finally over and secured with a wonderclip.
I tucked the strip underneath the red woven piece beneath it, pulled it through a bit too far so I could cut off the extra, and smoothed it flat again. Perfect.
Next, I’ll rotate the piece counter-clockwise and make some red points…
Continue rotating the star and turning it over so you can make all of the points.
Remember, you can fold a strip into a star point if you can tuck the end into a woven strip of the opposite color just below. If not, just flip the piece over, and then you can make a point with that strip.
Pretty quickly, all of the star points will be folded nice and neat and secured with clips.
Finishing Your Scandinavian Star Ornament
1. Take the star to your ironing board. Remove the clips and press well on both sides to set all of the folds.
2. Squeeze a drop of glue under each of the center pieces on both sides. This will prevent the star from becoming unfolded as it hangs on a Christmas tree year after year!
3. Thread a large-eyed needle with an 18” long piece of string or yarn.
4. Pierce the needle through some fabric near the center of the star so that the hanging loop is attached securely. Pull the string or yarn through. Remove the needle and tie the ends together.
Now make folded fabric stars for all your friends and family this year. You can because they are so easy!
Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂