As an artist and homeowner, Donna enjoys creating unique decorative items and holiday ornaments to welcome all to her artistic abode.
Rustic design elements are a popular trend for home décor. This simple twig star is the perfect decoration for your front door or on a wall in your home. These stars can also be embellished and used for wedding or party décor, or for decorations for the Christmas holiday. I've included ideas for decorating these stars at the bottom of this tutorial.
Materials for Making a Twig Star
This project uses only a few supplies and can be done in under 30 minutes. You will need:
- 15 straight sticks (you can also use dowels if you want a more uniform look or want to paint your star) - If you are using sticks, choose twigs that are as straight as possible and are roughly the same width and color.
- Clippers, a knife, or small saw to cut your sticks or dowels
- A jackknife or whittling tool to shave your sticks
- Hot glue gun and glue sticks
- Twine or ribbon (optional) to tie the ends of your twigs as decoration
Instructions for Making a Twig Star
1. First, decide what size you want your star to be. You can make your star to be any size you choose. You can make large stars for a door or garden decorations, or smaller stars for decorating a Christmas tree. My star is about 8 inches tall.
2. Collect 15 sticks or dowels for your star. Remove any excess branches or nubs along your twig. Cut each stick to be half the length of your finished star, plus the width of your sticks. For my 8 inch star, I cut my twigs to be 4 and 1/4 inches long.
3. Using a jackknife or whittling tool, shave down one end of 2 of your sticks. Shave down an area that is about the width of your twigs (see photo above). The other end of these sticks should be left as a blunt cut.
4. Now take 3 more sticks and shave down both sides of one end of each of these sticks. The other end of these sticks should be left as a blunt cut. The shaved end does not need to be pointed. You just want to take away some of the width (see center stick in photo above).
Assembling Your Twig Star - Layer One
5. Before gluing your star together, read through the steps below. You may want to dry assemble your pieces so you see how they need to be spaced to shape your star. You will be building your star with three layers of sticks.
6. Take one of the sticks you shaved down in Step 3. Place it so that the shaved side is face up.
7. Take one of the sticks you shaved down in Step 4 and place it over your other stick so that the shaved areas overlap. Glue these sticks together at their shaved points in the position shown above.
8. Use the other sticks you shaved down in Step 4 to continue to form your star. Try to glue each stick equidistant from the others so your star's arms are evenly spaced.
9. Finish the first layer of your star by gluing the other stick you shaved in Step 3 as the last arm of your star. Position this stick with the shaved side facing down to cover your whittled ends.
The Second Layer
10. Now you will be adding a second layer of sticks to your star. These sticks should be unshaven, but the same length as all the other sticks. This second layer of sticks is shown in green in the diagrams for these steps.
11. Take one of your sticks and place it so that it meets the outer end of one of your star's arms. Position the other end of this stick so it is about an inch up on the arm to the left of where you are working (see Diagram 4). Glue the stick in place.
This inch measurement is an estimate based on the size of my star. If you are making a large star, you will want this measurement to be more than an inch. If you are making a smaller star, you will want to make this space smaller. As you dry assemble your pieces, decide what position looks best for the shape of your star.
12. Repeat Step 11 for each arm of your star to build up your sticks. Your star should look like Diagram 5.
The Last Layer of Sticks
13. Place a stick so it meets the outer end of one of the arms of your star. Position the other end of this stick so it is about an inch up on the arm to the right of where you are working (see red line on Diagram 6). Glue the stick in place.
You will notice that the end of this stick should meet the end of the sticks placed in Step 12. However, this may not always be the case. Your sticks may be bent a little and not meet up, which is fine. This is a rustic star made from natural elements and some irregularity is part of the charm of this star.
14. Repeat Step 13 for each arm to build the shape of your star. Your finished star should look like Diagram 7.
15. (Optional) To finish my star, I took about 12 inches of thin twine and wrapped the end of each arm of my star about 3 or 4 times. I then tied off the ends of my twine with a tight knot. These ties just added some additional rustic charm.
Other Ways to Decorate Your Twig Star
There are many ways to add additional embellishment to these simple stars:
- Paint your sticks before assembling your star. You can paint your sticks using acrylic paint to match any décor or occasion. If you want to paint your sticks, I would suggest using dowels instead of twigs.
- Wrap your sticks with ribbon or thin wire. This is a great way to add some shine or elegance to your star. You can do this using both twigs or dowels. You should wrap your sticks before you start to assemble your star.
- Roll your sticks in craft glue and glitter. This is a great way to make natural decorations for the Christmas holidays. Again, you should decorate your sticks and let the glue dry before you start to assemble your star.
- Wrap your finished star with small lights. Lighted stars would make beautiful decorations for your garden, patio, or for a rustic wedding.
© 2018 Donna Herron
Donna Herron (author) from USA on December 02, 2019:
Thanks, Jill! Happy holidays to you!
Jill Spencer from United States on December 01, 2019:
Love this project, Donna. A rustic star would be a great tree topper.
Donna Herron (author) from USA on May 30, 2018:
Wonderful! So glad you found this tutorial inspiring. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I appreciate it!
Nell Rose from England on May 29, 2018:
What a great idea! This would look amazing on my balcony. I love it!
Donna Herron (author) from USA on May 18, 2018:
Thanks, Heidi! Yes, there are many ways to enhance this simple craft to fit many styles and decor. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I appreciate it!
Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on May 17, 2018:
So cute, as usual! Even though this is, essentially, an almost no-cost craft, I think it would fit in even sophisticated decor. Hope you're having a lovely spring!
Donna Herron (author) from USA on May 10, 2018:
Thanks, Jill! These simple stars can be used in so many ways. I want to make a set of bigger stars to hang behind our backyard garden. It's hard to find garden decorations that won't be ruined in the weather, so these stars are perfect for outdoor use. Thanks again for your comments. I appreciate it!
Jill Spencer from United States on May 09, 2018:
Oh my heavens, this is really charming, and I actually think I could make it-- and hang it from a tree! Another really lovely article, Donna. As always!
Donna Herron (author) from USA on May 09, 2018:
Thanks, Sally! So glad you like this project. I don't have much to tell about the Maven conference. We're still waiting for more information and details.
Sally Gulbrandsen from Norfolk on May 08, 2018:
That is very creative, amazing what you can do with a few twigs or sticks Donna! Hope you are well and that you enjoyed your trip to the Maven Conference! Would be nice to hear your take on it sometime.