How to Make a Star Jar

Updated on March 13, 2018
For all the artsy fartsy people out there.
For all the artsy fartsy people out there.

What You'll Need

  • Glass Container: It could be a bottle like mine, a mason jar, or any old glass container.
  • Paper Strips: Each strip needs to be 1cm by 13cm.

Paper Tips:

  • You can vary the width of the strips. This will result in different-sized stars.
  • If you're cutting your own paper, cardstock is preferable.
  • Normal printer paper will work alright, but if you're using it, you should cut the strips a little longer because the paper is thinner.
  • Get a few different colors and textures so your star jar is super exciting and cute. You can also buy these papers online.


  1. It's simple once you get the hang of it. Basically, you tie one end of a paper strip in a knot. Don't crumple it—simply flatten it down once it's pulled tight! It makes a pentagon shape.
  2. One end should be long, and one end should be really short, as in less than a centimeter. Take the short end and fold it over. It'll go right into place, because geometry.
  3. Then, take the long end and keep folding it over the sides of the pentagon shape - until there's only a tiny bit left!
  4. When your long end has become too short to fold it over another time, take the end and tuck it into a fold so it's not exposed.
  5. Once you've done that, you should have a little paper pentagon. Take your thumb and pointer finger, and pinch the corners of the star. This will make the front and back puff out, amping your origami from the second to the third dimension! Pinch all of the sides, and you'll have a tiny, puffy star.

A Million Little Pieces of folded paper happiness!
A Million Little Pieces of folded paper happiness!

Star-Folding Tips

You're going to need some patience for this DIY—it takes a while to fill up an entire jar! You'll need to make a couple hundred stars. Once you get the folding down, you can do it while you're watching a show or sitting in class. That's where I did most of my folding. Keep the jar with you and drop them in as you go. Make sure the width of your paper doesn't exceed the width of the jar opening or they won't fit inside!

  • Sometimes, you'll have a few stars that don't work out. They're a pain, but you have to know when to give up. I usually fail during the pinching process. If you can't do it, throw it out and try a new strip!
  • Your fingers will hurt, your fight will weaken... But soldier on! It's totally worth it in the end.

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Catch a falling star and.... Who else is thinking of The Princess Diaries?!It looks like this should have some abstract meaning, but I promise it doesn't.
Catch a falling star and.... Who else is thinking of The Princess Diaries?!
Catch a falling star and.... Who else is thinking of The Princess Diaries?!
It looks like this should have some abstract meaning, but I promise it doesn't.
It looks like this should have some abstract meaning, but I promise it doesn't.

Backstory of the Stars

An old friend of mine, Diana, introduced me to the lucky paper stars. I was in a photography class in high school, and our assignment for the week was to capture something in motion. I asked Diana to be my model, and I stayed over at her house for the night just to shoot photos. Turns out, we were having so much fun that we forgot about the project until my mom was five minutes away from her house. As we frantically searched through her house for ideas, we came upon a jar of stars.

We decided she should get a big handful and blow them straight at the camera. The goal was to capture the stars and their trails as they moved across the picture plane. We got the photo just in time! My photography teacher loved it.

Diana told me that in Korea, they say you can make a wish if you fold 1000 stars. She taught me how to fold them, and we spent ages making these little guys.

We'd fold them in class, at home, and whenever we could find the time. We filled up jars and jars! The bottle in this photo was my first full jar of stars that I folded on my own. Since then, I've given star jars as gifts and taught others how to make them.

Upon some digging, I've found the photo of Diana blowing stars, as well as another from the same shoot. Here they are, for old time's sake!

I tried so hard, and got so faaaar
I tried so hard, and got so faaaar


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    • a beautiful mess profile imageAUTHOR

      Alex Rose 

      6 years ago from Virginia

      Yeah, really is as simple as tying a strip of paper in a knot! If you've got that down, and some patience, it's really a fun and unique craft. Glad you like it!!

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 

      6 years ago

      This is a great idea. I love all those little stars, how festive and cute they are. At first I thought it was going to be some crazy-complex and tiny oragami thing-- but it looks pretty simple and straightforward. I have about a dozen glass bottles from organic milk purchases sitting in the closet saving them for the right class. This sounds like something fun and festive.

    • a beautiful mess profile imageAUTHOR

      Alex Rose 

      6 years ago from Virginia

      I love that idea - such a sweet way to develop a tradition :) Thanks for visiting!!

    • purl3agony profile image

      Donna Herron 

      6 years ago from USA

      What a charming idea! I love you step by step tutorial for making the stars. Definitely pinning it! I think this would be a fun gift or token to give to a child - maybe give them a star for their jar for every night that they brush their teeth before bed, or for every tooth they lose. So many ideas!! Thanks for sharing :)


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