Folded Lucky Stars Tutorial

paper, star, fold, origami

For years I used to carry a small tin case with travel scissors and paper. I would fold stars on the bus, waiting rooms, dark movie theaters, and while having conversations with people because folding was like breathing. To give a jar filled with 365 stars to someone showed you thought of them every day of the year. I’ve lost count after a thousand stars but always enjoyed seeing their expression. I’ve decorated greeting cards, the outside of jars, even Christmas trees with them – is it a wonder I used them in my wedding invitations?


There are many tutorials online for folding Lucky Stars but while teaching others how to make it, I’ve learned their number one mistake is creasing the first folds too much. By the time you reach the end and are ready to “puff”, the star is apt to squish to one side rather than separate into it’s 3D glory. Notice how it’s gently folded in place but not sharply creased? If you haven’t had success in the past, please try again with this small change and let me know if it made a difference for you.


I also like to fold around a string as I go, to make a bracelet or a garland of stars. The easiest material to use is ribbons because the width is ready to go and they’re oh-so-shiny.

To see my step-by-step tutorial, please visit my guest post on Ann Martin’s blog, All Things Paper. If you haven’t seen Ann’s work before, prepare to lose a few hours exploring her site. Her wedding certificates are simply exquisite as they enhance the newlyweds’ choice of theme. Any time a beginner quiller asks me for basic steps, I always point them to Ann’s Basic Tutorials because she really pays attention to the nuances and helps people realize quilling is not as hard as it looks. Her  paper projects (check out her washi Easter egg tutorial) entice you to try different techniques and materials.

Ann also interviews paper artists around the world, showcasing their work and highlighting the subtleties. As if her plate isn’t already full scouring the web and offering up the best eye candy, she has also authored a book of the same title, All Things Paper, which is like a hard copy of her popular site – but contains nothing you’ve seen yet. Not only does Ann have uber-human attention to detail, she also has a way with words, describing steps as if painting a picture – the best kind of tutorial maker out there. Thank you for being you, Ann.


Xmas Dinner Setting

I’ve admired wine charms but can’t remember what color I am halfway thru the night. So I’ve made my own and left space for names. Matching gift tags? But of course!

Enlarge by 150% and they’re suitable for mugs too.

For placecards, I’ve made pop up scenes of favorite winter wonderland moments. I’ve just listed on Etsy now – a little late for the season but better than waiting till next year!

3D Paper Star for Xmas Tree Topper (FREE SVG, DXF, PDF)

I didn’t have a tree topper and was inspired after seeing how easy it was to make a 3D paper star on Kim’s blog, Craftaphile. I added a stem and it seemed like I planned how well it fit on that topmost tree tip. The actual size is about 7.5″ wide x 9.5″ high.

I’m offering my die cut files free. I’d love to hear your comments like how it cut for you on your machine. The file formats are in SVG, DXF, and PDF (cutting by hand is also easy). They are all compressed into a ZIP file for you to download.

You’ll notice there’s a “front” and “back”, but really it’s just one has tabs and the other doesn’t. I pre-fold along all the lines (Craftaphile shows great photos) then use white glue and work with 2 tabs at a time, holding until the glue sets. After it’s assembled, the creases remember where they need to move and it just poofs out into 3D! Try it!

Butterfly Quilling Pattern / Tuturial

During our moves (renting in between), I found it hard to focus on crafts. So I am impatient to finally launch this new quilling pattern for butterflies. Varying the colors, one can easily change the type of butterfly. The monarch is easily identifiable, but would you believe a teal and brown butterfly actually exists? I found the inspiration here.

This pattern first appeared in the book I contributed to, The New Encyclopedia of Techniques for Crafting with Paper.

However since then I realized written instructions are slower to follow. Instead of writing out the measurements and instructions, I give diagrams – even where to glue and in what order. I hope this inspires you. I’d love to see what you make with my pattern, sold on Etsy for $5.

Quilled Butterflies

I made these butterflies as a mock up for the book publisher’s presentation last year. Sadly, on its return to me, they did not use a very strong cardboard box and the push pins were squished into my lovingly crafted coils beyond recovery. They had asked me not to glue down to a surface, so they were obviously fragile. I had hoped to unveil photos of them in better shape, but c’est la vie.

They ranged from about an hour up to four hours to make. The monarch was the hardest to quill. I think it would have been easier if I could glue down the frame of the wings to prevent moving. Anyway, I hope they give you inspiration to make new designs – let me know how it goes!

Here’s a photo of the one I finally settled on showing how to make in the book (yes, a quilling tutorial pattern is coming soon).