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Lucky Wishing Stars Tutorial

You’ve probably seen these little puffy origami stars before. They are really quick to make, and you don’t need any special materials to make them. You can buy lucky star pre-cut strips from origami stores, but you can just as easily make your own from medium weight coloured paper, e.g. scrapbooking paper, or even strips cut from magazine pages – as the strips are so narrow, the original text or image won’t be obvious in the finished star.

Anti-clockwise from top left: pre-cut strips, paper cutter, scrapbook paper, magazine page.

Now on to the tutorial!

To give you an idea of size, I’ve made stars in 3 different sizes to show you:

  • blue stars (from pre-cut strips): 35cm x 1.25cm
  • pink stars (from a magazine page): 30cm x 1cm
  • green stars (scrapbook paper): 15cm x 0.6cm

The finished star will be approx 1.5 x the width of your strip, so pick an appropriate size for the size of star you’d like to end up with. If you are making your own paper strips, try using a paper cutter or a craft knife with a ruler and cutting mat, so you can easily make straight parallel cuts.

For the rest of this tutorial, I will be using a paper strip cut from a magazine page. For reference, the front is pink and the back is peachy orange with text).

Step 1: Make a loop at one end of your strip, and pass the short end through the loop as if you are forming a basic knot:

Step 2: Pull both ends of the paper slowly to close up the knot. As it pulls tight, it will magically form a pentagon (5-sided) shape!

Step 3: Fold the short end up out of the way (right side facing out). If it is too long like mine, and sticks out beyond the edge of the pentagon, trim the end down. Turn the shape over so the side with the short end is facing you, then tuck the short end under the flap that runs across the pentagon:

Step 4: Now you can begin to wrap the rest of the strip around the pentagon. Fold the strip up over one side of the pentagon, making the fold line along the side of the pentagon. Do not crease the fold tightly. Continue to fold the strip over and over each side:

When you get to the end of the strip, trim off the end if it sticks out beyond the edge of the pentagon, then tuck the end inside the flap that runs across the pentagon:

Hold the pentagon between thumb and forefinger of one hand, then use a fingernail on your other hand to push in the middle of one of the other sides:

Rotate the pentagon and repeat until all 5 sides are pushed in, et voila! A puffy paper star!

Once you’ve made some stars, why not show them off in the Folding Trees flickr group? We’d love to see them!


Comment from zabacorporation
Time: June 17, 2008, 5:21 pm

Hey, that’s great:-) Thanks for the tutorial. It requires some dexterity to get the shape of the first star, but they are so cute:-)

Comment from Starr
Time: June 18, 2008, 12:05 am

These would be super fabulous strung on a tree during the holidays!
Thanks for the tutorial. Nicely done :)

Comment from joyce
Time: June 18, 2008, 1:15 am

We had an exchange student from Thailand live with us for a while. She said in Thailand, when you liked a boy, you made him a jar full of these. She made a jar for a boy she liked while she was here…wish I had a pic of that to add to your group, but I don ‘t think I ever took one.

Comment from Deb
Time: June 18, 2008, 9:28 am

This, with a little practice, just may be the new Christmas ornaments of 2008 for my family! Thanks for sharing!

Comment from Lori Ann
Time: June 19, 2008, 10:57 pm

What a conveniently posted article! I’ve been volunteering with kids who survived the Sichuan earthquake and are in my local hospital (I live in China), and just yesterday I bought a pack of paper strips that had instructions on the back to make these stars. I thought it would be a great, fun craft project, but I tried one out myself, and couldn’t figure out the instructions at all! I was disappointed and left the stars at home.

This morning though, I was reading via bloglines, and was thrilled to see a link to this article! I just followed the tutorial and made an adorable star – I can’t wait to share with the kids next week!

I’ll take photos soon and add them to the flickr group and my blog. Yay!

Comment from Lori Ann
Time: June 19, 2008, 11:00 pm

I just realized – the second picture on this page, top left-hand corner (packaged papers with ribbon tied around them) is the exact package I bought yesterday! I just bought more (a different type) for more cute designs! :-)

Comment from T2
Time: June 20, 2008, 10:23 pm

I make these a lot from straw wrappers. It’s a fun way to kill time while you’re waiting at a restaurant.

Comment from maria
Time: June 22, 2008, 12:27 pm

thats so cool how you make wishing stars i made over 50 i keep making them they are so fun my signiture one is the blue striped one there so awsome i went to micheals crafts store and bought special made paper strips for wishing stars i even made a bracelet and it has secret sentences inside each one i wish on it every day before bed. byes thancks for everythng.

Comment from Megan
Time: June 24, 2008, 8:40 am

I love these stars. I used to know how to make them but had forgotten – thanks for the reminder.

A friend of mine has a jar of these and on each is written a task or activity – things she would like to do and some she should do – like ring someone she hasn’t seen in a long while, go for a particular walk, a recipe to try..etc. Every so often she takes one out and “has” to do that activity. A fun way to remind her of her “to do” list, and those “I’ll do it one day” fun things that you never quite get to do.

Comment from Jesi
Time: July 2, 2008, 12:52 pm

For anyone else who is fingernail challenged like myself (nail-biter), use the blunt side of your scissors to make the little indents :)

Comment from Victoria
Time: July 9, 2008, 8:02 am

Oh my god! That was so easy to make:) I just thought I would try just to try, but I didn’t actually think I would make it just like that!:) And they are soo cute – I loove:D
Yes – what a nice christmas decoration:)
Thanks for sharing!:D

Comment from Cheryl
Time: July 17, 2008, 7:58 am

how perfect is that? I’ve been asked to make up a craft using rolled paper beads for a mother and daughter camp in a couple of weeks. These stars will be perfect addition to add oompf to the project.

Comment from Josefin
Time: July 20, 2008, 6:37 am

Ooh, it was easy! Well, my first star didnt get that nice, but if I do a couple more Im sure they will be great! :D

Comment from Triana
Time: July 22, 2008, 8:06 am

Aw They’re so cute. I’ve already made two :) Thanks for the tutorial!

Comment from Alphabetix
Time: July 23, 2008, 2:19 pm

Cool tutorial. Thanks for sharing!

Comment from Carolyn Swope
Time: August 17, 2008, 10:37 am

Thank you so much for taking the time to post this wonderful project!!!! A very pretty name tag for the top of a gift. So quick and pretty. The children just love them. Thanks again.

Comment from Lydia
Time: August 26, 2008, 8:47 am

I love these little stars…even though I stink at making them. Practice makes perfect right? I just thought of something else you could use them for: Packing peanuts!

Comment from Seth Adams
Time: September 11, 2008, 11:33 pm

Cheers very well done, and the detailed pictures are amazing!!

Comment from hannah
Time: October 4, 2008, 4:52 pm

mine keep coming out a bit flat as opposed to ‘puffy’! Any ideas what I’m doing wrong?

Comment from Jazzy
Time: October 13, 2008, 2:12 am

Great tutorial, I always wondered how you did that.

Comment from Adrienne
Time: October 20, 2008, 9:43 am

Thankyou so much! I’ve always wondered how to make these…

Comment from Shinead
Time: November 6, 2008, 7:41 pm

these are excellent, really cute but what if you don’t have fingernails?

Comment from Clothdiapermama
Time: November 9, 2008, 12:51 pm

Those are so cute. I do not know if I could do that though.

Comment from Janice
Time: November 10, 2008, 2:12 pm

i remember when my friend Jordan died, we were in grade 8… our class made hundreds of these stars for his funeral..

Comment from Tricky
Time: November 22, 2008, 7:01 pm

I just made 5 little shiny stars and let my cat play with them! He absolutely loves chasing them around! Thank you!

Comment from olgica
Time: November 24, 2008, 5:34 pm

it’s a wery nice

Comment from élise
Time: November 25, 2008, 10:41 am

C’est très astucieux et vraiment simple à réaliser! Idéal pour occuper les après-midi pluvieuses!
It is very cunning and really simple to realize! Ideal to occupy the afternoons rainy!

Comment from nitika
Time: December 19, 2008, 5:34 am

i wanted to learn more. specialy the ball made out of paper

Comment from nitika
Time: December 19, 2008, 5:37 am

how to use tutorials. i learnt star & flower.

Comment from desra
Time: February 5, 2009, 10:36 am


Comment from Milka Marzalek
Time: April 4, 2009, 4:10 pm

estoy encantada con todos estos origamis. Cada día me entusiasmo más con las posibilidades que me da el papel.

Comment from Paula
Time: April 12, 2009, 6:17 pm

beautiful!!! thanks! :)

Comment from Rebecca
Time: April 20, 2009, 4:09 pm

That’s amazing! I’m not sure I could make something that small!

Comment from Shannon
Time: April 20, 2009, 5:50 pm

I have small hands and fingers! I bet I could do this:)

Comment from None-of-ur-beezwax
Time: April 30, 2009, 6:00 pm

I suck at the last step XD (the push in thing) but it doesnt look that bad XD

Comment from Helen
Time: May 2, 2009, 10:38 am

:D I just followed this tutorial to make my first ever star and it actually looks good! Ah, i’m so pleased, cos I already ordered some strips of lucky star paper off ebay haha.

Comment from jman
Time: May 11, 2009, 10:23 am

i have made a couple of these and the first time is a little tricky but with time it gets better

Comment from Ashley
Time: May 26, 2009, 11:02 am

These are the best! They are so easy and fun to make!! :) The story about giving a jar of them to a boy you like is priceless!! It is a cute wedding idea :) thank you guys so much!

Comment from saba
Time: June 17, 2009, 8:33 am

nice and easy.

Comment from Hawaii
Time: July 16, 2009, 12:15 pm

They are so cute!

Comment from Corin
Time: August 6, 2009, 3:20 pm

Thank you for this tutorial. I have always wanted to know how to make these!

Comment from Nithak
Time: August 9, 2009, 5:08 pm

I was wondering how you folded these- They are just so cute, and a jar full of these could make a great, yet simple decoration or gift!

Thank you very much for the tutorial!

Comment from Nicole
Time: October 6, 2009, 9:41 pm

I read the comment about the girl from Thailand who made a jar of these for a boy she likes, and now I’m going to do the same ^_^

Comment from shannon
Time: January 10, 2010, 8:32 am

omg these r sooooo cute i love making them. even though i dont have nails i just use a bobby pin ( it works the same way). I love making them and giving them to my frinds
thankyou sooo much

Comment from im a molly doll
Time: January 12, 2010, 3:45 pm

thanks for tutorial

Comment from unique
Time: January 18, 2010, 8:17 pm

i love these stars its like your in outer space

Comment from Geni
Time: April 6, 2010, 11:43 am

A friend showed me these recently and I thought these would make a great holiday family tradition. Starting at Thanksgiving you could have family members make them with gratitudes written inside, at Christmas you write wishes, and intentions for New Year’s. Then you could make a chain that you could add to each year. They might start falling apart some day in the future and maybe your grandkids could have fun reading them. Dating them might make them more historical.

Comment from Heather
Time: April 20, 2010, 3:50 pm

I found these stars not long ago and fell in love with them. They’re so easy. I ended up making a bunch for my boyfriend for our anniversary, 1 for everyday we’ve known each other. (5 months, I know odd but it worked for us).

He loved them and I’ve kept making them for everyday after, we’re hoping that someday we’ll have a huge jar to keep in the house somewhere. It’ll be a great story to tell our kids.

Comment from Sanjyoti
Time: April 25, 2010, 5:58 am

Wow!!! Who would not like folding these cute little stars?
Simply cute stars!

Comment from Jennifer
Time: April 28, 2010, 12:21 pm

These are so cute. I can’t wait to make a few. Thanks!

Comment from keerthana
Time: May 4, 2010, 6:26 am

its totally cool! I really love that

Comment from Mansi
Time: May 19, 2010, 9:17 am

I love to work & create with paper. This type of origami is really really very interesting and almost all like to make stars in any which form then why not with paper.

Comment from Mira
Time: May 28, 2010, 10:31 pm

Ah!!!! now i gotta grow nails! my nails are all short and stubby…I bet i can find something to substatute my nails…lol

Comment from Juliana
Time: June 12, 2010, 3:23 pm

Thank you so much for the tutorial! I’ve been looking for instuction of making this for awhile. It was a popular craft when I was teenage but somehow forgot how to make it. I am so glad you posted this on your website how wonderful! They are adorable and we used to put lots of them in a glass jar. You can make them anywhere with any pretty much any paper you got. It’s also a great way to destress! :)

Comment from boone
Time: June 13, 2010, 5:10 pm

thats hard but after a few tries i got t and by the way you have some long finger mails.

Comment from Kayla
Time: August 5, 2010, 6:01 pm

Im having a really hard time making these, and there soo cute. I want to make one so bad, I don’t get how to wrap it without turning it into a square! Help please!

Comment from June
Time: August 5, 2010, 6:47 pm

All I can say is to look at the pictures very closely. Each time you make a fold, go very carefully, and remember you’re not folding it straight (which is what your gut instinct tells you to do) – it’s the angle you’re folding at (over the previous side) that keeps it from turning into a square. Just keep trying and you’ll get the hang of it!

Comment from cynD
Time: August 8, 2010, 1:29 pm

I had made these befor. thanks for the reminder and tutorial… I am just a paper play junkie…. Love it..! As a curves for women owner, I will have each memeber write a wish on a strip of paper and fold them up in to a star and hang in garland style for the Christmas holidays… fun!!

Comment from mamacateys
Time: September 1, 2010, 12:00 am

Finally! Finally someone explained it and I was able to actually accomplish making these little things without ripping my hair out. Thank you. Off to go blog about my joy.

Comment from Anna
Time: October 18, 2010, 1:00 pm

Thanks for great tutorial!

Comment from Sanjyoti
Time: November 1, 2010, 1:14 am

Well, I tried making these and it took me one and a half month to learn these.I have posted a comment earlier. But now that I know how to make these, I have a surprise for you.

Comment from Tia Verinha
Time: November 21, 2010, 5:37 am


Comment from Tyreen Roxas
Time: January 3, 2011, 9:39 pm

I thought that I couldn’t make these.But this tutorial really helped me.I tried many other tutorial but this is the only 1 that helped me make my first paper star.Thanks!

Comment from Sally
Time: January 16, 2011, 3:34 pm

I love the paper at the top of the screen but I cant find where to buy it any where please tell me where I can buy it =D

Comment from June & Eve
Time: January 20, 2011, 6:43 pm

The blue star papers came from an Asian store; all the others were made from pages cut from a magazine! You don’t need fancy papers to make these stars – any strips of paper will do.

Comment from Liza Marie
Time: February 12, 2011, 12:59 pm

This is great!!!!

Comment from Jannie Nguyen
Time: February 12, 2011, 6:04 pm

what happens if i do it with thin paper?

Comment from Jannie Nguyen
Time: February 12, 2011, 6:07 pm

Thank you for the instructions!i had to find all over for this.

Comment from Veronika
Time: February 20, 2011, 1:21 pm

I tried this turtorial,and my star turned out perfect!
When I tried making a wishing star before,only one side was puffy.
But now it finaly worked! And I just used white copy paper.
Thank you so much for posting this toturial.I can’t wait to make more ?

Comment from veronika
Time: March 5, 2011, 4:24 pm

me do not want to inflate the Stars: D: D

Comment from Zayna Colliningsworth-Jartim
Time: March 17, 2011, 8:39 pm

I love it, I like making origami stars! Try a ninja origami star! :)

Comment from Tarin Naz
Time: April 5, 2011, 7:47 am

its Awesome…thanks for sharing :)

Comment from niyati mendapara
Time: April 7, 2011, 7:07 am

awesome !!!! dis s one f kind splendid creation :)
jus lovd it….

Comment from a. Kaan Dican
Time: April 7, 2011, 2:13 pm

thank you for this stars. I’m from Turkey. I love it. That’s great!

Comment from Breanna
Time: April 22, 2011, 9:09 am

that was great for my sister B-DAY but can you do it in a ribbon?:):):):):):):):):)

Comment from nellster
Time: June 7, 2011, 4:14 pm

omg i cant do it i need help

Comment from Shannon
Time: June 22, 2011, 11:52 pm

I’ve never seen these! Can you believe it, haha? I’m going to try these tonight with my daughter:)

Comment from Seohyun
Time: June 27, 2011, 8:51 pm

I am getting better and better at this because of this.

Comment from Daydreamer
Time: July 22, 2011, 10:16 pm

My cousin had a jar of these when I was really little. She used to write things I think inside, and she would give us each one when she came over, but I don’t remember ever opening them (they were too pretty) so I don’t know for sure. This was when I was really little, so probably like eight years ago already. The jar of stars is now gone, but I still like them. Today, my sister and I made some out of a wendy’s berry salad ad. The berries look verry good and yummy in the stars. I want to find some magazines with summery looking stuff (salad, ice cream, water, etc) and use those for a collection.

Comment from ele
Time: July 25, 2011, 3:42 pm

Thank you for a great tutorial! My hands/brain could not get around making these. The directions I received along with the paper packet were unclear- to say the least. Now I have clarity thanks to you! Folding trees is a wonderful site.

Comment from Ivonne
Time: August 7, 2011, 5:42 am

Love These!!
THNX for the Tutorial

Greetings from Holland….


Comment from Blublu
Time: September 18, 2011, 8:34 am

Thank you very much! ?

Comment from revan
Time: December 2, 2011, 4:01 am

i wanna know what they mean ?!!

i wanna make it for my best friend birthday ..

Comment from Ankita
Time: December 28, 2011, 2:46 am

Very nice instructions and making these stars has given me many new ideas.. I have posted your link on my blog. I will be making these then decorate my room with them..

Comment from manahil
Time: March 7, 2012, 8:45 pm

hi thanks so much they look so cute i am gonna make one thousand of them could you put more strips of themed paper

Comment from Devany
Time: March 9, 2012, 5:12 pm

Writing a deep, secret, special wish on the inside of the paper strip makes it even more magical. :)

Comment from Georgie
Time: March 16, 2012, 5:40 pm

Love the tutorial, thank you so much…… My daughter and I will be making these to put in her baby brother’s casket <3 Think we will follow Devany’s advice and write some lovely messages on :)

Comment from Beth
Time: July 11, 2012, 12:13 am

These are so beautiful. I love how you recycled with some really lovely magazine paper. Instructions were very easy to follow. Thank you so much for sharing this tutorial.

Comment from rimzim
Time: July 20, 2012, 8:52 am

its very nice!!!!!!!!!
i will try it …..
and when i will make it i will enjoy for it ……..

Comment from Meg
Time: August 25, 2012, 3:02 pm

Wow what great way to do these beautiful stars. Thanks

Comment from Nathelle
Time: October 14, 2012, 10:01 pm

Great tutorial. I’m going to make 25 of these for an advent calendar. have each of my tae kwon do students write a greeting to Nate who recently joined the marines. He exemplifies the tkd spirit by serving our country and we are extremely proud of him. On the 25th the star will be from his mom which he’d never expect.

Comment from Khadiija
Time: November 11, 2012, 7:03 am

Fantastic Tutorial , I made 108 and put them into small individual jars and gave it to my friends (they were amazed by it !) Thank You

Comment from Britta
Time: November 12, 2012, 8:26 am

Just came across your page today when looking for a bookmark-tutorial (which I also found and liked) and then found these stars. They are so adorable, I just had to make one immediately ( although I’m at the office and should be doing office-things ;-) )

Comment from Zomak
Time: December 8, 2012, 3:44 am

Fantastic tutorial!!!
Thank you!!!

Comment from Isabella
Time: June 5, 2013, 6:43 pm

Great!:) thx forgot how to do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comment from kunal
Time: July 20, 2013, 3:21 am

thanks for showing suh a beautiful thing but i have problem in giving them the shapes can u give me some tips

Comment from Nora
Time: August 2, 2013, 5:53 pm

Sooo hard…….but SOOO CUTE!

Comment from brooke
Time: August 3, 2013, 8:59 pm

thank you for the help

Comment from atiqa
Time: October 12, 2013, 1:04 pm

oh wow all ur tutorial r marvellous

Comment from meee
Time: November 29, 2013, 12:26 pm

Great decoration :D !!! Thanks a lot for sharing!!! ;)))

Comment from Krystal
Time: March 7, 2014, 5:53 am

Very clever!

Comment from mahsa
Time: June 9, 2014, 5:44 am

there wonderful I made alot of them for my room!

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