Last year was our first real Christmas on our own. Just over two weeks out from my due date, we decided it would probably be better to stay home for the holidays instead of traveling to my parent's place or elsewhere. I mean, having a baby on the ten hour car ride to my parent's sounded fun, but at the same time...
So we got a real tree. Here it is, Christmas morning, in all of it's bad picture quality glory:
|Thanks to my amazing sis-in-law for the adorable stockings!|
Duh duh DUUUHHHH!
I was going to make one, but then I never got around to it, or I forgot. Woe is me. So this year, I resolved to find or make one. Because I get stuff done (ahem).
So I was browsing the racks at DI the other day, and I happened upon a spool of silver wire ribbon. It appeared to have a decent amount left, and the thought occurred to me that I could make a star with it! For last year's ornament exchange I made a bunch of German Christmas Stars (or Swedish, otherwise known as Froebel stars). I was inspired by this pin on Pinterest.
|Thanks Martha Stewart!|
Gorgeous, right? Unfortunately, this Martha Stewart creation has confusing directions. I really prefer to follow pictures for something like this. So I found this amazing tutorial, and followed that (the link gives a bit of history and some pretty pictures, then has a link to the instructions).
Anyways, I just love these stars, and once you've made two or three, you pretty much have it memorized and don't need the instructions anymore. You can make them anywhere. You could even pre-cut paper or ribbon and make them in the car, at the doctor's office, etc. I wanted the ones I made to be semi-permanent, so I made them out of ribbon instead of paper, like Martha Stewart did.
Pros: I feel like they will be a bit more crush resistant if they get thrown into a box of Christmas decor. Also, ribbon is perfectly pre-cut to the right width, you just have to cut it to length. Ribbon is forgiving if you fold it in the wrong spot.
Cons: Unless you select a really crisp, papery ribbon, it doesn't really fold as nicely as paper does. You won't get the crisp edges you would with paper. I worked my way around this by using a straightening iron (like you use on hair- a regular iron could work, but would be bulky, obviously) to press the folds where I wanted them to be flat and crisp. It worked really well, but you have to be mindful of not accidentally melting your ribbon at very high heats. It didn't happen to me, but just be mindful of the possibility. Another con is that Ribbon can be expensive, so unless you're shopping the sales, or have a ton on hand, this may not be the best option.
|Picture to break the monotony of all these words.|
OK, so all that aside, my next dilemma was that the width of ribbon I was using for my tree topper star is 1 1/2", which is about twice the size of what I was using for my smaller ones. Clearly the length had to be different.
I did some googling, and I can't remember where (sorry!), but I found that the ratio of width to length for my cut pieces (before they are folded in half) is 1:24. So for every inch wide, the ribbon pieces had to be 24 inches long. I have found that this can be fudged slightly, but don't go too much shorter. I got really lucky, and the amount of ribbon I had on the spool was perfect.
So I folded it up, and got this lovely 6 1/2" beauty.
A bit of trimming and glue-gunning , and I have my finished star! I pull the ends through a bit before trimming to make sure they don't stick out at all, and if you're worried about fraying ribbon, you can try melting the ends when you do this.
Yay! I love it! I don't know how I'll attach it to the top of next year's tree yet, but I have a lot of time to figure that out. Until then, I guess I can make a whole bunch more mini ones to make it feel at home. I'll post some more pictures when I figure that out, as well as something to show scale.
Then I get to wondering, on a semi-unlreated note, do most people top their trees with stars, or angels? I think I personally prefer stars. Thoughts?