DIY FIVE-POINT STAR
As in my previous post on the nautical knots, repetition will play a major role in the success of this five-point star paper cut. I will use a basic diamond shaped, two stroke cut for the entirety of this project; but I will vary the size of the diamond shape which will give me the ability to create some dimensionality in the star form itself.
Canson Mi-Teintes 140 Indigo Blue Paper (98lb/160g)
DRAWING THE STAR
STEP 1: On the backside of the paper, measure to find the center point and then draw a vertical and horizontal line through the center point.
STEP 2: Using a compass, draw a circle with a 2” radius. Once finished, draw an additional circle – this one with a 4” radius.
**You may vary the measurements here, but keep them in the 1:2 ratio.**
STEP 3: Line a protractor up with the center of your paper, and then starting with 0 make a hatch mark every 36 degrees (0°,36°, 72°, 108°, 144°, 180°) stopping at 180 degrees. Do not worry about marking the bottom half of the circle.
STEP 4: Line your ruler up with the center of the paper and each hatch mark, and then draw a line across the entire diameter of the circle.
STEP 5: **Rotate your paper 45 degrees - you’ll note that the original vertical axis is now the horizontal axis – you’ll no longer use this line, and I’ve dotted that line here just for demonstration purposes.**
First draw a dot at the intersection point of the outside circle and the new vertical axis line. Then move to the right and draw a dot at the intersection point of the inside circle and the next diameter line. Continue this pattern of inside and outside dots evenly all the way around both circles.
STEP 6: Using a ruler, line up the outside dots with the next closest inside dot, and then draw a straight line connecting the two. Continue this all the way around the circle to form the five-point star.
STEP 7: To draw the secondary star, you will execute the same pattern as in Step 5, this time putting an X at any intersection point that did not get a dot previously. Connect the X’s, but make note to stop at the edge of the previously completed star! I have dotted the lines here so that you can see where the lines would technically connect if drawn all the way through.
STEP 8: Because this cut will utilize two different sized cuts, I am going to shade in one half of each point on the star, just as a reminder to use either the small or large cut diamond shape. Now the drawing is all ready to cut!
CUTTING THE STAR
STEP 1: Practice cutting the diamond shape until you are comfortable enough to cut two sizes consistently. As you can see, even though both of my cuts are less that 1cm, I am still making sure to have one diamond that is about twice as big as the other.
STEP 2: Designate which sections of each star point will be the small cut and which will be the larger cut; for this demo, the blue sections will be large and the pencil-shaded sections will be small. Begin cutting from the center of the paper for each section of the point; you will want to work from the center of the paper out toward the edges on this entire cut in order to maintain the paper’s strength.
STEP 3: I like to cut all of the larger sized diamond shapes first, as cutting the same sized shape provides me with the ability to get into more of a rhythm. Once finished with the larger of the two diamond shapes, begin cutting out the other side of each point using the smaller of the two diamond shapes.
STEP 4: Finish the small diamond shapes and you will be able to see the dimension that the star has simply by juxtaposing the large and small shapes! Stop here if you like, or continue to add dimension by cutting the smaller points to reveal the secondary 5-point start underneath this one!
STEP 5: Clean up any remaining offcuts with tweezers.
STEP 6: You’re finished – frame as you desire! Enjoy the three dimensional effect that you’ve now created out of a flat sheet of paper – Happy Cutting!
**Typically I do not completely cut these stars out from the surrounding paper, as they become quite fragile.