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This technique is traditionally done with paper. We have adapted it using thin metallic leather strips for rings.
Before You Begin
Each star is made using four strips. If you are a beginner, it is helpful to try some practice stars with paper first: Start with the widest strips and choose the color you would like to use, then shade in one side of the strips. The shaded-in side corresponds to the shaded areas of the strips in the illustrations and will make it easier to follow along as you fold. Once you are comfortable with the technique, you will no longer need to shade the strips.
Fold each paper strip in half (shaded side in). Cut off the corners at the open ends to make points; the points will be trimmed later. Be sure to refer to the legend to become accustomed to the way the different areas of the strips will be identified in the instructions.
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What You'll Need
Four 8-inch metallic leather strips
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Lay two strips folded in half in front of you with the ends of the left-hand strip pointing north and the ends of the right-hand strip pointing south. Take a third folded strip, and weave its bottom point through the two pieces of the right-hand strip; weave both points through the center of the left-hand strip. Repeat with the fourth strip, working in the opposite direction to weave the bottom point through the center of the left-hand strip and both points through the right-hand strip.
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Pull the ends of the strips away from one another to form a square knot in the center.
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Fold the top west-pointing strip east over the center square so that it lies next to the east-pointing strips. Crease. Fold the top east-pointing strip to the west over the center square so that it lies next to the west-pointing strip; crease.
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Look under the lower west-pointing strip to find the loop underneath. Weave the top north-pointing strip to the south, over the fold of the upper east-pointing strip and under through the loop of the lower. Pull taut and crease. Repeat this process with the top south-pointing strip; go up over the fold of the lower west-pointing strip, then under the fold of the upper east-pointing strip and through the loop underneath the top east-pointing strip. Pull taut and crease.
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At this point, the star should look like this. There are two strips pointing in each direction from the center square. The strips are all shaded side up.
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Flip the star over. Check whether the star is in the position shown by making sure that the right-hand north-pointing strip is longer than the left-hand strip.
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Unfold the long, right-hand north-pointing strip toward you so it is on top of the right-hand south-pointing strip. Find the shaded loop under the upper east-pointing strip. Thread the tip of the now top, right-hand south-pointing strip over the creased end of the lower west-pointing strip and through the shaded loop. Pull taut and crease. Repeat with the long, left-hand south-pointing strip; unfold it so it points north, then thread it over the creased end of the upper east-pointing strip and through the loop under the lower west-pointing strip.
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Flip the star over again and position it so it looks like this. The central knot is now complete, and you can begin folding the star points. Holding the star in your hand might be the easiest way to work.
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Fold the lower east-pointing strip down and under itself so that it lies along the right-hand south-pointing strip. Crease at a 45-degree angle. Curve the strip up to the right; pass the point over the triangle that was just formed, and weave it through the loop to the left. As it goes through the loop, maintain the triangle shape and keep the blank side up. This is the first point; crease to make it flat.
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Rotate the star 1/4 turn clockwise so the two north-pointing strips now point east. Make another point following step 9 (with the exception that the loop to the left is beneath the right-hand south-pointing strip). Rotate. For the third point, follow step 9. Rotate. For the fourth point, follow step 9 with the exception that the loop is found underneath the two right-hand south-pointing strips. The star now has four points.
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Flip the star over so there are two strips pointing in each direction, one on top and one underneath. Make another point, as in step 9: Fold the top, east-pointing strip under itself, then curve it around and weave it west through the bottom, right-hand loop, making sure it's shaded side up. The triangle will not be shaded; the strip coming through will be. Rotate 1/4 turn clockwise; make three more points. When making last point, the loop will be under a strip.
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The star will now look like this.
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Lift up the upper east-pointing strip. Fold the right-hand south-pointing strip north (under the upper east-pointing strip) over the right-hand north-pointing star point. Crease. Return the upper east-pointing strip to its original position. Fold the lower west-pointing strip east, the left-hand north-pointing strip south, and the upper east-pointing strip west. All the strips on top should be blank side up.
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Fold the top north-pointing strip 45 degrees over itself and to the east, so that it lies next to the east-pointing strip.
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Curve the upper east-pointing strip up and west; thread it under the upper west-pointing strip (make sure that it is not threaded over the triangle created in step 14). Push strip through as shown (shaded side up for the strip and point) until its tip comes out through the upper west-pointing point. There are two layers; make sure the tip goes through the upper layer. Pull taut. The point should stick up like a pinwheel. Make three more points; rotate the star 1/4 turn clockwise, and repeat step 14 --and this process -- for each new point.
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Steps 16 and 17
The star should now look like this. For ring, trim excess flush with its star point. For double-sided star, repeat steps 13, 14, 15, then trim. Proceed to 16, 17.
The star should now look like this. Each strip emerges from a star point; trim the excess flush with its star point.
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