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German Star Ornament

This delicate star ornament is a traditional German holiday decoration originally made from strips of paper.

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 1993/January 1994


To keep these fragile ornaments from being crushed between holidays, wrap them in tissue and store side by side in a flat box.


  • 72-inch length of 5/8-inch-wide stiff, double-faced, heavyweight cloth or paper ribbon

  • Scissors

  • Masking tape (optional)

  • Craft glue


  1. Cut ribbon into four 18-inch lengths, trimming ends into points. (If using cloth ribbon, wrap tips with masking tape.) Fold each length in half.

  2. On a flat surface, lay two folded ribbons vertically, one with tips facing up, the other down. Take a third folded ribbon and weave through paired ribbons, working from right to left: Pass through right-hand ribbon so that bottom length goes through center, top length over top; pass through left-hand ribbon so that both lengths go through center. Take fourth folded ribbon and weave through paired ribbons in the same way, working from left to right. Arrange ribbons so that a square is created at center

  3. Pull tips away from center to form an interlaced knot.

  4. Take upper piece of ribbon emerging to the right and fold it to the left, over knot. Do the same with upper piece of ribbon emerging to the left, folding it to the right.

  5. Take upper piece of ribbon emerging at the top and weave it toward bottom: Pass over top ribbon fold and through loop under bottom fold. Pull tight. Repeat with upper piece of the ribbon emerging at bottom. You will now have a center knot with eight emerging ribbons of two different lengths heading in each direction.

  6. Fold the lower of the two right-pointing ribbons down and under itself at a 90-degree angle; crease. Then circle it up over triangle you've created and tuck tip though adjacent loop. Pull tight to create the first star point.

  7. Rotate knot counterclockwise a quarter turn. Repeat previous step. Rotate and repeat twice more.

  8. Rotate one last turn and flip knot over.

  9. Lift the upper of the two top-pointing tips, exposing loop underneath. Weave through loop; pull tight. Repeat with the upper of the two bottom-pointing tips.

  10. Create four more star points as in step 6, using upper ribbons. You will now have eight emerging ribbons, four of them under points, four over.

  11. To make outward-pointing star points: Lift the top right-pointing ribbon. Fold it upward under itself at a 90-degree angle and crease. Curve ribbon to left and down under adjacent piece of top-pointing ribbon; thread tip through loop (tip will emerge through center of point). Pull taut. Rotate knot counterclockwise and repeat, threading through loop under new projecting point. Repeat twice more. Make one more quarter turn and flip star over. Repeat folding process on the other side with four remaining ribbon ends.

  12. When finished, trim ribbon ends flush with the points from which they emerge. Dot both sides of ends inside points with craft glue and press points together to secure.

  13. Hang star from the tree by a hook or a loop of thread.

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