Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Cheap 4th of July decor -- 3D star decorations made from magazine or catalog covers
Remember a while back I showed you a 3D star I'd made from a catalog page (well, 2 pages actually). These make great and *free* 4th of July decorations, to hang from a tree's branches, or the eaves of your house, or inside, from the kitchen or dining room chandelier-style light fixture.
Catalog (or magazine) covers work best, as they're stiffer than the pages inside. you could also use craft paper, like construction paper or scrapbook paper. But I used catalogs. (Go search your recycle bin!) I saved catalogs for a few weeks, to amass enough covers to make several stars. You'll need 2 pages to make each 3D star. And with a catalog or magazine, you're in luck, as you'll have 2 matching sized pages to use for each star (front cover and back cover). Different sizes for the stars make an interesting arrangement, so don't feel like your catalogs have to all be the same size. Get your older kids to help, as this is a fun project (and keeps them busy for a little bit).
What you'll need:
old magazine or catalog covers (thicker paper works better)
hot glue gun
Here's the how-to:
Tear off the cover, front and back of a catalog. Fold one edge over, on the diagonal, as so:
Unless you're working with a square page, you'll have a rectangular section that is single-thickness, with a triangle that is double-thickness. Cut off the rectangle section, leaving you with a folded over piece in a triangle shape.
Open up your page, and fold/crease in the opposite diagonal direction
Open up, turn your paper over so the nice side of the page is facing you, and fold that nice side to the inside, on the rectangle, this time.
Open, and fold on the rectangle in the other direction.
When you open this again, you'll see that you have a square divided into 4 squares, and each square divided into 2 triangles,with folds.
Use scissors to cut, almost to half-way to the center (so only about 1/4 the way across the page) on all 4 of the straight folds (not diagonal folds).
Turn paper over (nice side down), and fold points on all 4 corners, bringing edge of paper to diagonal fold lines, crease.
Now, take your glue stick and cover one flap of each point with glue,
and pull the edge of the unglued point over the glued point, completely, and stick together. Use a pencil or tip of scissors to press the inside of the glued point together, if needed.
When you're done, you'll have something that looks like this on the underside,
and this on the top side.
Okay, with me so far? Now take the back of that same magazine or catalog cover, and repeat. You should have 2 matching, 4-point stars. (I timed myself on one of these 4-point stars, and it took me about 3-4 minutes. It only takes making a few to get the hang of them and be able to do them this quickly.)
Now, heat up your glue gun. Take your 2 stars, put a dot of hot glue in the 8 places where I've marked the underside of one star with a pen in the photo.
Working very quickly, put the other star's underside up against the hot glue spots, but with a point radiating out from an indented place between two points on the opposite star. What you wind up is a complete star with alternating points, with the 2 undersides of the stars attached.
I did these assembly line fashion, making all the folds at once, all the cuts at once, all the glue stick for each star at once, then all the hot glue for each star at once.
The wonderful things about these stars is they cost practically nothing (glue stick and glue gun), they don't need to be perfect to look good, but if you mess one up, no biggie as they were practically free to make. And they're like everything else in life, the more you do the faster you get.
p.s. if stars for the 4th of July aren't your thing, you may want to hang onto this idea for Christmas. Smaller versions of these are beautiful in place of bows on gift packages, especially if made with white card stock, or silver or gold scrapbook paper.