A close up of a white and red folded paper star decoration, handing on a Christmas tree.

  12 | HOW TO MAKE JULESTJERNER

      Globe Advent         12

With this year’s festive family film Christmas at the (Snow) Globe filled with a sense of hygge (a feeling of cosy contentment and well-being), we’re featuring a few Danish Christmas traditions throughout Globe Advent.

This time we’re looking at julestjerner – Christmas stars to decorate your tree. Here, our Marketing and Press Assistant Julia takes us through a traditional Danish Christmas, and how to make your very own julestjerner…

Two red and white folded paper star decorations.

Whenever I celebrated Christmas in Denmark as a child, my mormor and morfar (grandmother and grandfather in Danish), would never put the tree up until Christmas Eve’s day as per tradition. In Denmark the main Christmas (jul) celebrations happen on the 24 December. There’s a big meal traditionally with roast ducks (or goose if you had lots of money), caramelised potatoes (you heard me), red cabbage, and rice pudding with cherry sauce for desert. We light live candles on the Christmas tree and dance around it singing carols, eat copious amounts of marzipan, sweets, drink sweet wines, and finally, when you can’t wait any longer, presents can be opened! Christmas traditions are strong in Denmark, and you’ll find most households do the same thing on Christmas Eve.

When I was little and celebrating Christmas in Denmark, the 24 December was such a long day of waiting until festivities began. Usually my sister and I would be put to work making these stjerner, flettede julehjerter (woven paper Christmas hearts) and krammerhuse (paper cones to put sweets and nuts in) all to hang on the tree to help pass the time. These are really traditional decorations and often something you learn from your grandparents. We have beautiful decorations made by great aunts, and great grandparents hanging on our tree that have stood the test of time even though they are made out of paper!

These stars can seem tricky to make, but follow the instructions carefully and you will get into the swing of it. It’s so satisfying to make these stars and they look beautiful on a Christmas tree.

How to make julestjerner


You will need:

Two white paper strips
Two red paper strips
(You can buy special stjerne strimler paper strips on Danish YMCA’s webshop, Ritohobby or hyggestyle or, alternatively, sheets of A3 paper cut intro strips work just as well!)
A pair of scissors

Method:

1. Start with 4 strips of paper. The ones I’ve used are 1.5cm wide, and 46cm long. You can buy specialist star strips or ‘stjerne strimler’ everywhere in Denmark, and you can buy these online easily in the UK, but you can also use very neatly cut or guillotined strips of A3 paper.

Four strips of thin, paper, two are white, two are red.

2. Gather the strips, fold them in half, and cut off the ends at a diagonal. This helps you feed the strips through gaps in later steps. If your ends get a little scrappy along the way, you can always cut them a bit more.

A pair of scissors lay next to a thin, long strip of red paper, with the ends of the paper cut off at an angle.

3. Weave the strips together in a square so alternate strips are over the top and then inside the adjacent strip.

Strip 1 sits over strip 4 and inside strip 2
Strip 2 sits over strip 1 and inside strip 3
Strip 3 sits over strip 2 and inside strip 4
Strip 4 sits over strip 3 and inside strip 1

Four strips of thin, long paper lay interwoven by a single square shape. There are the numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4, positioned over each of the strips.

4. Pull together. You will still have two strips on top of each on each side of the square.

Four strips of thin, long paper form a woven tight square shape.

5. Take the top strip from side 2, and fold it over the square towards the side of side 4.

One strip of thin paper is lifted over and woven between three other strips of paper, forming a square.

6. Do this in an anticlockwise direction on the other sides. Placing the top strip from side 1 across to the side where side 3 is.

One strip of thin paper is lifted over and woven between three other strips of paper, forming a square.

7. Place the top strip of side 4 over to the side of side 2. You’ll notice that you are creating another woven square as you do this.

One strip of thin paper is lifted over and woven between three other strips of paper, forming a square.

8. On the last strip, you need to ‘lock’ everything in to place. To do this, take the top strip as before and thread it under the first strip you brought across. Pulling this strip through will lock your square in place.

You will now have two individual strips on each side of the square.

One strip of thin paper is lifted over and woven between three other strips of paper, forming a square.

9. Next step is to make the points of the star. You will create eight right angled triangle that go around the square you just made.

Start by folding the right hand strip on side 1 back on itself and out right towards side 2 to create a right angled triangle.

One strip of thin paper is lifted over and woven between three other strips of paper, forming a square.

10. Then fold the strip in front and down towards side 3 to make another right angled triangle.

One strip of thin paper is lifted over and woven between three other strips of paper, forming a square.

11. Then fold this triangle on top of the original triangle you made. The end of the strip should still be pointing towards side 3.

One strip of thin paper is lifted over and woven between three other strips of paper, forming a square.

12. Take the end of the strip and thread it through the gap at the top of the square. It will appear half way down square. Pull the strip towards side 3.

One strip of thin paper is lifted over and woven between three other strips of paper, forming a square.

13. Repeat steps 9 – 12 for all right hand points.

One strip of thin paper is lifted over and woven between three other strips of paper, forming a square, with a pointed edge.

14. Then flip the star over and repeat steps 9-12 for the remaining points (which will be on the right hand side now that you’ve flipped the star over).

Four strips of thin paper is lifted over and woven between three other strips of paper form a square, with pointed ends.

15. Now we’re going to create the centre points of the star. Do one side at a time. This can be a bit tricky, but stick with it.

Begin by folding each strip back on itself and out towards the left to create some more right angled triangles. E.g. the white strip which was facing side 1, now faces side 4. The red strip that was facing side 4, now faces side 3.

Four strips of thin paper is lifted over and woven between three other strips of paper form a square, with pointed ends.

16. Next take one of the strips, I’ve take the loose end of the strip facing side 2 here, loop it round and thread it through the opening in the square towards side 4.

The threaded loose end of the strip will appear out of the star point.

Four strips of thin paper is lifted over and woven between three other strips of paper form a square, with pointed ends.

17. Pull the loose end of the strip which is now facing side 4. Don’t pull too tight or you will rip the paper.

Four strips of thin paper is lifted over and woven between three other strips of paper form a square, with pointed ends.

18. Repeat steps 16 and 17 for each strip.

Four strips of thin paper is lifted over and woven between three other strips of paper form a square, with pointed ends.

19. You have now finished one side of your star. These are nice to put on presents if you should wish.

We’re almost there!

Four strips of thin paper is lifted over and woven between three other strips of paper form a square, with pointed ends.

20. Next flip the star over.

Four strips of thin paper is lifted over and woven between three other strips of paper form a square, with pointed ends.

21. Repeat steps 15 – 18.

Four strips of thin paper is lifted over and woven between three other strips of paper form a square, with pointed ends.

22. Snip the ends off being careful not to do it too close to the star points as you don’t want to cut your folds.

A woven star shape made from strips of paper.

Your julestjerne is now complete!

CRACKER INSULT

Animated image of a Robin with snow falling

He has not so much brain as ear-wax.

— Troilus and Cressida, Act V scene 1

 

  #GlobeAdvent

An illustration of red holly leaves on a white background.

  11