Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Revisited - Star Card Ornament - Mini-Book Instructions

Here's a photo of the starbook cards I made last year, tucked under the 2010 holiday tree in the new house. I thought it would be fun to re-visit the instructions, in case you missed out on them last year.

Here are the instructions and photos for how to make a fun greeting card that converts into a mini-star book that can hang from the tree or be used as a centerpiece on a holiday table as a decoration. They turned out so well, I thought it'd be good to see them again this holiday season!

I learned how to make star books several years ago. Most of the time I make large ones. This design is small and lightweight, and very interesting as a project for those snowy days when your young helpers are out of school - they can decorate the papers for you! 
You need decorative papers, scissors or a paper cutter, a big glue stick and cardboard or card stock. You don't need anything fancy, use the cardboard from an empty cereal box, it's recycling too!
You'll need: 
2 pieces of card stock or cardboard 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" (or use recycled cardboard from cereal boxes or other packaging)
18 inches of ribbon, yarn or cording for the closure (recycling old gift wrap ribbon works)
Art Bead or Large Button for closure and decoration
You also need decorative papers, pick your favorites but they are only seen on one side. Make them in these sizes, glued to the card stock to make them sturdier. (Or use last year's greeting cards, another recycling possibility.)
I use spray adhesive to attach the papers to the card stock, it's quicker than glue stick, but use what you like best.

Three complimentary colors and designs of card stock cut to these sizes:
7 pieces 3 1/4" x 6"
7 pieces 3 1/4" x 5"
7 pieces 3 1/4" x 4"
2 pieces of decorative paper for the cover, measuring 5 1/2" square
Photos, old greeting cards, rubber stamps and other things to decorate inside the pages.
Cut all your decorated card stock or recycled greeting cards. Cover the outside of the cardboard or matte board for your book covers, leaving the inside uncovered. Add your stamps, decorations and pretty images to the cover.

Fold each set of seven papers in half. I used the edge of a ballpoint pen to score and crease the papers well. The 3 1/4" dimension is the top-to-bottom measurement of your pages.
Think of each folded piece of 3 1/4" x 6" paper as a card, then glue the back cover of the first card to the front cover of the second one, and do that for all seven pieces until they look like a folded accordion or pamphlet.
Fold the 18" of ribbon in half and lay across the inside front cover board horizontally, leaving a 1" loop to make your closure sticking out beyond the cover's edge. It also acts as the hanger for attaching to the tree.
Using the glue stick, glue the front of the inner pamphlet you just made to the cover with the ribbon sandwiched in between. The pages should be almost flush with the book cover, you can open it to make sure it will open all the way without catching.
Using the glue stick, attach the back cover to the back page of the folded pamphlet with the ribbon sandwiched in between and the ends hanging past the edge of the backcover. To make them nice and tight put the two spines next to each other while gluing together, then check to be sure it will open up with the back cover glued in place.
Decorate the inner 3 1/4" x 4" papers with stamps, photos and embellishments. If you want the book to close flush, don't let this get too thick.

Take the folded 3 1/4" x 5" papers and attach the edges to the insides of the pamphlet pages. lining the edges up next to each other, then close the book and press, to make sure it will close and open correctly.
Attach the decorated inner 3 1/4" x 4" papers to the inside edges of the pamphlet as you did the 3 1/4" x 5" papers, this is the part of the book that will show when it's opened up. There will now be three layers of angles to the pages, this gives lots of stability and strength.

Embellish the cover, add your art bead to the ends of the ribbon that are loose and tie a knot - the loop on the front cover goes over the art bead to close the book and when it's fully open in the star shape, the art bead secures the book to hang from the tree by the front loop.
You can alter the size to make the star books larger or smaller. Once you get started making these, you won't want to stop.
A perfect activity for a snowy evening in front of the fire, with a cup of eggnog nearby! And a great project with kids, too.
This is the front cover, with the loop and art bead showing how you use it to close the book.
And here's the decorated back cover, very festive, don't you think? If these directions aren't clear or you have questions, post them there and I'll try to make things clearer.
Have fun!  ... these are very unique holiday cards, you'll need a size larger than usual envelope to mail them! But your family, neighbors and friends will love them... and so will you.


sharon said...

Thank you Lynn! I love the fantastic job you did with this...thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing, i can't wait to try it!

peata said...


Lynette (NZ) said...

Found this when doing a google search for instructions for star books. I have just posted about some my friend and I have made, and have shared this link in case others would like to try. Your example is just beautiful.

LLYYNN - Lynn Davis said...

I've received a lot of feedback from folks who are looking for instructions on making these tiny star books throughout 2010, so I thought it would be fun to revisit the process. Happy Holidays!

Suz said...

Those are unreal. I, too, love the Book of Kells. I saw it years ago. An unbelievable experience!


LLYYNN - Lynn Davis said...

Thanks, Suz - we saw the Book of Kells at Trinity College during our trip to Ireland. I'm thinking now, maybe I should make some really fancy small star books using the pewter to decorate the fronts - hmmmm, made me ponder!