I've set my autumn project to one side, but I've given you a sneak peak over on Instagram. It's not far from being finished, but the blog itself is going to take a little while to write. So instead, I hate to say it in November, I thought I'd take a look at a Christmas make.
We’ve not quite dipped our toe into December yet, but already the shops are filled with Christmas present ideas and decorations. I’ve recently been pondering what my Christmas tree topper would be this year. I made a star last year from Christmas craft paper, but I’m not convinced it will have survived the damp of our loft or being squashed in with our other decorations.
So, it got me thinking and I have come up with this simple idea – a pipe cleaner star topper. It's really straight forward to make and is a nice easy one to do with children, but equally, it's a fun one to make yourself!
The most time consuming part was drawing out the star, so I’ve created a template which you can print from here. You can of course make your own to suit the size star you would like to create. The template makes a star approximately 5 inches wide when printed to A4, once the stand is on the completed star is about 6 inches high.
SAFETY NOTE: You will need to use wire cutters to tidy the corners of the star and the pipe cleaner wire can be sharp, so take care of the sharp edges. Children should be supervised when making this.
MATERIALS & TOOLS
5 pipe cleaners [12 inches long]
STEP ONE: Lay your star template on a flat surface. Fold two of the pipe cleaners in half, pinching the fold to create a defined corner. Align one of the folded pipe cleaners with the 'A' of the star and the other with one of the 'arms'.
STEP TWO: Place the 'A' pipe cleaner (shown in green in diagram A) back on the template and then re-align the 'arm' pipe cleaner (red and purple in diagram A), so one overlays the other. To fix the two together, only twist one of the pipe cleaners to secure them in place. If you twist both, the star will become misshapen. I found the easiest way to do this was to work the horizontal pipe cleaner first (shown in red in diagram A) from right to left (points 1 and 2 in diagram A). I pressed down on the join and then pinched the pipe cleaners together, twisting the horizontal pipe cleaner around the 'A'.
Once the horizontal pipe cleaner was in place, I worked along the 'leg' (points 3 and 4 - purple line in diagram A).
STEP THREE: Place the third pipe cleaner in line with the template, then repeat securing the joins at point 5 to 8 in diagram B. Once secure, you'll need to use the wire cutters to tidy the corners of the star.
STEP FOUR: Now all you need to do is create the stand. I found two pipe cleaners for this worked best - twist them together but leave the end inch or so separated and create a fork.
STEP FIVE: In the next image, I've shown the stand in blue, so you can see where the fork fits against your star. Put the forks through the bottom triangles of the star, twist one up and then around the middle. Twist the other down and then around the middle. This prevents the star rotating and flopping forwards. Once the pipe cleaners are secured on to the star, gently coil the length of the pipe cleaners to create a spiral which will sit on top of your Christmas Tree.
And you're done! Once you get the hang of the twists, these stars are really quick to make up. Mine took around 20 minutes to make. You don't just have to make them in to Christmas Tree toppers. Skip steps four and five and instead use some cotton to turn them in to hanging ornaments.
The template for the star is below, if you print the image to A4 it should come out the correct size. There are lots of ways you can adapt this star. Let me know how you get on.