I love art. Crafts, not so much. Pipe cleaners, glitter, large amounts of glue, popsicle sticks, these are not the things my creative pursuits are typically made of. They are typically made of paper. Plain, white, copy paper. Dirt cheap and easy to come by. This post is the first in a series entitled:
Never Underestimate the Possibilities of Paper
One question I notice that many “how to” posts don’t address, is WHY? Why, should I make a paper star?
Usually if this question is addressed the DIYist tries to make the object being made seem like it is incredibly useful. “Use it in gift wrapping! Tablescapes!” et cetera, et cetera. And in that vein (hence the exclamation points), here are some ways to use this paper star:
1. Paint it gold and put it on top of a Christmas tree!
2. Stick a thumb tack on one of the inside flaps and hang it in your cubical/around your office!
3. Ok that’s all the uses I can think of right now (the only two ways I’ve ever used them)
But this is not my real answer to WHY you should make it, or any little creative object with paper. Because these types of objects are essentially useless. This is not a bad thing. Art is essentially useless. We don’t REALLY need it to live (yeah, yeah, ok you say you do). But not REALLY. Water, food and shelter would come first.
The real WHY: Making something like this requires your attention and while it is not difficult, it will preoccupy you. When your mind is preoccupied with a little activity like this your brain gets some exercise. A little vacation for your thoughts is good for your mood too. While you are making this star, for a few minutes you won’t be thinking of whatever it is you would “normally” be doing (sitting at a cubical, laundry, whatever). Then when you get back to your writing or teaching (or whatever) you will be refreshed. Brief little art projects are sort of my take on meditation. And anyone with plain printer paper can do them! And so…
How to Make a Paper Star
1. Step One. A Pentagon. And all five sides need to be equal. In Microsoft Word I just went to “Insert” and “Shapes” and there was a pentagon in there. All sides must be equal. If you can’t find your ruler, congratulations on having children! Just use something else to check that all sides are equal. Or just google an image of a pentagon and use that.
2. Make folds like so:
3. Make little marks like so:
4. Cut down the line of the marked folds ending at the mark.
5. Then begin to fold like so:
There should be space between the flaps.
6. Now tape the flaps together. Like so:
7. Ta Da!