Paper Stars…

Niall learned how to make beautiful waxed tissue stars at school, so I went in search of instructions online; it was a very difficult task! Here’s a red one that Niall made:

Eight-pointed Red Star

Eight-pointed Red Star

How to Fold a Tissue Paper Star Ornament
These stars are made from coloured wax paper, commonly used for making paper kites. When hung in a window, the light shines through the layers of coloured paper with a stained glass effect. Spread some joy by following these simple steps.

Steps

  1. Cut the paper into rectangles or squares. The more precisely the paper is cut and folded, the more accurate the angles of the design are when you are done. A good size for a rectangle is 1.5“x3.5” and for a square about 3.5“x3.5“.
  2. For an eight pointed star, use eight rectangle pieces of paper. Fold each piece of paper as follows:
  3. Fold it exactly in half lengthwise (along the long axis). Unfold. You will use the crease as a guide for the remaining folds.
  4. On one short end, fold each corner so that the short edge lines up with the center crease. You will end up with a square point on that end of the rectangle. Repeat at the other end of the rectangle.
  5. On one end, fold each creased edge to the center one more time. Kind of like when you’re folding a paper airplane.
  6. You will end up with a single, square point on one end of the rectangle and a double-folded, narrower point at the other end. Once you have all eight pieces of paper folded, layer them side-by-side in a circle, with the square points all matched up in the very center. The folded edge of each square point will line up with the center crease of the point next to it. Use a glue stick to glue the points together. You may also want to glue your final folds down so they don’t pop open.

Tips

  • Crease your folds sharply and make them as exact as possible.
  • Kite paper can be found in some hobby shops and online. It comes in many different colours and is much sturdier than tissue paper.
  • Use your imagination and try different folding patterns to make points.
  • Layer points more closely or further apart for different sized stars and different patterns. Square pieces of paper make different sized points also.
  • Hang your star in a window where the light can shine thru it. The pattern of lines that the folds make are often just as pretty as the colours and the way they mix!

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Fold a Tissue Paper Star Ornament. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Update: I just discovered a lovely, beautifully illustrated tutorial for these stars at the  “Duo Fiberworks” blog.

Home Made Ant Bait

(ingredients as per Ed Lawrence)

  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 6 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon boric acid

Dissolve the sugar in the boiling water. Add the boric acid and stir until dissolved.

Take any pint-sized plastic container and cut small holes into the sides at the bottom to allow ants access to crawl inside. Dip cotton balls into the solution, and place inside the container. Seal the container with the lid, and place the container on a pathway that the ants are using.

The ants will eat the solution, and take it back to the other ants in the nest, where it will “build up” and eventually destroy the nest. The solution can be refrigerated and stored for a couple of weeks if it is carefully labelled.

T-shirt Bags

tshirtbag.jpg

While looking through the Martha Stewart web site for a recipe, I came across instructions for a cloth shopping bag made from a t-shirt. They’ve got to be the easiest directions and design I have ever seen for creating a home-made bag — I think that just about anyone could make this, and it’s re-using an item that just about everyone has (and at some point, wants to get rid of).

Here’s the one that I created out of an old over-sized t-shirt that I couldn’t bear to throw out, as well as one that my 11 year old made out of a size 6x t-shirt that she loved:

tshirt-bag.jpg