If you’ve ever seen a wooden, 5 pointed star and wished you could have one for your own wall, keep reading. Not only will you learn how to make one, you’ll also learn how to make one any size you want, and you won’t even have to be a math whiz to do it.
While not difficult to make, a 5 pointed star does require the use of some basic woodworking tools. The tools listed here are the minimal tools necessary to construct a star. If you have more advanced tools to use, the speed, accuracy and ease of construction will improve. You will need:
- A jigsaw
- A miter saw
- Wood glue
Choose an Angle
We’ll be making a three-dimensional star that has a straight ridge, running from the center of the star to the tips of each point. The angle of this ridge can be anything you like, but I’ve found that a 30 degree angle looks great and gives the star a good amount of depth. Experiment to find the angle you like the best.
Cut the Wood
Begin by cutting 10 rectangular pieces of wood. Long, narrow pieces look the best, and the lengths and widths need to be identical for the points of the star to come together properly. An electric miter saw works well to cut the pieces to length, but you can always make the cuts by hand if necessary.
I would suggest starting with rectangles no bigger than 3″ x 10″. The thickness of the wood should be from ½” to ¾”. Once you get the hang of it, the size of the star is limited only by the woodworking tools you have available.
Bevel the Edge
Once the rectangles are cut, one of the long edges of each piece needs to be cut at a 30 degree angle (or whatever angle you choose). Set the base of the saw for the desired angle of cut and use a straight edge as a guide for the saw to cut along the entire length of the piece of wood. Be sure to start each cut at the same point on each piece so that the width of all pieces is identical after making the cuts. You can hold the beveled edges of two pieces together and see the basic shape of one of the star points.
Sort the Pieces
After all the cuts are made, put 5 rectangles in one pile and 5 in another pile. Mark each in the first pile with an L to signify it will be the left half of the point. The other pile gets marked with an R to show it’s the right half.
Cut the Points
Take a piece from the R pile and lay it down in front of you with the beveled edge on the left side, facing down. Measure down from the upper right corner, 1/5th of the total distance to the lower right corner. For example, if the length of the piece of wood is 5 inches, measure down 1 inch and make a mark. Now, use a pencil to draw a line from that mark, down to the lower left corner. Measure, mark and draw a line on the remaining pieces marked with an R.
All the pieces in the L pile get marked the same way, except the 30 degree bevel will be facing down on the right side, and the measurement will be made 1/5th the distance from the upper left to the lower left. Mark and draw lines on all remaining pieces.
Once all pieces are marked, make a cut along the lines of each of the 10 pieces. Make sure the saw is set to 0 degrees because you don’t want a bevel on this cut. Again, a straight edge may be helpful to make this cut nice and straight.
Glue the L and R Halves Together
With all the cuts made, you can now glue the L and R pieces together. Use good quality wood glue that will make a nice strong bond. When you’re done, you should have what look like five, star points. Set these pieces aside until they have dried completely.
Make 36 Degree Cuts
The last step involves making 2 cuts on each star point that are exactly 36 degrees from the centerline. If you have an electric miter saw, it’s a simple matter to set the angle at 36 degrees.
When making the cuts, line up the center ridge of the point so that it’s perpendicular to the back of the saw. The endpoint of the star should be pointing directly at you. It’s also very important when making the cut that the endpoint of the star is pressed down against the table. This is what assures the compound angle that each center point needs to fit together correctly. One cut will be made from the top, center of the point to the right at 36 degrees, and the other will be a mirror-image cut on the left side.
Glue the Points Together
Since 10 cuts will be made, each at 36 degrees, a complete 360 degree star will be made when you glue all the center points together. If the ends of each point were held down against the table when the cuts were made, each piece should fit together perfectly and the finished star should lie flat on the table.
Once you have the hang of it, vary the widths and lengths of the rectangles and use different types of wood. Use oak, pine, or old barn wood for just look you want. With a little searching and creativity, you’ll be certain to come up with a 5 pointed star that goes with any decor.