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Need Crafty Suggestions For Lighting A Homemade Moravian Star


spdif48
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I always wanted a Moravian star for my display but I didn't like what II saw for sale so I made my own. My original plan for lighting it from the inside was to leave one spoke out, cut a piece of cardboard to the size of the base of a spoke, run some SPT1 through a hole in the cardboard, put a C9 socket on one end of the SPT1 and a plug on the other then glue the cardboard to the star.  Then I realized that Murphy's Law means as soon as I glued the cardboard in the lamp would fail.  Does anyone have an idea how I could rig a removable lamp in my star?

 

Yes, RGB pixels would be awesome.  No, that;s not a solution for this star. Maybe next year if I have more time and money.  =)

 

 

post-18767-0-36088000-1383512216_thumb.j

post-18767-0-13194600-1383512227_thumb.j

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What is your star made of i love it?

 

It's about 75% text weight vellum and 25% elmers glue.  Maybe closer to 60-40 although it's hard to tell how much glue is in the star and how much was on my fingers.  The vellum is a really nice cross between transparent and durable.  Since I;m in San Diego it should be okay outside under the eves for our balmy christmas season.

 

If anyone wants to try one I can post the instructions.

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Instructions:

0.  Gather paper, scissors, glue, and binder clips.  A straight edge will make folding easier.

1.  Print 18 square patterns and 8 triangles.  (I left out one square pattern to make room for a light)

2.  Cut out all the patterns on their outside edges

3.  Fold up on all the inside lines, including the tabs

4.  Glue all the long tabs to the matching inside face

5.  Start with a square pyramid and glue a square to each of its short tabs with all the pointy ends pointing in the same direction,  To keep everything lined up match up the two tabs as closely as possible then match the points.  Put a binder clip on the tabs to hold them while the glue dries then remove the binder clip.

6.  Glue triangles to the right side of each of the 4 squares

7.  Glue the same triangles to the left side of the adjacent squares

8.  Glue a square to each of the  8 existing squares and triangles

9.  Glue the left and right sides of the 8 squares to their neighbors

10. Alternate attaching a square and a triangle to the top of the eight squares matching the shape on the opposite side of the square

11.  Glue the sides of the squares and triangles together.  Yes, the binder clip in and out on the last one is a doozy.

12.  To attach the last point fold the tabs on the last square so they are facing out and fold the four remaining tabs on the star up and out.  Glue in the last point with the tabs on the outside.  I suggest adding a string before gluing the last two tabs.

 

Notes:

A.  You can scale the PDF files bigger and smaller to make different sized stars.  The default size will make a star approximately 22 inches across

B.  I used Elmer's white glue and it worked fine.  I did spend a lot of time holding the shapes while the glue setup.  I suspect there's a better adhesive for the job.  It just has to be something that allows for a little re-positioning.

C.  Use this awesome Wikipedia article on the rhombicuboctahedron to visualize how all the pieces go together.  My wife even printed and cut out the flattened diagram and folded it into the solid,

D.  Want a star with more points?  Use the same square and triangle patterns to create this shape with 38 points.

E.  For a translucent star you may want to try to find a way to print the patterns in a light gray instead of black.

 

Why'd I do it?

When I was a kid my mom would take us grocery shopping at Stauffers.  The store would turn the garden center into a Christmas wonderland and my mom could count on me being glued to the display the whole time we were there.  The store always had a couple dozen Moravian stars on display which was quite a sight that has stuck with me.  Last year I found someone had made some much better looking patterns for making a Moravian star but I didn't have the time.  I went looking for the files this year and the site was gone.  I found the Wikipedia article for the stars which links to the shape.  Once I realized that the only trick is to keep the edges of the bases of the pyramid solids the same length it was pretty easy use CAD to create the pattern.

 

If you make your own please post pictures,

 

moraviansquare.pdf

moraviantriangle.pdf

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  • 2 months later...

You are very welcome.  Hope you have fun making one.

 

I ended up finding a leftover ikea socket and cord set from a chinese lantern I had.  I got a 4 watt LED bulb at the local hardware store and it worked great..

 

Mine lasted outside for 4 weeks and 2 rain showers which I think is pretty good for paper.  Looks like I should make the tabs a quarter inch longer.  Next time I get a working copy of autocad I'll update the PDFs.  

 

Here's a pic of the star in the display

 

post-18767-0-40144600-1389767554_thumb.j

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