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Make the Origami Star of Gratitude post image

Two squares of paper, a few minutes of joyful paper-folding meditation, a lovely mandala design and an origami star is born! If you’ve ever made an origami figure using the windmill base, this eight-pointed star should be a breeze to fold. I’m excited to share with you this origami star of my own design.

I named this model ‘Star of Gratitude’ because gratitude is the feeling I have as I think of all the wonderful people with whom I can share this delightful passion. Your visits and your messages are always read and appreciated, and they keep me going!

Also, I had fun creating some perfectly symmetrical and printable mandala designs, that can be used for this star model for a great effect. If you are an Origami Spirit supporter at the ‘Chick’ level or higher, you’ve already received some of these patterns. Otherwise you can purchase these patterns here.

The eight-pointed star is made with two units that overlap diagonally, the short corners of one fitting into the pockets of the other. This is the step-by-step video tutorial showing how to make the Star of Gratitude.

Tips and suggestions for making the origami Gratitude Star

  • In the video the star is demonstrated using very thin paper called Kami.
  • All kinds of papers can be used to make this star: recycled paper, regular office paper or fancier papers such as “Tant” or onion skin would make good choices.
  • To make the star use two squares of paper sized 6 × 6-inch (15 × 15cm)
  • The finished paper star shows one side of the paper in the front. It’s not necessary to use paper of different color on each side.
  • If you are just beginning your adventure in the art of paper folding, you might want to make a few stars using flat color paper, and then go ahead and use patterned paper. *UPDATE: Read the comments for a great idea contributed by Caroline Chun to facilitate folding with patterned paper.
  • Make a collection of stars, featuring pictures of your family and loved ones in the central frame. Hang them on the Christmas tree.
  • Take squares 1/4 of the size of the ones you used for the star.  On them, write those things for which you feel grateful. Blintz-fold them (all corners to the center). Insert these gratitude notes at the center of each star, and place the stars on your holiday tree.


In a coming blog post I will show some other ideas to enhance the star by adding inserts. In the mean time, I invite you to experiment making up some and having fun with them.


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Arrange a group of stars on a wall in the shape of a Christmas tree.

Can you see Coco behind the door?
I noticed our little kitty’s presence only after I took the picture!

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{ 15 comments… add one }
  • Origami person May 6, 2016, 9:10 am

    Making this was hard but fun

  • Zulay April 26, 2016, 4:03 pm

    Hola Leyla solo queria darte las gracias por tu sitio web es genial! tus tutoriales son una super ayuda. Te envio buenos deseos yo soy de Venezuela pero vivo en Inglaterra.

    • Leyla Torres April 27, 2016, 5:02 pm

      Siempre bienvenida a Origami Spirit, Zulay. Me alegra que te guste!

  • Tess Dillenberger December 22, 2015, 5:38 pm


    I just finished folding your Star of Gratitude – it turned out pretty well! We’ve been having lots of snow for several days, with a few power outages. Luckily, I was able to follow your tutorial all the way through. Now to just remember all the steps…..Happy Holidays to you, John & Coco!
    Tess D.

    • Leyla Torres December 23, 2015, 12:52 pm

      Hi Tess,
      I’m happy you were able to complete the steps. You too have a lovely holiday and a creative new year!

  • kitblu December 21, 2015, 6:54 pm

    Love the concept of using the center for a photo. I think I will make some to celebrate the cats I have had over the years. Thanks for the design and video.

    • Leyla Torres December 21, 2015, 7:02 pm

      Hi Kitblu,
      Glad you like the video! And aren’t we so grateful for the love and sweet feelings our pets bring us?

  • Leyla Torres December 21, 2015, 6:39 pm

    *A tip contributed by Caroline Chun: When making the star with patterned paper, it can be difficult to see some of the pinch marks to align the paper properly.

    To help folding the four corners exactly to the center, keep one of the edges aligned at the center and fold the opposite corners to align with it. Then you can reverse the resulting diagonals to have the creases be mountain on the color side.

    Here are the photos Caroline sent:

  • Hannelore Muller December 20, 2015, 6:44 am

    Dear Leyla,
    Thank you very much for all the lovely models you teach. Great work.
    Unfortunately, I cannot see the last video with the origami star of gratitude.
    Must be a technical problem. I hope it can be fixed.
    Very happy Xmas holidays for you and your family.

  • wenche lise December 20, 2015, 4:31 am

    Perfect with the patterned paper, I love it! And there are so many things to be grateful about, I need to try it out…

    • Leyla Torres December 20, 2015, 11:52 am

      I’m very happy you like it Wenche. Hopefully it will be an inspiration for one of your wonderful art compositions!

  • Renee Schaeren December 19, 2015, 8:03 pm

    The windmill base is one of my favourites to “play”with, but so far I have never reversed the folds! Those stars will make lovely coasters and look very festive dotted around the Christmas table setting! Merry Christmas and Happy 2016!

    • Leyla Torres December 19, 2015, 9:11 pm

      Thank you Renee, best wishes too for a lovely Christmas and a great new year!

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