Each country around the world has its own Christmas traditions. Lithuanians and Germans often used straw to create ornate decorations and ornaments for their Christmas trees. If you’d like to make your own traditional straw Christmas tree decorations, you can use drinking straws and these instructions.
You’ll need the following: straight plastic drinking straws, ball of strong white thread, two or three long needles which will take the thread, ruler, and sharp scissors.
Step #1 – Cut straws into 8 equal lengths about 3 inches long. Thread a needle with a piece of thread about 20-24 inches long; do not tie a knot the end of the thread.
Step #2 – Thread four pieces of straw onto the string. Tie the ends to create a wreath. Instead of cutting the extra string, thread it through two more straws and then loop it around the opposite end. Thread on the last two straw pieces and tie it off at the opposite end again.
Step #3 – Cut straws into 4 equal lengths about 2 inches long to get an elongated design or 3 inches long to get a square. Slip the needle and thread back through one of the straw pieces already in the design to get the needle to the middle of the design.
Step #4 – Thread one of the shorter pieces and then attach it to the second joint by wrapping the thread around the joint. Add the next piece to the string and attach it to the following joint, until you have all four of the pieces are secured. This will give you an elongated or square box; it may also look like a diamond.
This is the basic design upon which any other variations are made. If you come close to running out of thread, tie another piece of thread to it. Hide the knot inside the ornament by placing it within a piece of straw.
Step #5 – Cut 8 more pieces of straw the same length as the first ones, about 3 inches long. At this point, the needle and thread should be at one of the middle joints.
Step #6 – Run the thread through two of the new straw pieces and attach them to the next joint. Add two more pieces and attach them to the next joint, and on until there are four triangles at the central joints.
Step #7 – To stabilize the “rays,” you can cut 4 longer straw pieces which will fit between each point of the ray and the top of the ornament. To do this, using the last ray where the string is hanging, thread the longer piece of straw and connect it to the top. Continue this until all four rays are stabile. You can also add 4 additional stabilizers between the point and the bottom of the ornament which will give you a more elaborate design.
If you look on the internet for “Lithuanian Straw Ornaments,” you can see some of the most beautiful and intricate ornaments. You may also get ideas of different types of straw stars you can make.