With just a gluestick and scissors (and spray paint, to glitz them up), you can turn ordinary paper bags into foldable, 3-D stars to top trees or hang as ornaments. Here’s how.

Step One

Start with white paper bags—either lunch-style bags with bottoms or flat, sleeve-style ones, any size. (Our tree topper uses 15 (6 1/2-inch-tall) bags; the ornaments use 10 to 17 (4-inch-tall) bags. Divide into stacks of three or four bags. Glue bags in each stack together with a glue stick, spreading glue in a fat inverted T (across the bottom and up the center). Do not glue inside bags. Let dry.

Step Two

Cut corners and notches from the top and sides of stacks with scissors, using template (available below) as a visual guide.

Get the Paper Star Template

Step Three

For smaller notches, you might want to use an X-Acto knife, but it’s not absolutely necessary.

Step Four

Glue a few stacks together, lining up notches; let dry.

Step Five

Open bags to unfold star. If ends don’t reach or you want more rays, add another bag or stack of bags. Secure with paper clips.

Step Six

Spray both sides with metallic spray paint, drying between sides.

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