Like many of you, I like to decorate the house for every season and holiday. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, I put out red, white, and blue decor. Unfortunately, I don’t have as many patriotic pieces as I would like. I decided I needed to make something to add to my collection. I started with three wooden stars from the Dollar Tree.
These are carried year round in the craft section of the Dollar Tree. They also have other wooden shapes that come out seasonally. I knew that I wanted all three stars to be connected together so I used my crop-a-dile to punch a hole in the bottom of each star. I decided to do this first just in case it split the wood (then I could cover it up). Surprisingly, none of the stars split and they all punched beautifully.
I then prepped the wood with three coats of white gesso and some light sanding. If you don’t have gesso on hand, acrylic paint will work just fine. Next, I did some measuring. I knew that I wanted to decoupage music sheets onto the whole star and photos in the center.
Here you can see how I did my measurements. Horizontally from tip to tip was 10.5 inches and from the high point on the bottom to the top point was 8 inches but I needed to take into account the bottom two points. I wanted to cover as much as the star as possible with the sheet music. Including those points, the star was about 9.5 inches vertically. I also measured out the center of the star for a picture, which was 3.5 x 5.
I found three vintage sheet music pintables on Etsy. I purchased America the Beautiful, My Country ‘Tis of Thee, and The Star Spangled Banner. They all came from a great shop called Vintage Digital Rose. Go here to check out her shop – Vintage Digital Printables and Collage by VintageDigitalRose (etsy.com) . I printed them out on photo paper with a inkjet printer. You do not need a laser printer to decoupage, as long as you use photo paper. Here is a link to a fantastic tutorial – PRINTING DECOUPAGE PAPERS AT HOME | HOW TO DECOUPAGE WITH THICK PAPER | TUTORIAL FOR BEGINNERS – YouTube . If you are not already subscribed to Dainty Gifts, you should be. She is amazing!
You can see the top of the star where the 8.5 inch paper didn’t cover. I mixed together some brown, yellow, and white paints to try and match the colors of the sheet music and painted the tip. It wasn’t perfect but I was happy with it.
I chose these three beautiful old photos from The Graphics Fairy – Vintage Images, DIY Tutorials & Craft Projects for the center of the stars. I sized them down to the 3.5 x 5 before printing them and decoupaging them onto the center of the stars.
After all the decoupage was complete and dry, I added Deco Art’s 2 Step Crackle. I usually get pretty small cracks with this product so I tried adding two thick layers of step 1 before adding step 2. I wanted larger cracks. The cracks were a bit larger than usual but I think three thick layers of step 1 would’ve been better.
After letting the crackle dry overnight, I mixed some brown and black paint together and watered it down really well. About 50/50 paint to water. I brushed it over the whole star making sure to get into all the cracks then wiped it off quickly before it dried. This gives it a nice, aged look making the cracks darker. I was happy with one coat but you can always repeat the process if you want it darker.
For the borders around the photo I used air dry clay and a silicone mold. After the pieces were dry, I painted them with the same dark brown color I used to darken the cracks. The trim around edges of the star are the pearl sticker strips from the Dollar Tree painted in that same dark brown. I used one and a half packages of the pearls for the project, about 8 strips per star.
After all the brown paint was dry, the trims were glued onto the star. Make sure to use a strong glue as those clay pieces are fragile. You wouldn’t want them to fall off and break. Once I was happy with the placement, I used some gold paint to gently dry brush the tops of the clay pieces and the pearl border.
Now the stars were basically done. All that was left was to tie them together and add some embellishments. I pulled out some laces, ribbons, flowers, charms, and of course, bling that I thought would look good. I added some small red, white, and blue rhinestones onto the clay pieces. While I was doing that, I soaked the laces and ribbons in a cup of black coffee. I wanted them to be darker and look a little dingy. I didn’t have any success aging the red ribbons and laces. I even tried alcohol inks after the coffee didn’t work. No luck there either. If you have had any luck aging red laces, please let me know. After the laces were rinsed and dried, I folded them in half and tied another piece of lace around them to create a tassel. I attached the tassel to the bottom star and added some small flowers to the top star.
I am really happy with the way this project turned out. I hope it sparked some inspiration in you. Please reach out to me if you have any questions. Happy creating!
2 thoughts on “Patriotic Stars”
This is absolutely beautiful. Your instructions are so easy to follow. When I first saw the picture I was wondering what you used around the stars, painted pearls, so clever. Look forward to seeing more from you.
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Thank you Vicki!