Marquetry Straw Star Greetings Card

This is a delightful project of great simplicity which, we hope will give you great enjoyment.

It can be used as a Christmas card, a tree hanging, a gift tag - or whatever takes your fancy!

Pictures of finished cards

You will need:




Step 1
graph paper template

Make up a template for your star beam on graph paper first(See above). Transfer this template pattern to a piece of thin card and cut it out.

Step 2

Prepare your straw. You will need straw that is hollow, i.e. straw that has a thin wall, not a thick wall or a pithy stem. If using the top section, cut off the head of wheat, then cut again just above the node. Slide off the leaf sheath. The middle section in between the nodes can also be used, but you will find it tougher. You now have a tube of straw.

Step 3

Damp your straw slightly, (put it in water for a minute or two) then split it from top to bottom either with one scissor blade, a seam ripper, or one of the straw splitters specially designed for the purpose (Hindenburg.).

Step 4

Carefully open the straw out flat. You will have one shiny side and one dull (pithy) side. On a flat surface, smooth the pith side with a flat bladed knife, a smoother or a Hindenberg. Gently scrape away the pith until you have a smooth flat ribbon of straw. Some people prefer to iron the straw flat (use a low temperature).

Step 5

Place glue on the pithy side of your straw ribbon, and stick it on to the paper (so the shiny side is uppermost). If you have very narrow ribbons of straw, you may need to butt two pieces up against each other, but if you use a thick straw to start with, this should not be necessary.

Step 6

Cut the spare paper away from round the straw, and turn over. Place your card template on the paper and draw round the pattern with a pencil. Try to line up the horizontals with the grain of the straw. You will need four star beams. Cut these out carefully.

Step 7
card with Pencil guide line

With your ruler, measure and draw a short vertical centre line on your card. This will help you to place your first beam accurately. If you wish, you can also pencil in the horizontal line.

Step 8
card with first part of the star

Place glue on the paper side of your star beam, and stick the beam on to the centre line (N/S). (as above)

Unsure of the Compass points then click here to show them.

Step 9
card with two bars

Glue the second beam at right angles to the first one (E/W) forming a cross.

Step 10
card with three bars

Glue the third beam diagonally on the cross (NE/SW).

Step 11
card with all four bars

Glue the fourth beam diagonally in the other direction (NW/SE).

Step 12

Fold the card in half vertically and you will have completed your card.


  1. Cut out a 7 cm (2 3/4") circle of contrasting coloured paper (a textured handmade paper will look particularly good), glue this on to a light coloured card, and glue your star on top of it.

    star in a circle of contrasting coloured paper

  2. Cutting a perfect circle can be tricky. The same effect can be achieved by using an aperture card with a pre-cut circle in it. The star can be glued on to a separate sheet of contrasting coloured paper larger than the aperture, and this sheet is then glued on to the back side of the circle cut-out.

  3. Use a piece of paper that is larger than your star, dampen the edges and shred them, to give an irregular edge to the circle, or an irregular shape. Handmade paper is ideal for this.

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Elaine Lindsay
Something Corny, Rowan Cottage, Inveramsay, Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, AB51 5DQ. Tel. 01467 681330

Something Corny supply Dyed Straws, Bleached Straws and Natural Straws. These items are available by post from Elaine Lindsay.
Elaine is a member of the Guild and is experienced in many aspects of straw craft.

Your Local Florist
Your local florist may have suitable straw. Remember that the straw has to be hollow and, if possible, thin walled.


Elaine Lindsay
Something Corny, Rowan Cottage, Inveramsay, Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, AB51 5DQ. Tel. 01467 681330

Something Corny supply Plastic Straw Splitters.

Gordon Thwaites
Garth Nest, Kentmere Road, Staveley, Kendal, Cumbria LA8 9JF

Gordon makes tools for straw work and so a Hindenburg can be bought from him.

Gordon is a clock maker by profession; his tools are made to very high standards. All his tools are works of art in themselves.

Further Reading

Creative Straw Marquetry
Freda Rudman

Paperback. Pub. Wessex Press, Wantage, Oxon. (1984) ISBN 0 948644 00 1

Straw Mosaics
Lina Croucher

Paperback. Pub. Reeves Dryad Press (1975) SBN 85219-091-3