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DIY Christmas Star

diy christmas star

This time of year I always like to take a short break from restoration and do a little crafty project for Christmas. It’s by far my favorite holiday of the year and it lends itself to some fun creative ideas that help me think in a different way. Rather than focusing on fixing what is broken I am faced with a blank sheet of paper (or block of wood as it is this year) and have to actually create rather than restore.

This post is sponsored by Minwax who has been encouraging me to try their water-based stains for a couple years now, but as an old-school kind of restorer I have resisted…until today. Let see what we can create together.

Making a Wooden Christmas Star

So this year, I grabbed a block of scrap Sapele wood and started drawing triangles on it to see what kind of star it would create. At first it started to look like a Star Trek star, then a Jewish star, then after I had drawn four triangles from corner to corner and end to end it created a rather unique shape that I felt looked like a Christmas star.

The design was made by simple triangles drawn on a 11” x 9” block of wood

Then it was over to the band saw to simply cut along the lines I had drawn. I marked off the scrap sections so I could remember what sides I was keeping and avoid decapitating a part of my star.

Once the cutting was done I really started to feel the Christmas magic. To me it was perfect! I sanded everything smooth and cleaned up the edges, and now it was time to make it look a little more festive than just a plain block of wood.

wooden christmas star
Cutting the star out on the band saw

Staining my Star

I told Minwax I would go full water-based on this one (stains and finishes), which actually made the job much easier because using their latest line of Wood Finish Color Stain provided me with 200+ colors to choose from. I went with the semi-transparent finishes because I still wanted to see some of the wood grain beneath and choose to use Hunter Green and Pure White.

I used a foam brush to blend the two stain colors together

Before I applied any stain I used Minwax Water-Based Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner to ensure even uptake of the color stain. I’ve used their oil-based wood conditioner before and application of the water-based version was incredible simple. Just wipe it on, let it sit for 1-5 minutes, and wipe off the excess. Then 30 minutes later it needs a light 220-grit sanding and it’s ready for stain…without blotchiness.

I wanted to create a snow covered pine tree effect so I applied the Hunter Green to the bottom half, then mixed in increasing amounts of white color stain as I worked up toward the top of the star capping it off with a pure white peak.

You can apply your stain with a good quality bristle brush, foam brush, or rag. Due to its thickness it applies more like a paint and the water-based formula dries very quickly. I applied and then wiped off within two minutes and let it dry for just over one hour before it was ready to be sealed.

nativity christmas star
The finished product as the star of Bethlehem for our nativity scene

To seal my Christmas star I went with Minwax Polycrylic spray in Clear Satin. Since it’s an interior project one quick coat was more than sufficient to protect it. I let it cure overnight and then my Christmas star was ready to take its place on my mantle with the rest of our Christmas decor.

This is a really easy project anyone can do with a hand saw even if you don’t access to a band saw. Simple straight cuts and easy to use stains for any DIYer. Merry Christmas and hope you enjoy making this one yourself!

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