How to Make Stars using Cardboard Tubes for the Holidays


Learn how to make these easy stars using cardboard tubes for the holidays! All you need are a few supplies and a little creativity.

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If you are new to this blog: Welcome! My name is Anna and I share information on collecting antique/vintage items, refurbishing furniture and making small crafts/projects. The purpose of this blog is to share with you how to use creativity and antiques to make a soulful life. In addition to information here on the blog, you can also follow me on InstagramFacebook or Pinterest.

Back Story

Truth be told, this project drove Mr. SLH a little nuts.  Every time we emptied a roll of paper towels or a toilet paper roll – I asked him to save the cardboard tube. To which he responded: “What?  Why do you want this?”  To make matters worse, I was collecting these cardboard rolls (both toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls) over a series of months.  There was a little (not so little) pile of them in my office.  Mr. SLH would sigh and dutifully add the most recent cardboard tube to the growing pile.  He would then mutter something about wishing we were like normal people who recycled their cardboard tubes. 

If you haven’t been collecting your own little pile of cardboard tubes – no problem!  I learned yesterday that you can actually buy them!  Who  knew?  Don’t worry, I will link where you can buy cardboard tubes below.  In this post, I will show you how to turn ordinary cardboard tubes into some amazing holiday ornaments. Even Mr. SLH was impressed. 

Cardboard Tube Star

How to Make Stars from Cardboard Tubes for the Holiday

The first thing we need to do is gather our supplies.  Fortunately, this project requires minimal supplies.  Another bonus, stars made using cardboard tubes can be made in a couple of hours.  


Most of these supplies can be found at your local craft store such as Michaels, Hobby Lobby or Joann Fabric.  Where possible, I have provided links to online supplies. 

Cut the Cardboard Tubes

The first thing to do is to flatten your cardboard tubes and use your scissors to cut them into ¼ inch strips.  You will need approximately 12 strips to create one ornament.  This process doesn’t have to be perfect.

Cut tubes into strips

As I said earlier, I cut up 3 paper towel cardboard rolls and 7 toilet paper cardboard rolls. 

Spray Paint the Cardboard Strips

Once the pieces were cut, I took them outside to spray paint them using metallic gold paint.  You can use any color paint you desire.  I found it was easiest to paint the cardboard pieces before the ornaments were assembled.

Spray paint should be applied three different times.  First on the flat side of the cardboard strips, then on the opposing flat side, and then on the inside of each cardboard loop. I only applied one light coat of paint each time.  Once the paint is dry, it is time to move on to the next step.

spray paint 4

You could also use acrylic paints to paint the cardboard strips – but I found spray paint was a little faster and easier.

Glue the Cardboard Strips Together

This step is also known as easy star cardboard tube “assemblages”. Using your hot glue gun, and a glue stick, start gluing the individual cardboard strips into the shape of a star.  A quick note, I like to lay down a piece of aluminum foil on top of my work surface whenever I use a hot glue gun.

Simply apply a small drop of glue at the base of each cardboard strip.  I found it was best gluing 5-6 loops together.

For the remaining strips, simply fold them in half and hot glue them either inside of the cardboard loops or between the cardboard loops.  There is no wrong way to do this.  You can use your creativity to make just about any star formation you desire.  

For the purposes of this post, I made several different stars to show you some of the different variations. 

Apply Glitter

This is the final step in creating these star ornaments.  Using your paint brush, apply Mod Podge to the front, back and sides of your star ornaments.  

Pay particular to the tips of the stars if you want them to look as though they were dipped in glitter.  You can use any color of glitter you desire.  For this project, I used copper and gold but I am tempted to make these again using different glitter colors like champagne and rose gold.  Wouldn’t that be pretty?

Easy stars out of cardboard tubes

Emptying the glitter into a bowl and then using a spoon to completely cover the ornament with glitter, worked well to ensure even glitter coverage.  On a few occasions, I had to apply a second coat of glitter.

Attach Faux Berry

Using your scissors, trim the tips of the faux berries to the depth of an ornament.  Then using your hot glue gun, attach the berry to the center of the ornament.  

stars using cardboard tubes

Bonus step, you can cover the berry in the same color glitter you are using for your ornaments. 

Attach Ribbon

Once your glue has completely dried, simply attach a ribbon to the top of each star so you can  hang your ornament.  I used a thin piece of silk ribbon.  

Cardboard Tube Stars

Make sure you use a thin ribbon.  Wider ribbons tend to create unnecessary bulk and prevent the ornament from hanging correctly.

Enjoy your Cardboard Star Ornaments!

When Mr. SLH saw the final star ornament, his eyebrows were raised in surprise.  He told me that he had no idea that cardboard tubes could be made into something like these ornaments.  He might have second thoughts about recycling those cardboard tubes now . . .   (okay, probably not).

This is a fun project to make with young children so long as you can supervise them when using the hot glue gun and scissors.  Truly, this is a project for kids of all ages.  

In addition to looking pretty on a Christmas tree, you can use these ornaments to adorn gifts, stockings, or use them for place settings at the table. 

Similar Projects

If you enjoyed this project, you may also like the following.

Antique Paper Leaf Wreath

DIY Clay Ornaments

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  1. These are gorgeous, Anna! I love how you took something as basic as cardboard and made it into a show-stopping ornament. That is so cool! These are really beautiful and would be the perfect complement to any tree or package. Big hugs, CoCo

  2. What a great little project, I’m glad Mr. SLH had the patience to save all those cardboard rolls for this. Great job both of you.

  3. Wow, Anna! Who knew you could take a toilet paper roll and turn it into something so beautiful? This is a fabulous DIY! Can’t wait to see how you use them in your holiday decor!

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