Origami ninja stars, often referred to as Shuriken or origami wishing stars, are one of the most popular forms of modular origami.
There are several different online tutorials detailing how to make origami ninja stars. The method described in this article is the one I have found to be the easiest for beginning paper folders.
To make origami ninja stars, you'll need two sheets of square origami paper. Your paper should be at least 6 inches x 6 inches square to ensure that your finished origami stars are a decent size. The stars in this tutorial were folded from 6 inch square paper and are about 3 inches wide when finished.
I like to make my origami stars using one sheet of solid paper and one sheet of paper in a coordinating pattern. You can use whatever paper colors, patterns, or designs you wish, however. Metallic paper results in a pleasing looking star, but it is harder to connect the individual pieces do to the slippery texture of most metallic finish origami papers.
If you do not have any origami paper handy, you can make a ninja star using the printable papers in About Origami's Free Printable Origami Paper 6x6 Size slideshow. Print the design of your choice onto lightweight printer paper, cut it out, and then proceed with the rest of the star tutorial.
1. Make the Horizontal Folds
To begin your origami star, fold your paper in half horizontally. Crease firmly, then fold it in half horizontally again. When you're finished, your paper should look like the photo to the left.
2. Fold Your Paper Vertically
Fold your paper in half vertically. Crease firmly, then unfold. Fold the top half to the left along the center crease guide. Fold the bottom half to the right along the center crease guide. When you're done, your paper should look like the photo to the left.
3. Flip Your Paper
Flip the paper over towards you. Fold the end squares in to make two triangles. When you're finished, your paper should look like the photo to the left. Repeat this process with another sheet of paper so you have two identically folded units.
4. Join the Two Units Together
Place the two units together as shown in the photo to the left.
5. Overlap the Triangles
Starting with the bottom triangle, fold each triangle up to overlap the triangle that is adjacent to it.
6. Complete Your Origami Ninja Star
Tuck the final triangle into the pocket that was created by the folds in the previous step. You may need to wiggle the corners a bit to get it to fit, depending upon how thick of paper you used to make your star. Be patient, since this step of of the project is the hardest to complete.Congratulations! your origami ninja star is complete!
7. Other Uses for Origami Ninja Stars
Origami ninja stars have many different uses. Feel free to experiment with various paper types and sizes to see how many ways you can find to use this simple origami design.
Kids can play with these paper toys by trying to toss them into a bucket on the other side of the room. They can be tossed like small frisbees, but you will want to make sure your children understand to keep the pointed ends away from their eyes.
You can use origami ninja stars to decorate handmade cards or scrapbook pages. Stick a magnetic strip on the back and use them to decorate your refrigerator. They also look nice attached to packages or strung together to make a garland for your holiday decor. While you wouldn't want to place it directly above the crib, a mobile of ninja stars would even even be a cute decoration for a baby's nursery.