How to: Make a Star Map

The Travelling Bookbinder: How to: Make a Star Map: Hero image

Celebrate a summer of MapLove! Create two interlocking night skies, to represent two feelings, two stories, two people… How to: Make a star map. An origami pocket project.

The Travelling Bookbinder: How to: Make a Star Map: You'll need

You’ll need:

  • Two squares of paper…and maybe two more for practice. I’ve used a light-ish weight cartridge 15cm by 15cm (around six inches square)
  • A white wax crayon or candle
  • Blue/Black ink. My little pot of ‘Early Dusk’ is from Diamine via Libraries & Archives
  • Brush
  • Waste paper
  • A chunky coloured pencil
  • A ruler
The Travelling Bookbinder: How to: Make a Star Map: Wax to mark your constellation

Step-by-step:

On each square, draw dots with the wax to make the shape of a constellation, It’s a bit odd, to begin with, that you can’t see where where the marks are, but bear in mind that you often need a fair dose of imagination to interpret the shapes in a star atlas….

The Travelling Bookbinder: How to: Make a Star Map: Waste paper, ready to get inky

Lay your squares wax-side up on waste paper. Ha ha it’s impossible to see how they’ll turn out!

The Travelling Bookbinder: How to: Make a Star Map: Wax resist revealed under the ink

Cover each square with blue or black ink, watching as the liquid resists the wax, revealing pin pricks of star light.

The Travelling Bookbinder: How to: Make a Star Map: Leave to dry

Leave until dry.

The Travelling Bookbinder: How to: Make a Star Map: Write on reverse

Write a message or a thought on the reverse side of each square, which reflects or alludes to the constellation that you’ve plotted.

The Travelling Bookbinder: How to: Make a Star Map: Fold in thirds

Now to fold! Use a ruler to guestimate a third, and make a crease. (Iona marble ring from Aosdana.)

The Travelling Bookbinder: How to: Make a Star Map: Both pieces folded the same

Fold up one third on each square.

The Travelling Bookbinder: How to: Make a Star Map: Into thirds

Then fold the other side in, so that your square is divided into three.

The Travelling Bookbinder: How to: Make a Star Map: Fold up one triangle

Fold the bottom left corner up as shown.

The Travelling Bookbinder: How to: Make a Star Map: Fold down one triangle

Fold the top right corner down as shown. It’s important that the two pieces look the same as each other….or else the next bit is not going to work out….

The Travelling Bookbinder: How to: Make a Star Map: Lay one piece over the other

Turn one piece round forty five degrees, and place it on top of the other piece.

The Travelling Bookbinder: How to: Make a Star Map: Fold triangle in to centre

Fold the bottom triangle up, to fit inside the central square.

The Travelling Bookbinder: How to: Make a Star Map: Top and bottom folded in

And then bring the top triangle down to meet it! So far so good.

The Travelling Bookbinder: How to: Make a Star Map: Next side folded in

Turn the whole thing round forty-five degrees and fold the next triangle in to the centre.

The Travelling Bookbinder: How to: Make a Star Map: Tucked under

Now tuck that triangle under the one coming in from the left.

The Travelling Bookbinder: How to: Make a Star Map: Last fold in

Finally fold in the last triangle, which would flap if you left it like that…

The Travelling Bookbinder: How to: Make a Star Map: Make a pocket for the last triangle

So use your thumb to open up the pocket where it’s going to go.

And gently but firmly manoeuvre it into place.

The Travelling Bookbinder: How to: Make a Star Map: Finished folded star map

Here’s your finished interlocking star map!

The Travelling Bookbinder: How to: Make a Star Map: Cushiony!

I love how ‘cushiony’ it is!

The Travelling Bookbinder: How to: Make a Star Map: Make multiples

SO! Make maps for your loves: Share them! Show them! Keep them secret…

The MapLove e-course has more projects, with instant, lifetime, access – get exploring!

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