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Design and create your own Islamic geometric pattern, inspired by the exhibition ‘So That You Might Know Each Other’: Faith and Culture in Islam at the National Museum of Australia.

How to make a six-pointed geometric star

1:14

Look before you start: Use our step-by-step instructions and be sure to check out this short video first (adult helpers too!) Pause the video and replay steps if you need help.

Islamic art is complex and is created for religious or non-religious purposes. It is found across the world from the Middle East, North Africa and Europe to Asia and Australia.

Islamic geometric patterns are a form of decoration made of basic shapes that are repeated again and again in simple or complex arrangements.

By changing a simple pattern, you can create an infinite number of designs. The patterns reflect unity, logic and order and are used to decorate everything from tables, clothes and carpets to buildings like mosques.

Time: About 10 minutes for the first star

Skill level: ★★★ Challenging — you may need an adult helper

What you need:

  • paper — plain, patterned, coloured, newspaper or whatever you have on hand
  • pencil
  • scissors
  • compass or something round to trace, like a plate

Steps 1 to 2

  1. Gather your materials.
  2. Start by drawing a circle. Trace around your circular object or draw a circle using a compass.

hands cutting paperHands folding paper

Step 3

Cut out your circle with scissors and fold it exactly in half, creasing along the fold.

hands cutting paperHands folding paper

Step 4

Fold your semi-circle in half to make a wedge shape. Crease along the fold. Note the right-angled corner (A). Fold the right-angled corner (A) up to meet the curved edge, while keeping a sharp point at (B). Crease.

A large orange star cut out from orange paper. Two fingers point to two points on each side of the star.Fingers hold down a piece of orange paper. The letter B in white font is superimposed on the top left corner of the paper and the capital letter A (also in white font) is superimposed on a pointy end in the centre. A few centimetres to the left is a small block of black text in capital letters which reads 'curved edge' with an arrow pointing to the curved edge of the paper.

Step 5

On the curved edge, mark the point where the (A) meets the curved edge. You will use this mark as a guide for the next fold. Unfold, back to the original wedge shape.

A large orange star cut out from orange paper. Two fingers point to two points on each side of the star.Fingers hold down a piece of orange paper. The letter B in white font is superimposed on the top left corner of the paper and the capital letter A (also in white font) is superimposed on a pointy end in the centre. A few centimetres to the left is a small block of black text in capital letters which reads 'curved edge' with an arrow pointing to the curved edge of the paper.

Step 6

Keeping a sharp point at (A), your pencil mark as a guide and fold over one-third of the wedge shape so that the top curved edges meet. Your piece should look like this (below right).

A large orange star cut out from orange paper. Two fingers point to two points on each side of the star.Fingers hold down a piece of orange paper. The letter B in white font is superimposed on the top left corner of the paper and the capital letter A (also in white font) is superimposed on a pointy end in the centre. A few centimetres to the left is a small block of black text in capital letters which reads 'curved edge' with an arrow pointing to the curved edge of the paper.

Step 7

Flip your piece over. Repeat the last fold so your wedge is now folded into equal thirds. The folds should look like a zigzag from the top. Note the visible crease line (C) that you made in step 6.

A piece of orange paper which has been partially folder over. Fingers from one hand hold down one side of the paper while the other hand holds a pencil which points to a corner with the capital letter A in white font.A piece of orange paper is held down by a pair of hands. The capital letter A in white font appears on the top corner of the paper and a small white circle with the words above it read pencil mark at the bottom.

Step 8

Cut along the creased line (C), cutting through all layers. Unfold to reveal your finished six-pointed star!

A piece of orange paper which has been partially folder over. Fingers from one hand hold down one side of the paper while the other hand holds a pencil which points to a corner with the capital letter A in white font.A piece of orange paper is held down by a pair of hands. The capital letter A in white font appears on the top corner of the paper and a small white circle with the words above it read pencil mark at the bottom.

Share your creation

Ask an adult if you can send a photo or video to schoolholidays@nma.gov.au

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