This Christmas, in honor of our Lithuanian heritage, my mom wanted to make Lithuanian star ornaments, which are made from wheat straws. She found a video that showed how to make a jig from a toilet paper tube, but my brother was able to 3D print a set that had a 6-notch, 8-notch, and 10-notch jig (plus a center disc). He then made a mold and cast 4 copies of them in resin. My mom ordered up 500 wheat straws, and we were ready to go!
The straws needed to be soaked in water to make them a little more pliable, so this photo shows the container for soaking, a package of straws, and the set of jigs.
We tried using sewing thread to wrap the straws but, as you can see, it wasn’t very successful!
This one was made with embroidery floss, and it worked much better! I used the 6-notch jig.
This photo shows the 3 that I made (w/red embroidery floss), plus my mom’s first attempt. The lower right one was made with the 8-notch jig, and the upper left one was made with the 10-notch jig. I need to figure out a better wrapping pattern for that one… it’s a little wobbly.
I was able to take a package of straws and a set of jigs home with me, so I’ll be trying this again!
Thank you! They were a little harder than expected. My sister was very frustrated by it, and although she made several attempts, she didn’t get one finished (she may try again). My mom had trouble with the tension, but did a little better by her third attempt. The trick, I think, is to wrap in small sections. I didn’t do that on my last one, which is probably why it’s a bit wobbly. But, I have straws to play with, so I’ll try again. We ran out of red embroidery floss, but I have more now that I’m home.
I bet it was really hard to keep the shape and wrap at the same time. I really like the different shapes.
The jigs (and the center disc) definitely helped with that! I also found that it was easier to trim them down while they were still in the jig.
I want to play around a bit more with the straw placement in the jigs to see what other ways there are to arrange the straws. I also might try trimming them in different ways to see if I can get different looks.
For the 10-straw star (upper left), is there a specific order to which straw to put down when? For instance, might it be two 5-straw stars stacked on top of each other, just rotated a bit so all the angles show? Or are the straws laid down in a clockwise pattern and tied down as you go?
Hmmmm… I’ll have to play with it to figure out what I did. Then I can document it! I’ll set a reminder to try it this weekend
Family craft time! I love that even the jig was made for the project. So cool.
You’re so right! My brother lives in NY, I met him in MA to pick up the jigs, and my sister and I drove down to FL. All done with proper distancing and masks, of course