Add a little sparkle to your math art projects and STEAM education with star tessellation patterns using a six pointed star! Tessellations are an easy to learn art idea with enough variation possibilities to keep kids interested. Not to mention, repeating and rotating mathematical patterns is surprisingly relaxing.
As I did with our heart tessellations project, I'll share multiple ways to tessellate with a single 6 pointed star shape. Plus: these star tessellation ideas are surprisingly adaptable as holiday math art projects! Check out the final photos for holiday ideas.
Read on for the full instructions to learn how to make a perfect six pointed star for star and hexagon or star and diamond tessellation drawings.
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How to Make a 6 Pointed Star
Since the first thing you need is a 6 pointed star, let's start with that shall we?
Gather your materials:
- Paper. I recommend a heavy paper that is still easy to cut with precision.
- Compass, like this one
- Ruler or other straight edge
- Eraser (always handy)
1. Draw a circle. Using your compass, draw a circle of any size you wish.
2. Mark the perimeter. Without changing the width of your compass, place the sharp end of the compass at any point on the circle. As if you are going to draw another circle, mark with a slash the point where the new circle would intersect the existing one.
3. Mark 6 points on the perimeter. Continuing around the circle, move the sharp end of the compass to point where the slash meets the circle and repeat step 2 until you have a total of 6 slashes.
4. Form the triangles. Using your ruler, connect every other point on the circle. This will create two overlapping equilateral triangles.
5. Cut out your star. Carefully cut out your new 6 pointed star. Because this shape will form the basis of your tessellating stars you want to be as precise and careful as possible.
Now you are ready to tessellate! Watch the video to see how it is done, or follow the written instructions directly below it!
How to Make Star Tessellations
What you need:
- 6-point star cut out
- Paper. For art journaling, this is my go-to journal. I have filled up so many of them!
- A variety of art supplies (see below)
Here are some of my favorite art supplies I used to make the tessellations in the video and photos you see:
STAR TESSELLATION INSTRUCTIONS
- Trace star
Place star on paper and carefully trace the outline.
- Position star to create a star-diamond tessellation
If you want to create diamonds between your stars position your star so that two points of one star connect to two points of another. Carefully trace around star.
- Repeat pattern
Continue positioning and tracing additional star shapes as shown.
- Create star-hexagon tessellations
If you want to create hexagons between your stars, position your star so that one point of one star touches a point of a second star in a parallel manner. (See photo)
- Continue tessellations
Continue adding additional star shapes as shown.
- Bonus tessellation
Using your star shape, position it atop the hexagon in order to create and trace three diamonds as shown below. (See video for demonstration of how-to)
- Make it beautiful!
Using the art supplies of your choices, jazz and sparkle up the star tessellations to your heart's desire!
Can your kids find any other ways to tessellate the 6 pointed star?
Don't want to hide your and your child's gorgeous math art in an art journal. Here are some ideas:
- Frame it!
- Create gorgeous handmade wrapping paper
- Create greeting cards for friends and family
- Turn it into holiday decorations. With just the right colors, tessellating stars are fit for almost any holiday including Christmas and Hanukkah. (see below)
More great math art here:
- Sierpinski fractal pyramid–makes a fun twist on the Christmas tree, too!
- How to draw spirolaterals–and practice multiplication at the same time!
- Make a pi city skyline–celebrate irrational numbers!
Want more STEAM projects? Check out my book!