This DIY star garland is one of my favorite Christmas garland ideas! It’s so cute and chic, and it’s affordably made with dollar store items.

DIY Star Garland

When I was shopping around for our Christmas decorations on Etsy and eBay this year, I kept seeing adorable star garlands. As much as I loved the ones that I saw for sale, I knew that I wanted one for our tree that was more unique, and I also knew I could make it a lot cheaper.

I love this vintage style of design on ornaments, so I thought I’d make a beautiful homemade garland in a neutral color palette that would match our Christmas decorations for years to come.

Something I’m planning to try is wrapping it with fairy lights. I think it would look so magical with that touch of whimsy!

A close up of a star from a painted star garland.

Optional Changes

If you don’t want to use styrofoam, I think this garland would also be beautiful made with wood, metal, or zinc stars.

You could even try making this with a heavyweight card stock if you want to make paper stars. I think that would be so easy because then you could just use a pen to draw out the design. If you make this with paper, you could even make mini garlands for wrapping.

If you use a nicer looking base than styrofoam, you could opt to skip the base paint step because I only did that to cover up the look of the styrofoam.

Another decoration idea I love is to make this into a vertical garland instead of a horizontal one. To do that, glue the yarn in a straight line starting from the top point of each star to the bottom divot.

A neutral colored star garland.

How to Make a Christmas Garland 

This project took a little bit of time (just because the paint needed time to dry), but the steps were super easy! The full directions are in the printable card at the bottom of the post, but here’s a condensed version of the directions:

  1. Paint the stars. 2 – 3 coats on the front (depending on how opaque your paint is) seemed to work the best.
  2. Draw the pattern on using a paint pen.
  3. Glue the stars onto a thick piece of yarn in evenly spaced increments.
  4. Enjoy hanging on your mantle, canopy, Christmas tree, or room wall!

A silver and tan star garland.

What Worked

This DIY star garland was super easy to make, and these are the steps that made the biggest difference.

  1. Paint the back 1 and 1/2 times. What I mean by that is to overshoot the edges when you’re painting one of the coats on the front. That way you only have to paint the back once to get the appearance of full coverage (at least for all of the ways that this garland would be visible).
  2. Use a paint pen to add the design instead of trying to use a paintbrush. I used one from the Dollar Tree, and it worked on this craft. It did smudge on another craft though, so I can’t fully recommend it. I’d use a better quality one if you have it. The one I used was silver, but I think I would have liked it even better in a bright gold (especially on a white background).
  3. Add the design in sections. If you add the same section of the design to each star, rather drawing the entire design on a whole star at once. It helps for two reasons. First, it gives each part of the design a chance to dry. Second, it helps keep the design consistent across all of the stars.
  4. Glue the yarn to the top of one of the star points. This helps it hang straight down with the pattern facing forward. If you glue it at the center of the star, the top point will rotate forward, which causes the pattern to face the floor.

A close up of a large star on a star garland.

What I Would Do Differently

Overall, I love how this cute DIY garland turned out! The monochrome look matches really well in my home.

If I were going to make it again, there are a couple things I would change though.

  1. Don’t use metallic acrylic paint for the base. That’s only because I mixed it with white paint, so the pearlescent look was totally lost. If you’re not going to add white to the metallic paint, I think it would look beautiful though!
  2. Use higher contrast colors. The tan and the silver are really similar in tone, and I wish the design popped just a little more. I also love the idea of using rainbow colors or a happy yellow to make this garland perfect for year round decorating!
  3. Only use 2 coats of paint on the front of the stars. This especially true if you add white to your paint. There wasn’t enough of a difference between 2 coats and 3 coats to justify the extra time.

A star garland on a coral background.

What You’ll Need

To make this garland you’ll need a couple of tools (affiliate links):

  1. Low-temperature glue gun. I like to use a low-temperature glue gun when I’m working with styrofoam because it works better than a standard high-temperature glue gun. This is the one I use – it’s affordable and I love how well it’s lasted over the couple of years that I’ve had it.
  2. Paintbrush. I use this set for pretty much all of my crafting because it always has one that will work for my project.
  3. Styrofoam stars. I bought mine at the Dollar Tree, but if they don’t carry them at your local dollar store, you could try buying these ones.
  4. Acrylic paint. I used a combination of a gold paint and a white paint.
  5. Paint pen. I used one from the Dollar Tree, but can’t fully recommend it. I much prefer this one.
  6. Hot glue sticks. You don’t need anything fancy or with amazing strength here. Just the basic ones will work.
  7. Thick yarn. I used some that I bought at the thrift store, but any pretty and thick yarn from the dollar store would work. This yarn would also work well.
  8. Pen. I used this pen to mark where my stars should be glued.

DIY Christmas Crafts

If you’re looking for more easy dollar store Christmas crafts, be sure to check these out!

Click here to pin this project for later!

A Pinterest pin image of a star garland with title text at the top.

Yield: 1 garland

DIY Star Garland

A painted star garland coiled up on a salmon colored background.

This DIY star garland is one of my favorite Christmas garland ideas! It's so cute and chic, and it's affordably made with dollar store items.

Active Time 45 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $5


  • 7 Styrofoam Stars
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Paint Pen
  • Hot Glue Sticks
  • Thick Yarn
  • Pen


  • Paintbrush
  • Low-Temperature Hot Glue Gun


  1. Choose the paint color you'd like to use as the base color for your stars. Paint the front side of each star using a small to medium sized paintbrush. Depending on how opaque the color you choose is, you may need several coats. I painted the front side 3 times and the back side once.
  2. Once the stars have dried, use the paint pen to add the decoration. It's helpful to draw one part of the decoration on each star before adding in more of the decoration. This works best for two reasons 1) it allows the decorated part of each star to dry before adding more so you don't risk smudging the design 2) it makes it easier to keep the design consistent from star to star.
  3. Start by painting the dots around the edge of each star. It's easiest to use the point of your paint pen and rotate the star with one hand while you apply the dots with the other.
  4. Once the edges have dried, draw in the center star. The ridges make it hard to draw a traditional star shape, so I like to start with the center of each point of the drawn star on the ridge of the styrofoam star and draw a straight line down from each side to the closest ridge. This makes a triangle shape. Rotate the star to make this shape on each ridge, and the five triangles you draw will connect to make a star. Fill the star in with your paint pen.
  5. Once the stars have dried, draw three dots on each concave ridge (the ridge dipping down). The row of dots should fill out the space on the concave ridge between the filled in center star and the dot detailing on the edge of the styrofoam star.
  6. To make the design on the convex part of the star ridges (the ridge rising up), draw a line about 2/3 of the way up from the point of the drawn star to the edge of the styrofoam star. At the end of the 2/3 line, draw a swoop to the right and finish the line with a little circle. Draw a matching swoop 1/3 of the way down the line. From the bottom of the line, draw a line that goes more out than up, then swoop the end of the line up and back in and down to connect it and make a half a heart shape. From the connection point, draw another little line that goes out and back up and in to connect the rest of the heart shape. Draw a little heart at the top of the styrofoam star point. Rotate the styrofoam star and repeat the design on the right side of the remaining 4 points, and let dry. Note: I start on the right side of this design because I'm right handed, but if you're left handed, it will be easier to start on the left side.
  7. Use the lines from the design on the right side of each star point as a guide to determine where each part of the design should start for the left side of each star point. The designs don't need to be perfect to look good, but it the center point always matches up, it will look best. Draw in the left side of the design on each star point, and let dry.
  8. Heat your glue gun. Cut the yarn to the length you want your garland to be. I cut mine to be about 3' 6". Make a knot on each end of the yarn to stop the yarn from unravelling. Fold the yarn in half to find the center point, and mark that point with a pen to find where you'll place star number 4. Fold the yarn in half again to find where you'll place stars number 2 and 6. Based off of those markings, find the midway points and mark where you'll place stars number 1, 3, 5, and 7.
  9. Add a dollop of glue to the back of one of the star ridges. It should be about 1 cm down from the edge (if you glue it in the center, the weight of the star will make it rotate forward and the design won't show). Glue each star to its marked spot on the yarn. Note: If you used a center design other than a star that has a clear "up" direction (for example, a heart), make sure that design is facing up before gluing it onto the garland.


If I were to make this again, I would choose a paint color and paint pen color that had a larger difference in color. I think this would be really striking with colors that have a higher contrast.

I used a dollar store paint pen for this project, but I'd recommend using a better one if you have it. Since making this I've noticed that their paint pens can smudge a lot if they come into contact with any moisture.

This would look great with some other decorations between the stars! I think wood beads tied in place between the stars would look especially good.

Try making this super cute DIY star garland for Xmas to hang across your mantle!

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