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Lighted Dowel Star

Bright orange by day, brightly lit by night -- this dramatic star goes together quickly for about $11 plus lights of your choice.

Lighted dowel star

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

A few hours

Estimated Cost


Tools and Materials


  • Scissors
  • Tape measure
  • Painters' tape
  • Hot glue gun, glue sticks


  • 5 - 3/8-in x 36-in poplar square dowels, #27594
  • 1/16-in x 190-ft twisted jute twine, #349245
  • Valspar gloss spray paint, Island Orange

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

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Project Resources


Step 1

Download the Dowel Star Project Diagram. On a flat work surface, lay two dowels in an inverted V with the upper end of the left dowel (1) overlapping the upper end of the right one (2). Space the bottom ends about 24 inches apart. Then glue and hold the overlapping ends together while the glue cools.

Step 2

Lay a third dowel (3) so its left end tucks under Dowel 1 at the end and the underside of Dowel 2 about 14 inches from the bottom end. Glue the dowel in place.

Step 3

Lay Dowel 4 with its right end on top of the bottom end of Dowel 2. It should cross over Dowel 3 and under Dowel 1 about 14 inches from the bottom end. Glue in place.

Step 4

Lay Dowel 5 horizontally with the left end on top of Dowel 4 and underneath Dowels 1, 2, and 3. Glue in place.

Step 5

Spray-paint the assembled dowels. (We used Valspar gloss, Island Orange.)

Step 6

Cut ten pieces of twine roughly 18 inches long.

Step 7

Wrapping twine around dowel ends

Hang a point of the star over the edge of the work surface and glue one end of a piece of twine to the joint. Wrap the twine in a crisscross pattern (but not too tight). Glue the twine to the back face of the star and trim off any extra. Repeat for the remaining four points of the star and for the five intersections in the middle.

Step 8

DIY Christmas star decoration

If you plan to light the star, wrap a string of lights about 15 feet long around the dowels.

Good to Know

As an alternative to wrapping, tie the string of lights in place with 4-inch cable ties at each bulb. This ensures all the bulbs point outward from the front face of the star.