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Simple Shim Star

Build these simple stars by the dozen to display indoors or outside. Each one only costs about $2.

Shim stars hanging from an entry gable

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

A few hours

Estimated Cost


Tools & Materials


  • Wood glue
  • Wire cutters (optional)
  • 120-grit sandpaper


  • Wooden shims, pack of 14, #3969
  • 24-gauge galvanized steel wire, #52686
  • Rust-Oleum 11-ounce spray paint, Metallic Gold and Metallic Silver

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.

Missing anything? Shop Online


Each pack of 14 shims makes one star with four shims left over. Using three packs of shims, you can make four stars.

Step 1

Sand each shim with 120-grit sandpaper, and sand off any jagged wood at the thin end. On a flat surface, lay out the star shape using 10 shims that overlap at the ends. Arrange them until you get the look you want.

Step 2

Form the star shape with shims

Remove one shim at a time from your star shape, apply a dab of wood glue to the parts of the shim that touch the adjoining shims, and replace it in the group. Lightly press the top of the wood joint to distribute the glue. Repeat four more times and let the whole assembly dry at least two hours.

Good to Know

By applying glue to every other shim as you work your way around the star, you’ll avoid disturbing the pieces you just glued.

Step 3

In a well-ventilated area, lay each star on newspaper and spray on a metallic finish. (You can also use spray paint of any color or a clear polyurethane finish.) When the paint dries, flip the star over and spray the other side.

Step 4

Hanging shim star

You can hang individual stars on wire brads. To fasten stars to a garland, cut pieces of 24-gauge wire, wrap it around one of the shims near a star tip, and twist it around the garland.