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The decorative star stele for beginners

In this dark season, around Christmas, there is nothing better than lots of lights to dispel the darkness. So what would be better than building your own illuminated star stele?

How to make your front door brightly beautiful, you will learn here:

Material Tools
A birch plank 1,5m height, 25mm thickness (10 €) Jigsaw - I recommend the cordless jigsaw TE-JS 18
A light string, 50 LEDs with battery (7,99 €) Rotating sander - I recommend the cordless rotating sander TE-RS 18
3 screws, 5x80 Cordless screwdriver
Staples A 4mm, 5mm and 8mm drill
  A matching bit for the 5 x 80 screws
  Countersink for the drill holes

Step 1: Sawing the wood plank

And now let's get it started!

At first I placed my wood plank on two bridges. On the plank I freehand drew a wave and marked the total length. In my case it is 90 cm long and 26 cm wide. The foot of the stele should be at least 40 cm wide, otherwise the stele wouldn´t be stable. 

You can cut the wood plank easily along the previously drawn lines with with the jigsaw.

Step 2: Building the stele

I decided to sand the stele only with a 120 grit, because I wanted it to get a rustic look. Furthermore, I didn´t paint the decoration article with wood varnish.

The stele board is now sanded from both sides with the 80 mm sanding sheet. Once the first sanding is completed, the 80 grit is exchanged for a 120 grit and it should be noted here that sanding should always be done in the direction of the grain to obtain a good sanding pattern.

Step 3: Drawing the stars

Now let's talk about the stars next. At first I made star stencils out of wood (in different sizes) to have a size comparison on the stele. You can, however, also use paper templates, of course.  I decided to take the 11 mm version (11mm from tip to tip). As you can see on the picture, I arranged the stars very closely together. That´s because the light chain I chose to illuminate the stele has a LED distance of 10 cm. Therefore, you should also pay attention, that the stars are max. 7 cm away from each other.

Step 4: Cutting out the stars

Next we can drill the holes for the jigsaw blade. I recommend to take the 8mm drill. As you can see on the picture, I´ve drilled 5 holes in each star, so that you can easy saw along the line. Once you've sawn the stars, you can smooth the burr, created by sawing, with an orbital sander.

Step 5: The installation of the chain of lights

Each LED from the chain of lights gets a place in the star. That´s why it is necessary to drill a hole in each tip. I have set a mark, 1,5 cm away from each star tip, to see where the 50 holes need to be drilled. And now you need to trust your instinct. You drill 1-2 mm deep in the wood with your 5mm drill, and then the drill should be pointed in the direction of the star tip. You drill at about 45° towards the star top.

The holes are now also deburred once again with the rotating sander and then we can start with the installation of the LED fairy lights: Insert one LED in each hole. If this results difficults just re-drill it. Now you can secure the cables with the stapler, but be careful not to damage the cable.

Step 6: Attaching the stand

In order to attach the stand to the stele, we simply drill 3 holes with the 4mm drill into the base: First measure the center of the board and mark it with a pen. Then measure 10 cm to the left as well as to the right side from the center and mark it too. After drilling with the 4mm drill, you briefly countersink the holes from both sides of the board.

Now the foot can be screwed to the stele. Here it is helpful to hold your foot against the stele and mark the holes with a screw and then drill the holes with the 4mm drill. When screwing on the pedestal, make sure that the screws are screwed straight into the stele.

Step 7: The finish

At last you can screw the battery compartment on the board. 

If you want to protect the stele from bad weather and want that the wood gets darker, you can varnish the stele with linen oil Firnes.

I wish you a lot of fun with the project!

AuthorIngo Düde
Reading time8 minutes

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