How to Make a Starburst Christmas Tree Topper

Top your Christmas tree with sophisticated, space-age style this holiday season with a starburst-inspired tree topper made from inexpensive craft supplies.

Handmade starburst tree topper on a white Christmas tree.

How to Make a Starburst Christmas Tree Topper

Materials Needed:

  • 6" foam floral sphere
  • 9 wooden dowels sized 3/8"
  • 8 wooden dowels sized 1/4"
  • 12 wooden dowels sized 3/16"
  • small handsaw with miter box
  • hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • pen or marker
  • roll of kraft paper
  • tape measure
  • spray paint
  • glitter spray paint

Measure and Mark 3/8-Inch Dowels

Use a tape measure and pen or marker to mark each 3/8" thickness dowel at 12 inches in length (Image 1). Next, measure and mark each 1/4" wooden dowel at six inches in length (Image 2). Then, measure and mark each 3/16" dowel at four inches in length.

Cut Dowels

Cut all dowels to size with a small handsaw inside of miter box.

Man cutting dowels with small handsaw inside a miter box.

Cut Dowels to Make Christmas Tree Topper

Spray Paint Dowels

Add a base coat to each dowel with spray paint. To prevent drips, hold can six inches away from the surface and move it back and forth while spraying in a steady, controlled manner.

Starburst Christmas Tree Topper

Spray Paint Dowels for Christmas Tree Topper

Insert Top and Side 3/8-Inch Dowels

Thinking of the foam sphere as a clock with 12 hours, insert first dowel at 12:00, the very top center of the sphere (Image 1). Using placement of the first 3/8" dowel as a guide, insert dowels into foam sphere at 1:30, 3:00, 4:30, 7:30, 9:00 and 10:30 (Image 2). Note: The bottom 6:00 position is left open for placement atop the tree.

Insert Front and Back 3/8-Inch Dowels

Insert a 3/8" dowel in the center of the front of the foam floral sphere and another 3/8" dowel in the center of the back of the sphere.

Starburst Christmas Tree Topper

Insert Front and Back Dowels for Christmas Tree Topper

Secure Dowels With Glue

Remove each 3/8" dowel from foam sphere, then add a dollop of hot glue to its tip (Image 1). Re-insert each 3/8" dowel into its previous position, ensuring a tight, secure fit. Once in place, add hot glue around the space between the foam sphere and the replaced dowel (Image 2). Note: This extra layer of glue will add more stability to each dowel.

Mark Placement Then Insert 1/4-Inch Dowels

Using marker or pen, sketch a triangle directly onto the foam sphere between three of the inserted 3/8" dowels (Image 1). This triangular shape will be used as a guide for the placement of each 1/4" dowel. Next, Insert a 1/4" dowel directly into the marked triangle's center (Image 2). Once a hole has been created, remove dowel, and add glue to its tip then reinsert it. Repeat this step until all 1/4" dowels are in place. Note: Don't forget to leave a dowel-free area on the bottom of the sphere so the topper will better sit atop the tree.

Insert 3/16-Inch Dowels

Once all 1/4" dowels are in place, fill in empty spaces between each 1/4" dowel with 3/16" dowels following the same steps you used for the medium and large dowels.

Man inserting smaller dowels into foam ball.

Insert 3/16-Inch Dowels

Spray-Paint Dowels and Foam Sphere

Once all dowels are securely in place, add two solid coats of spray paint to the foam sphere and dowels. Once base color has dried, add a final coat of glitter spray paint for extra holiday sparkle. Use your thumbs to create an indentation along the dowel-free bottom of the foam sphere, then place on top of tree.

Dowels and Foam Sphere for Christmas Tree Topper

Spray-Paint Dowels and Foam Sphere for Tree Topper

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