I created these stellated icosahedrons from clear plastic straws and curling ribbon. They make the perfect math classroom decoration to hang from the ceiling of my room.
I learned how to make these stellated icosahedrons from Janelle Graham. Her blog sadly no longer exists, but I was able to find an archived version of the website. I have linked to the archived versions of her tutorials at the bottom of this post.
Each stellated icosahedron requires 45 clear plastic straws. Make sure you buy non-bendy straws!
Each straw is cut in half, so you will actually need 90 straw pieces. If you wanted to make a larger stellated icosahedron, you could choose to use 90 straws and not cut them in half. I don’t have particularly tall ceilings in my classroom, so the stellated icosahedrons made with half-straws was the perfect size.
I chose to do mine in two different colors of curling ribbon, but you could do it all in one color as well. Janelle Graham recommends having students bring in a roll of curling ribbon (~$3/roll at Wal-Mart) to keep the costs down if you choose to make these with students.
Stellated Icosahedron Tutorial
Here are the archived versions of the six part tutorial that Janelle Graham put together to teach other math teachers to create their own stellated icosahedrons.
- Introduction to Project
- Supplies Required/Organization Tips for Doing this Project with Students
- Getting Started
- How to Create the Center of the Stellated Icosahedron
- How to Add the Stellations
- Extensions and Variations to this Project