Drawing the 8 point star is easy!
Each star starts with a square of 4 units x 4 units.
Each star is made up of 8 x triangles with a height of 2 units and a base width of 2 units.
There are the 4 'cardinal points' (think compass N,S,E,W or clock face: 12, 3, 6, 9), These are the horizontal and vertical points which end at the edges of the square.
There are the 4 diagonal points, which 'point' to the corners of the square. This requires measuring along the diagonal 2 units from the centre point, and the base (which is at right angles to the other diagonal) is 2 units wide - one unit either side of the centre point.
To assist, each diagram has the scale to the left and top, and each mark in the the grid is one unit. The 1 unit gridlines are not necessary. They are there just for this demonstration. The important lines are shown below.
These diagrams below are a step by step method of drawing the flag.
- Paper or card - Graph paper is not necessary.
- Ruler marked with the units. ie 5mm markings if using 5mm units
- 4H pencil is best (as it draws a very light line but not often used) If no 4H use a 2B
- Sharpener - the pencils must be sharp!
- Eraser - to clean up the guidelines
Tip: The flag is based on "units" so if you're using centimetres, it's 4 centimetres x 4 centimetres. If you're using 0.5cm units (ideal for a flag on a sheet of A4 paper) then the square is 0.5cm x 4 = 2 centimetres square.
Tip: If this is the first time, and you're just drawing the star then make it easy by making it big! Use a large scale to draw a large star. On a sheet of A4 paper, you could squeeze in a star with a unit size 10cm or 20 x 20cm (A4 is 29.7cm x 21 cm).
Tip: If constructing a flag, consider saving time by drawing one star on light card use it as a template to draw the outline of the stars. If parents or teachers are using this as an exercise, consider providing pre-cut 4 unit squares of paper or light card
Download the Files
- All Project files are in a single ZIP file archive.
- All printable files are in PDF Format
- Read the README text file for best results
- No Zip extractor or PDF Reader? Visit the Resources Page
Step 1 - The 4 x 4 Square
Start with a square 4 x 4 units
Drawing the grid lines is not necessary.
The light blue lines in the diagrams are grid lines. They are to assist with visualising the sizes.
First, start by drawing a square 4 units by 4 units.
If the flag is based on centimetres, then the star is 4 x 4 centimetres. If you're drawing the flag on a sheet of A4 paper, then 5mm is a great size for the unit. In this case the star is 2 cm x 2cm.
Tip: Don't confuse "grid lines" with "guidelines."
Step 2 - Draw 4 Guide Lines
The First 2 Guidelines:
The Diagonal Lines: Line up the ruler from corner to opposite corner, there is no measuring needed. But it's important to be accurate, so take your time, make sure the line starts directly and finishes in the corners. Repeat for the other diagonal. Where they cross is called the "centre-point."
The Next 2 Guidelines:
1 / The vertical line: From a corner, measure 2 units along top and make a small light mark. Then measure 2 units along bottom and make another light mark. Line up the ruler from top to bottom along the marks. If the line crosses directly through the intersection of the diagonal lines -- centre-point -- and finishes at the opposite bottom mark, lightly draw the vertical line.
2 / The horizontal line: Measure 2 units down from the left top corner and make a small light mark. Measure 2 units down from the top right corner and make a light mark. Line up the ruler from left to right on those marks. When the line starts on the one mark, crosses directly through the centre-point -- the intersection of the diagonal lines -- and finishes on the opposite mark, lightly draw the horizontal line.
Are all the lines crossing at the centre-point? If not re-measure the horizontal and vertical lines along the edges of the square. The diagonals should always cross at the centre-point, if done correctly at the start.
Tip: Always draw the diagonals first. If drawn accurately they will always give an exact centre-point, which at the start makes it easier to draw the horizontal and vertical lines accurately, because you'll have now have 3 points to draw through.
Step 3 - Draw the 4 Cardinal Points
This is the first of the four cardinal points.
The diagonal guide lines have helped centre the horizontal and vertical lines, but are not required right at this moment. So it's easier for you to see, we're going to hide the diagonal lines and bring them back when they are needed.
Before starting to draw, note that the grid lines on image shows the base is 2 units wide and meet 2 units at the top of the square.
- Align the ruler on the horizontal line and measure 1 unit either side of the centre-point and make light marks for the base.
- Align the ruler with two points: one of the base marks and the other where the vertical guideline meets the square.
- When aligned carefully draw a light line
- Then repeat steps 2 and 3 for the other side
- There should be an isosceles triangle with a base 2 units wide and 2 units high (or 2 right angle triangles with a one unit base an two units high.)
Draw the Second Cardinal Point
- Using the base marks you've just drawn for first point, but this time draw the lines down to the opposite point.
Tip: Some people might find it easier to rotate the paper 180 degrees so when drawing the point it is always "up."
Draw the Third Cardinal Point
- In the same manner as the first and second point, but drawing left and right
- On the horizontal line mark from the centre one unit up and one unit down
- From each mark, draw a line to the centre of the right side of the grid, where the horizontal line crosses the square guide line
Tip: Some people find it easier to rotate the paper 90 degrees, so that the alignment is the same as the first two points -- up and down
Draw the Fourth Cardinal Point
- Repeat the process by drawing the lines to the other side of the square
The Diagonal Points
To make it a little easier to see the diagrams, this next section will hide the cardinal points, the horizontal and vertical guidelines, and the grid lines.
Tip: If you are using an Vector (SVG) program like Inkscape there is no need to do this section. Simply "Group" the 4 cardinal points, "duplicate" the group, and "rotate" the group 45 degrees. Done!
The diagonal points are the same size as the cardinal points.
Finding the Point for the Diagonal Points
- From the centre-point, measure 2 units either side of the centre-point on each diagonal lines and make a mark.
- There should be four marks.
- These marks are the four points of the diagonal points
The Base Lines for the Diagonal Points
- From the centre-point measure one unit along each diagonal and make a mark
- The marks should be 2 units apart and are the bases for the points that are at right angles to the base
Double check accuracy before continuing.
- Each inner mark should be 1 unit from the centre-point
- Each outer mark should be 2 units from the centre-point
- The inner mark should be in the middle of the centre-point and the outer mark - one unit apart
Remember: Inner marks are the base markers. Outer marks are point markers
Draw the First Diagonal Point
- With the marks drawn it is simply connect the dots.
- Find a diagonal base line, of two inner dots
- Connect to an outer mark that is at right angles to the base line
- Make sure you connect to the point on the outer mark
- As for the cardinal points, carefully and lightly draw the lines from the base to the point
Tip: It may help to rotate the paper 45 degrees so the points are "up"
Draw the Second Diagonal Point
Draw the Third Diagonal Point
Draw the Fourth Diagonal Point
Step 4 - Putting it all together
You should have a drawing that looks something like this. And now the eight point star is ready to be cleaned up.
If you are using it as a drawing
- First, carefully carefully erase all the guidelines, the square and the construction lines inside the star. (You did draw the lines lightly, didn't you?)
- Then, draw around the outline so that the star can be easily seen.
Here are the last remaining diagonal guidelines on the outside of the star, make sure you erase them as well.
However, if you are creating a template or making the flag, there really is no need to clean the star up...
There's a handy 'cheat' coming up in the next tip!
Cut Out the Star to Paste or Use as a Template
- If you are making a template there is really no need to clear up the construction lines
- With a pair of scissors carefully cut out the star. Take your time to make sure your cuts are accurate as possible
Congratulations! There's no need to draw more stars -- unless you really want to. Use the newly cut out star as a template and carefully draw the outline for the Draw a Flag Project, or to cut out more stars for the Make a Flag Project
Tip: If you are going to paste the stars onto the Make a Flag project, after you cut the stars out paste the side with the lines to the paper. That way the lines will be hidden and your scissor work will look great ! 😉