Craft & Design Paper Crafts Science
Math Monday: 12-Card Star Puzzle

By George Hart for the Museum of Mathematics


Here is a challenging star construction you can make from twelve playing cards. The underlying geometric form is the third stellation of the rhombic dodecahedron. However, there is a twist in this design that makes it somewhat tricky (but fun) to assemble.


To make your own copy, cut four slits in each of twelve cards, as indicated by solid lines in the template below.


Fold each on the diagonal shown as a dotted line. Try assembling them by connecting long slits to short slits, guided by the image above.


No tape or glue is needed; it all locks together when the final piece is inserted. If you give up, you can find detailed instructions here.

8 thoughts on “Math Monday: 12-Card Star Puzzle

  1. I not only made this one, but I made one using 30 pieces cut using the template for this one. The cards were a little heavy and I had to cheat to keep the weight of the star from pulling pieces apart as I got near the end. This is one of the few stars that I needed glue for.

Comments are closed.


Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

View more articles by Gareth Branwyn