Here’s how to DIY a parol depending on your craft level
Parols are one of the clearest signs that Christmas has arrived in the Philippines. While the country starts the celebrations when the “-ber” months hit, it’s when the parols come up that most of us feel the Christmas spirit.
Parols are star-shaped Filipino Christmas ornaments that are modeled after the star that led the Three Kings to the manger where Jesus was born. For many Filipinos, it’s a sacred symbol of the holiday and something that’s proudly displayed every Christmas season.
The traditional parol is made out of bamboo sticks fashioned into a five-point star and covered with Japanese paper. Before electricity, candles were used to illuminate the ornament.
While parols are a common sight (and easy buy) in the Philippines with an entire street dedicated to selling the decor during the holiday season, it’s much harder to come by in places like North America and Europe.
While it’s always an option to have one of your relatives on vacation in the motherland buy one for you, it might be easier (and more fun) to make it yourself. It can also become a family tradition to help you talk to your kids about your Filipino heritage. And it’s always heartwarming to see something you’ve made with your own two hands.
Here are some parol tutorials if you want to feel the Filipino spirit of Christmas this holiday season.
There are no bamboo sticks or rubber bands in this tutorial, just some colorful paper, string, a pair of scissors, and some tape. If you’re familiar with origami, you’re already halfway there. You can make these with your kids as tree ornaments to hang (or do most of the work and just have your kids sign their names and the date). This also works if you don’t have a lot of space and just want a touch of the Filipino Christmas spirit at home.
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If you’re a bit craftier (and lean towards the more traditional parol look), this tutorial fits the bill. It uses the traditional materials and methods to make a parol, and it’ll probably last you more than one Christmas season. While the addition of Christmas lights are absent in this tutorial, that isn’t stopping you from lighting it up on your own.
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This version of the parol pulls out all the stops. It utilizes the traditional technique in parol making, with the added bonus of Christmas lights. You’ll need to be craftier for this version to work, since it also uses materials like chicken wire and fairy lights, so it might not be a very kid-friendly activity. If you’re feeling extra competitive this Christmas season, it’s a good project to take on.