Sunday, June 16, 2013

Flax Stars (Matariki Part 1)

Matariki is the Maori name for the constellation of the Pleiades,  and the celebration at mid-winter lends itself to the theme of stars and starlight.  This year I recruited our family friend Louise, a student of Raranga (flax weaving), to help with this year’s craft activity of making stars from flax. 

We said a Karakia (prayer) to give thanks for the day and for the flax, and carefully harvested from our flax bush in the back yard. 

The flax needed stripping, Wiping clean,And scraping. 

Even the furry family members got involved.

We also wanted to boil the flax, so just for fun took the opportunity to “christen” the thermette we’d bought for camping and haven’t had an opportunity to use yet.

and there was plenty of boiling water for hot drinks too.

We put the pot on the stove to maintain a rolling boil, then put each bunch of flax in for 1 minute

Then dunked it straight into some cold water

Spin cycle

Then hung to air.

When the flax had dried, we used this pattern from the Christchurch City Libraries to craft it into stars.  The younger children found the flax tricky to work, so made theirs using strips of coloured paper.

(Sorry about the photo quality in these last two shots – the flash on my camera wasn’t working so I had to resort to the phone camera.)

Linking up with:



  1. What a great resource for others to follow. Thanks.


  2. I'd love to give this a go one of these days, your stars are amazing. What a great thing to do with the kids.
    Thank you so much for linking up a true Matariki Craft with the Matariki Crafting linky!

  3. im so going to do this (and i so want a thermette!). wonderful stuff x

    1. We got ours from - here's one of their trademe listings but ours was a bigger size: