Poland is a country rich in folk art.
Poland is a country rich in folk art.

The people of Poland cherish their heritage, and their centuries-old, indigenous folk art is still a common sight in Poland. Many Polish children cut paper "gwiazdy" -- Polish for stars. This tradition originated from the Kurpie and Lowicz regions of Poland. The red corn poppy is Poland's national flower and was so named because these poppies bloomed in a field used in a World War I battle. The floral symbol is often used in Polish decoration.

Polish Gwiazdy

Gwiazdy can be made with paper and scissors.
Gwiazdy can be made with paper and scissors.

The cutting of Polish paper stars is easy to accomplish with paper, pencil and scissors. Fold a square piece of paper three times, so you have a triangle. Draw a curved line from the middle point of the triangle over to the edge. Cut off the curved end. Draw shapes on the paper, going from the outer edge to the middle and then back again to the edge. The shapes can be intricate for older cutters or simple triangles or rectangles for younger ones. Draw the same shape on the other side so the pattern is symmetrical. Cut along the lines and cut the shapes out. Cut a curved or intricate line along the bottom. Unfold the paper and you have a star to hang in your window.

Stuffed Corn Poppy

The corn poppy is the national flower of Poland.
The corn poppy is the national flower of Poland.

Draw a corn poppy shape on cardboard to use as a template. Trace around the template on two white paper plates and cut out the design. Paint the bottom of the plates red with a green center. Put the two plates together, with the insides of the plates facing each other. Staple all around the edges, leaving an opening in the top. Stuff shredded paper or newspaper inside the flower and staple the opening shut. Your beautiful flower can be hung from the ceiling to celebrate Polish holidays.