I got this creative idea from Crafts By Amanda blog. She has a wonderful step-by-step tutorial on how to make this. My advice to you is to use 5 gallon paint bucket stir sticks and not the regular paint sticks.
This was a fun and basically free craft! I live in Florida so the starfish are readily available. I used hot glue to secure the sticks together by gluing a shortened paint stick across the backs of the sticks. Used twine to make a hanging loop. Done!