Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Paper Chains, the tutorial

I said I'd post a few tutorials, and since this is a Christmas one, I better get it in before Christmas.

Paper chains were, pretty much the decorations of choice when we were growing up. It was officially Xmas when the ma came home with crepe paper, and we started the relentless folding. I thought these were just bog standard DIY decorations, but surprisingly, my post about paper chains, in 2010, has become my all-time most read blog post, and I've had people email me about how to make them. Well, finally, here's a little tutorial. (Only took me 2 years to get this together!).

When I mean little, I mean rough, I'm still up the walls moving into the new studio and I've got a few project loose ends to tie, but I want to post it before Christmas, and say sorry about the delay to anyone who asked for tutorials... And it wont win Christmas decoration of the year, I'm sure someone out there has done a much prettier tutorial, but its a great project to do with kids. So don't fuss about exact measurements, angles, straightness, sellotape sticking out, etc. Just have fun.

 Materials: crepe paper, scissors, sellotape
Note: you can do this with 1 colour or multi-colour, the choice is yours.

Step 1:  Taking your pack of crepe paper, cut roughly 1 inch off the end. You will be using just 2 strips at a time, so choose your next colour or cut 2 strips off the same roll

Step 2:  Place the 2 strips at 90 degree angle and tape together. 

Step 3: Fold the black, as neatly as possible, over the red, keeping the 90 degree angle.

Step 4: Fold the red over the black, as neatly as possible, keeping the 90 degree angle

Repeat Step 3 and 4 until you come to the end of the paper. 

To finish, simply tape the ends of the black and red together. 
I like to keep hold of the folds while I am making it, but if the kids are not able to hold the folds easily, just let it hang down while they are making it

To change colour

To change the colours simple tape the next colour to the previous colour eg, tape purple to the end of the red, yellow to the end of the black. 
Take care not to have any sellotape on the fold otherwise it wont bend properly otherwise.

 Repeat either until you hands get tired or you run out of crepe paper!

Play around with the thickness of the paper, use a 2 inch strip instead of 1, play around with the colour combinations. These paper chains will last years, if they don't get squished in the attic. And to me, they are far prettier than all the plastic tinsel in town!


barazile, livpåIrland said...

I'd forgotten all about these, I remember making them and the other paper chains, where we took short strips of paper and made long chains of interlocking loops, if you know what I mean...
Anyway, I must keep this in mind, too late for Christmas now, but maybe I could do them with my 3rd and 4th class pupils for St Patrick's Day or Easter, with appropriate colours. Thanks!

Stitchlily said...

These are great for kids to do, and yup, I've made them for Easter and St. Patricks day too! Even black ones for Halloween look good.

Anonymous said...

we can't find our foil ceiling decorations(not in the attic with everything else christmassy)then i remembered some crepe paper i had, i used to make these as a child so problem sorted