Crafty Paper Chains for Christmas

I know!! Me, doing an “arts and crafts” blog post!! “How ridiculous” I hear you scream into your morning tea as you dunk a Ladyfinger and I thoroughly agree with you. But bear with me, let’s see where this is going shall we?

As a child, one of the things I loved about Christmas was paper-chains. We used to buy those packets of gummed paper strips that you licked and stuck together. Of course the glue was always too weak or one licked it too hard and the chains would break at some inopportune moment. But then I realised a much better way to make paper-chains and it is this method which I shall now describe to you.

What you’ll need

The basic material is simply rolls of crepe paper. I used to buy these as a child from Woolies, but they are a little harder to find in the shops and so of course I turn to eBay.

The rolls I bought are called Streamer Serpentin and come from Unique Industries of Philadelphia. Each roll is 81 feet x 1.75 inches (which is 24.6m x 4.45cm for those who care about the metric system. For what it’s worth, I do not.)

IMG_20141125_171938

They used to only be available in the primary colours plus yellow and white, but now there is a whole range of colours, even black, as that last link should show you.

IMG_20141125_172111You will also need a ruler, pen or pencil, scissors and a stapler.

I chose four: Hot Pink, Baby Blue, Lime Green and Hot Yellow (basically red, blue, green, yellow) with each one costing me £1.23 including postage. Out of the packet they look like this:

IMG_20141125_172417

What you’ll do

IMG_20141125_172548Select one of the rolls and simply mark every eight inches. For speed, I put a correction fluid mark on the ruler eight inches from the actual end of the ruler. This makes for much fast marking.

IMG_20141125_174709If you want to, you can do this on all four rolls, but I only marked one.

Then you simply take the ends of all four rolls and cut at the marks.

IMG_20141125_181150This should leave you with a large colourful pile of eight inch strips.

Next comes the hardest bit, deciding on a sequence. I’m a little bit CDO (it’s like OCD but all the letters are in alphabetical order). You could of course choose to do a rainbow, but that presents you with the problem of what to do at the end (repeat or reverse the rainbow)? I opted instead for a sequence that simply looked nice.

IMG_20141125_181518

Then just staple your first chain link and start adding to your chain. You could use sticky tape or glue, but I’ve found a stapler to be far quicker and the staples hardly show.

Remember to stop and measure how much you’ve done from time to time. 4 x 81 foot rolls will give you 81 feet of chain so you might want to make shorter lengths. Some of mine will be going around a child’s bedroom (she doesn’t know it yet) and some around mine for old time’s sake.

And there you have it.

The Health and Safety bit

  • The crepe paper will choke you to death if you eat it.
  • The packaging will suffocate you if you hold it over your face.
  • The ruler hurts if someone whacks you on the bottom with it.
  • The pen will indelibly mark your white walls and you’ll have to move house to escape it.
  • The scissors will stab you if you let them.
  • The stapler will never make you a goth no matter how many staples you put through your fingers.
  • The paper chains will burn your house down and you’ll all die if you put them near hot lights or naked flames.
  • And the tea will instantly destroy your Ladyfinger if you attempt to dunk it and will equally destroy any other Ladyfinger that you use to try and get the first one out.

Enjoy Christmas responsibly and fit a smoke detector.

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About Words of Little Relevance

Freelance stage manager; software and web tester; Excel and map geek; Tweeter; Blogger and Cake Eater. Often back-stage in and around Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire where I move scenes, or play with lights or sound.
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2 Responses to Crafty Paper Chains for Christmas

  1. Paws says:

    I’m hoping there will be enough for the downstairs of the house too.

    I’ve been trained in stapler operation if that helps?

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