I had a totally rocking gum wrapper chain - it was the perfect colorful mix of Juicy Fruit, Doublemint, and Big Red. I had completely forgotten about the lost art of the gum wrapper chain until recently - my daughters were making bracelets from an American Girl Doll craft kit and one of the bracelets was an origami paper chain that was made in the same way that you make gum wrapper chains. It got me thinking that we could use the same method to create cute paper chain napkin rings for Easter. I pulled out the leftover scrapbook paper from the birdhouse place cards we had just made and put my girls to work! Being the master crafters that they are, in no time they had made eight adorable napkin rings:
I asked my girls to give me a tutorial so I could take some pics and fill you in on how they made their magic. We started with several patterns of heavyweight scrapbook paper that I cut into 3" x 1/4" strips with my paper cutter (if you are using thin paper such as origami paper, cut the paper into 3" x 1" strips and fold it lengthwise twice so you end up with 3" x 1/4" strips). To create each link in the chain, fold the paper strip in half and then make two more folds by bringing each of the ends to the crease at the midpoint of the paper's length:
Push the ends of the piece that you just made through the loops of the last piece on your chain:
Continue to make the folded pieces and attach them to one another in a zig zag pattern until your chain reaches its desired length (each of the napkin rings we made had 20 paper strips). When you are ready to create your ring, unfold the loops of the last piece that was added to your chain, bend your chain into a circle, and insert the two ends of the paper strip through the loops of the piece at the other end of your chain:
Finally, take each end of the unfolded paper strip and fold it down into the middle of the end piece so that it is back to its original folded shape, which closes the ring:
This is a great kids craft - it was quick and easy to do and my girls are looking forward to impressing their grandparents with their craftiness when we use their napkin rings along with our DIY birdhouse place card holders to decorate our table for Easter.
I guess I need to move on from crafting to figuring out what I'm going to cook this Easter - but that's just not nearly as fun...