A paper chain is an easy, mess-free art project – easy, fun cooperative learning that I used quite often when teaching Art Class in Elementary School. You can hang paper chains as festive party decorations, or you can just make them for fun.
Step 1: Choose your paper. We recycled my old scrapbook paper. I have A LOT of scrapbook paper that I do not use. It has been in my closet for over ten years and this will be the perfect way to recycle it. My daughter and I looked through my very tall stack of colored and printed papers, searching for Thanksgiving and Christmas theme colors that went well together. TIP **If you are not a scrap booker, leftover Christmas wrapping paper also works very well.
Step 2: Cut your paper. Try 1″ by 8.5 long. Or size as needed, all strips should be the same size if possible, unless you plan to make some links smaller than others. I took my scrapbook paper to an office supply store and used their heavy duty paper cutter to cut mine into strips. It was quick, accurate and easy way to cut many at once. For small children, you may want to draw lines on the paper with a ruler and have them practice cutting their strips with scissors.
Step 3: Tape, glue or staple the ends of the strip into a ring. Weave the second ring into place, and tape, glue or staple it and so on. Create a pattern with the different colors/designs and repeat the pattern. This is a great way to teach small children what a pattern is. Make it as long as needed.
***Get creative: make a necklace, christmas wreath, and garland for tree. Use single rings as napkin rings for your dinner table!
We used our paper chains as festive garland for Thanksgiving and Christmas decoration for our November “recycled rescue kitten photo shoot”. The kittens really enjoyed playing in the paper chain garland. They poked their paws through the holes to pick it up and one of them got a ring stuck on its nose while trying to chew it! It was adorable and fun. We also used paper chains to decorate the kitten cages and tables at our adoption events at Petsmart.
Here are a few photos from our November rescue kitten photo shoot with paper chains: