Thursday, January 31, 2013

recycled paper chains

Phew! It's been quiet around here lately, hmmmm? The So You Think You're Crafty competition has been keeping me busy during the hours I'm not hanging out with my kid, or designing book covers, or making robot party stuff, or, you know, sleeping.

It's Upcycling theme week over at So You Think You're Crafty, and I'll get to post my project here tomorrow since voting ends tonight; I think you'll like it.

In the meantime, here's an easy little project you can use to recycle (or, more properly, reuse or upcycle) some envelope liners, paper sacks, and wrapping paper into decorative paper chains.

Using scissors or a paper cutter, cut your envelope liners and wrapping paper into strips. I used strips about 3/4 inches wide and 9 inches long for these Christmas chains, but if you want to use wider strips, just try to keep them under a couple of inches wide so you won't have any trouble linking.

After you've made one circle (using glue dots or double-sided tape to connect the ends), just loop the next strip of paper through the circle and start making your chain, just like you did with construction paper back in grade school!

Keep going until you have plenty of length. Like with most party or holiday decorations, multiples look better than singles, so go all out. Spend a couple of afternoons and you'll be able to make a few 25-foot lengths. When the party's over, you can save your chains for next time or put them in the recycle bin.

The chains in these photos were some we made at Christmas, but you can make them for any holiday or for party decorations. If you have a specific party theme or color you're aiming for, you can accent with some rings made of construction paper or scrap-booking paper, while still keeping most of the rings recycled. It makes for a really cool look that's easy enough for even really little kids to help make.

Thanks for reading!

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