Friday, December 19, 2008

A link to the past.

Paper chains were always my favorite holiday decoration. I was a purist and a control freak and made sure that all paper chains in our house were only red, green and white. I hated when my brother made a chain to count down the days until christmas. He'd remove one link every day which made me terribly sad. A chain with only a few links? Tragedy.

I was thinking about paper chains the other day, thinking that if I did decorate for the holidays this year (which I’m not), I’d definitely make one. And then I thought "why not make one that can stay up all year?" and then I thought "why not make it out of fabric?"

So, instead of packing for the weekend, instead of making a dress for my trip, I made some fabric "paper" chains:

fabric (paper) chain

Here’s how to make your very own: cut two pieces of fabric 1.5” x 8”. You can use one fabric or two different fabrics.

Cut a piece of Heat & Bond 1.5" x 8" or slightly smaller. Bond fabric together per instructions on the package.

Now, here’s the fun part. Decide if you want your links to have a straight edge or a pinked edge. Trim them accordingly. I found that even the straight edges needed a final trim with the rotary cutter.

Cut a small strip of H&B and iron it to one end of your chain as close to the edge as possible.


Remove the paper, pass strip through previous link, adjust so ends overlap and iron.


Add links until you reach the desired length.

fabric (paper) chain

fabric (paper) chain

I searched around and found a couple different tutorials for fabric chains. Here’s one that uses starch and glue and this one shows you how to make your links detachable so you can arrange them differently whenever you feel like it.

fabric (paper) chain

I hope you like these as much as I do. I'll have to resist the urge to decorate every doorway with these. Or maybe I won't try to resist...

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