When it comes to decorations, you can use homemade classic crafts to make a big impact for a cozy space. Paper chains are an easy way to dress up any room for any holiday. Usually you'll see them around Christmas, but I decided they would bring just the right amount of festivity for the 4th of July.
Do you remember making paper chains as a kiddo? There was always some event or visit that we would be counting down the days until it'd arrive, and having a paper chain to pull off as we got closer and closer just made it a little more special.
Your supply list to make a paper chain consists of paper, scissors, and some way to adhere the strips of paper together. You could even eliminate the scissors and tear the paper into strips if you really wanted to. The point is this is a super simple craft for all levels and that kiddos can definitely help with.
One thing I love about making paper chains is that you can customize them. Kiddos (or adults) can have fun coloring white printer paper with stars, fireworks, dots, lines, etc. and it can be linked and help create a super festive decoration.
- Pre-cut your strips. If you want a uniform look, measure and mark your strips of paper. Then cut them all at the same time.
- Measuring the window, mantle or shelf you want to hang your garland from can help you make sure you have enough strips of paper ready.
- If you're going to do a pattern, count how many of each color strips you have to plan ahead. I did a typically red, white, blue pattern but you could customize this easily by changing the order, number of each color, etc. based on what paper you have available.
- You can use plain printer paper for a paper chain garland or countdown, no problem. I'd recommend it for a countdown if little hands will be tearing the paper. For my garland I used cardstock and it's a bit thicker/sturdier.
- Construction paper- you can use regular printer paper, color it, cardstock, 12x12, etc.
- Tape, glue or stapler- this part is up to you and what supplies you have on hand. Stapling the paper is the easiest and quickest way to assemble the paper chain, but glue may be the most aesthetically pleasing since you can't see it easily.
How to Hang Your Paper Chain
To hang your paper chain you can use thumb tacks, command strips, tape or string. I like to use thumb tacks or to hook them onto the edge of a window blind valence. You want it to drape a bit so it's not straight across, so make sure when you're hanging it there's a bit of room and it's not really tight.
When to Make a Paper Chain
- Christmas- you could do red, white and green, or have a paper snowflake tied to every other piece.
- Make a paper chain in school colors for a back to school countdown... or a countdown to summer.
- This would be a fun birthday countdown idea for kiddos. Make a month's work (so 30-31) and let them build the excitement leading up to their special day.
- Valentine's Day is my favorite day to be cheesy! This would be super cute hanging from a doorway or as a part of a cute Valentine's garland or with a Galentine's table.
I recommend using thumb tacks or command strips. If you have command strips under your mantle you can tie a piece of string to it and around your paper chain if that's easier.
Plan out how many days you are from the special event. For each day make one paper chain. As you get closer remove a chain for everyday. Eventually you'll make your way through the entire countdown.
Other holiday decorating ideas
- Decorating Ideas for Christmas Brunch
- Farm Animal Cake Pops- Easy Pig, Chick and Cow
- Easter Bunny Wreath
- Our Easter Scavenger Hunt- +Printable!
Paper Chain- DIY Garland
- 1 Pair of scissors or x-acto knife.
- 1 stapler could also use glue or scotch tape.
- 3 thumb tacks
- 6 pieces construction paper or cardstock. more or less depending on size of chain. Paper type and colors are optional.
- Cut your paper into 1-2 inch strips, depending on what size of chain you want. This is also something kiddos can help with so it doesn't have to be uniform!
- Wrap a piece of paper in a circle and staple the ends together.
- Thread your next strip of paper through the stapled circle and staple the second strip of paper, creating a ring/loop.
- Repeat the process until your pattern is complete or your paper chain is as long as you're wanting. You can always add more!