Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A New Twist on an Old Tradition

December is here finally- or maybe a bit too quickly... either way Christmas is only 25 more days away! I remember making paper chains when I was younger to count down the days until Christmas, having them hang from the front door for my very first homemade advent calendar.

Today's blog was going to be that very thing; a paper chain- only I was going to make it out of scrapbook paper instead of the traditional red and green construction paper. Then on my way to Michael's to pick up the scrapbook paper, I changed my mind; that would be such a waste of beautiful scrapbook paper; there has to be a better way. So, I came up with this idea instead. :)

I went to Jo-Ann's instead, and went straight to their remnant bins. That is where I found my first piece of fabric, and quickly I matched up 3 other fabrics and made my purchase. The lady cutting my fabric wanted to know what I was doing, and I told her my idea (hoping at this point it would work- or you would be making paper chains tonight) and she loved it. So... without waiting any longer here is tonight's new craft idea! :)

Project Note: I did the prepwork, just like you would prep the paper strips for your little one, this just has a few more steps. The project after that point is very simple and easy to do.

1 package of self-adhesive velcro- the package I used had 4 clear strips that were 3.5 inches long
1/3 yard of 4 different cotton fabrics
1/2 yard of fusible backing- I asked the counter lady which would be best for the ability to fold but not lose its strength.
Iron- Pre-heated to Cotton Setting

Step 1: Cut each of your 4 fabrics into 7" x 12".

Step 2: Place your 4 pieces of cotton fabric on to the fusible fabric with the shiny side up.
Note: The shiny side is where the glue is, and will ruin your iron if you iron the wrong side.

Step 3: Iron the fabric pieces to the fusible fabric. The time to adhere the fabrics together will vary depending on your heat setting of the iron.
Note: It is very important to make sure the fabric "seals" completely. You should not be able to pull the cotton and fusible fabric apart when completed.

Step 4: Cut apart the 4 pieces to look like this.

Step 5: Cut each of the 4 colors in to 1" strips. You will have 7 of each color.

Step 6: Remove all of the edges that have the fusible fabric showing.

Step 7: Open your package of velcro and pair up the hook and loop so you will have a set. I had 4 sets in my package.
Note: How many sets you end up with will depend on which package you purchase.

Step 8: Cut your strips of velcro into 1/2" pieces.
Note: It is easier to leave the adhesive backing on the matching sets for this.

Step 9: Take 1 strip of fabric; place face up on table.

Step 10: Take 1 of the pieces of velcro. Remove the adhesive backing. Place about 1" from the end of the fabric strip. Apply pressure to bond the fabric and velcro.

Step 11: Fold other end of fabric strip to make a loop.

Step 12: Remove remaining adhesive backing. Apply the inside end of the loop on to the adhesive. Apply pressure to bond the fabric and velcro.

Step 13: Your completed chain link should look like this.

Step 14: Repeat Step 10, Step 11 and Step 12 until all fabric strips and are used.

Step 15: Connect your chain links in any pattern you like. We used 7 of the black patterned fabric and 6 of each the blue, red and green pattern fabric.

You can store the chain links in a zippered storage bag, or you can even make a little sack out of fabric that you used. Thread some ribbon through it and you can have a pretty little bag to hold your new Christmas chain. :)

1 comment:

  1. I just realized that I did not specifically say the chain should have 25 links. That is how many you should have for a Christmas Countdown and with this project you will have 28 completed links- with 3 extra in case some get lost or damaged.

    Of course, you could make 40 links and begin your countdown right after Thanksgiving too! :)