Time to decorate! A paper (fabric) chain tutorial

I try not to start decorating for Christmas until after Thanksgiving has passed, so we waited until Saturday to buy a wreath for our front door. Now that the turkey’s been carved and leftovers eaten, I feel like it’s ok for me to put the Christmas mix back on the ipod and let it get a little play time and to start with a little decorating.

We don’t have our tree yet, but I started this little project which will be used to decorate the tree. I’ve always loved paper chains, and decided to upgrade it a bit this year, using my favorite fabrics.

For this project, you’ll need a selection of fabric, and some heavy fusible interfacing. (Velcro and/or snaps would be needed if you decide to go for the optional fastening method).

To start I selected a number of fabrics – some of my larger scraps, as well as a few favorite fabrics. I used a variety of colors, but this could be made using red, green and white fabrics, or fabrics of a particular hue, or anything that fits the look you’re going for.

I cut each piece to 3″ x 9.5″. You could vary these measurements depending on how wide you want your chains to be. (I wouldn’t recommend going smaller than a width of 2.5″ or you may find it too difficult to turn the fabric right side out.)

At the same time, I cut a piece of heavy fusible interfacing. You’ll want the interfacing to be about 1/2 an inch smaller in width and about an inch shorter in length than the size of the fabric once it’s sewn into its final shape. I cut mine to about 1″ x 8.5″. You’ll need one strip of interfacing for each fabric strip you cut.

Take your fabric piece and fold it lengthwise, right sides together. Sew along the long edge using a 1/4″ seam allowance.

Turn right side out and iron flat, placing the seam in the middle of one side (this will be the inside of the ring). Insert the interfacing strip, positioning the fusible side so it will be attached to the side of the ring which will face the outside (the side without the seam). I attach a safety pin to one end of the interfacing so I can use that to pull the interfacing through the tube we’ve just created.

Repeat this process for all the fabric pieces you’ve cut out, making as many as you’d like to make a chain of your desired length.

Now you’ll want to attach these pieces together to form the rings. You could order them as you’d like and simply sew the ends together, interlocking the rings as you go.

Or, if you want to make a chain where the rings could be opened and reorganized, you may want to use velcro or snaps as the fastener for each ring. I like this idea, as your fabric chain could then be used as a toy for children when it’s not in use as decoration!

Cut a small piece of velcro, about an inch square and sew one side of the velcro to the end of one of your strips. Sew the second piece to the reverse side of the other side of the strip. (I make sure to tuck the unfinished edge up and position it under the velcro to create a clean edge.)

Once you have the velcro sewn to each strip, you can put your chain together any way you’d like!

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31 Responses to Time to decorate! A paper (fabric) chain tutorial

  1. 1
    Alissa says:

    What a super cute idea! Love it.

  2. 2
    jacquie says:

    i’m decorating this week too. love this idea. i wonder how small i could go for a more mini tree?

  3. 3
    Amy says:

    Excellent idea! I have always been a fan of cranberries and popcorn strings myself…

  4. 4
    Carrie says:

    Fun idea! You could add new links every year and remember the pretty fabrics you’ve used. Thanks!

  5. 5
    Natasha says:

    Great way to use up scraps! Thanks for the idea.

  6. 6
    terriaw says:

    That is an adorable garland! I love the velcro so you can add too it or change it up. Thanks for sharing the steps!

  7. 7
    Rachel says:

    Oh how pretty, I love this idea! I’ll be linking.

  8. 8
  9. 9
    Jenny says:

    Thanks for another awesome tutorial! My goodies arrived safely on Saturday, just in time for our post-Turkey Day BBQ. We were oooing and aaaahing over everything! Thank you so much! The remnants are going onto tea towels this week for Christmas gifts -although I’m a little sad to give them away 😉 Hope you had a great Thanksgiving.

  10. 10

    I like this idea. I think that I will make one as well. Thanks for the tutorial!

  11. 11
    Kay says:

    Great idea. Looking forward to making one for my flat =)

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  13. 12
    gardenymph says:

    Hi there! /i just recently found your lovely blog, and I love your ideas. I will put this fabric chain tutorial in my “must do for the holidays” file. Thank you! :~)

  14. 13

    What a fabulous idea! I think I may try this too! That is when I have my orders under control and my mom’s quilt made. ha ha.

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  17. 14
    Amy says:

    What an awesome way to use your fabric scraps! Thanks so much for sharing this.

  18. 15
    Tricia says:

    those are so cute and could double as bracelets in the “off season”

  19. 16

    I cannot say enough… I LOVE projects that use scraps and now have an excuse to buy the pearl snaps and press kit I’ve been wanting. Thanks!

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  21. 17
    Julie says:

    What a cute idea for scraps of fabric. We just bought our tree this weekend and I can decorate with fabric chains!~ thanks!

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  23. 18

    this is such a cute idea! I am definitely going to be making lots of cute fabric chains! thanks for the idea. love it!

  24. 19
    Mama to 7 says:

    How cute!! I have been thinking and looking for a way to make some cute and easy napkin rings….I think this would work!!!

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  27. 20
    Laurie says:

    What an awesome idea. Isn’t it amazing that some of the simplest things married to a new touch turn into creative genius. I have a blog that focuses on using blue jeans scraps. What a neat way to follow my theme, I could use scrap prints and go every other ring with a varying shade of blue jeans.

    Thanks for such an awesome tutorial.


  28. 21

    I actually blog also and I am authoring a little something
    very close to this specific article, “FITF: Time to decorate!

    A paper (fabric) chain tutorial | Film in the Fridge”.

    Do you mind in the event Iuse a number of your personal concepts?
    Thanks for your effort ,Karla

  29. 22

    I love the feministic style. This can be a great home decoration not only for Christmas season but all throughout the year.

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