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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