Working on the Chain Gang

I hope you had a great weekend. Mine was just perfection...we celebrated our wedding anniversary and my birthday. That was wonderful, but for the people in the Pacific Northwest...the very best part was that we had sun for a whole day. We have had a wet, long winter so we really savor those sunny moments. Today is the first day of Spring so while it may not happen today or even this week...we can look forward to some more sunny days on their way. 

Paper chain gang

Paper chain gang

For today's Make it Monday we are going to make something so easy that can bring such joy...perfect for the season. We are making paper chains! Why do paper chains? These super simple decorations actually are quite deceptive. They canhelp teach some complex information. 

Paper chains can help make any room seem festive. When I was a kid I remember making them for the Christmas tree. Or you can do what these amazing people did in the pictures below. 

I never even thought of paper chains for a a backdrop, a garden party, or for a wedding. But just pick out your colors for you even and get to working. The more  you have the bigger statement you are making. 

But paper chains can also help teach math or help kids (or grown ups) learn about different concepts like kindness or about emotions. Paper chains are great ways to show how things are linked together. (Just a helpful tip: if you click on the pictures above it will take you to the source of the picture or if you click on any word that looks like this it will take. you to a link. You can then see examples of things we are talking about. I mean, you probably already knew that, but just a little reminder. I want to make sure you are getting the whole enchilada! Okay now back to the fine art of making paper chains.)

The reason why I love paper chains is not just because they are adorable, but because they are so helpful of marking time for children (and adults). They are a concrete physical representation of a pretty abstract concept. Tell your kid something is happening in a few months or show them how many days that is and what it looks like. We did this for our son when I was pregnant with our daughter...we made a long chain that he could take one paper chain off a day or if we forgot (which of course we did)  we would do several at a time. It is just such a great and simple way to build excitement and to show how time "looks."

We are going to Disneyland (thanks Nana for an awesome Christmas gift)! We don't take many "big" vacations...we are hard core staycationers...we are on one income so it isn't always feasible to do a large vacation and where we live it takes just a little time to get to the coast, the mountains, or a desert l location so we travel locally. So Disneyland is a pretty big deal for us and it will be the first time either of our kids have gone. So we are counting down the days. You can see lots of adorable Disney countdowns on Pinterest. Let's make some of our own!

Paper chain supplies

Paper chain supplies

First you need your supplies...

  • Paper-You could go old school and do construction paper, but for a more polished look and honestly for a little more durability a nice cardstock or some fancy scrapbooking paper (with card stock weight) would be great. 
  • Scissors or a Paper Cutter-You could do scissors or a paper cutter...I did a paper cutter, because I want the least amount of work...I am lazy.
  • Stapler and Staples-Do not use tape or glue...I mean, you can, but why would you do that? Just staple it...it is soooooo much easier and faster and once again it will be much more durable. 
  • Ribbon, Clips, etc. (optional)-You will want something to hold the chain up, unless you have it laying out somewhere. 

Step 1:  Get your stuff

Step 1: Get your stuff

Step 1

Collect all your supplies. I chose "Disney" style paper. I mean, it wasn't in the 10 for a $1 pile that I wanted to shop from, but I don't think it was crazy for a $1 a sheet. Plus if you go to Jo-Ann's or Michaels you better be using your coupons on your phone (or from the paper if you get it)...if you aren't you are just throwing money away. Sorry, that sounds harsh, but I am only looking out for you. 

  Step 2:  Cut it out

 Step 2: Cut it out

Step 2

Cut your paper. You need it long enough to make a loop, staple it, and to put another piece a paper through. You can make the strips just a about 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick or make giant ones or really thin ones...any little changes you make will make totally different looks. 

Step 3:  Loop and staple

Step 3: Loop and staple

Step 3

Staple loops. Staple a circle...put a strip through...staple that into a circle...and repeat, and repeat, and repeat. Have your kids help. You probably made these as a kid. This is actually a fun project to do together. 

Step 4:  Hang it up

Step 4: Hang it up

Step 4

Hang it up! I tied a ribbon to the top and it made a long chain that hung straight down. I thought it looked better looped so I just used a clip to connect it to the top where the ribbon is. I wanted to be able to access the end easily so the kids could take one down each day without much hassle. 

That is it! So easy!!! Right?!

But what a great metaphor...those links are us, baby...we are all interlocked and connected...not with paper and with staples, but as individuals who are connected with our geography, our interactions, and with our love. So let's get back to the basics whether it is with crafts or our relationships. It seems so simple, but it means so much...see how you can connect today. And maybe make some pretty little chains to countdown things that you are looking forward to...a trip, seeing a loved one, a big moment at work, etc. Or just make some pretty spring themed paper chains to decorate.

Happy, happy spring!