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Sep 22, 2010

Recycled Mail "Gum Wrapper Chain" Woven Bracelet

gum wrapper bracelet

This bracelet is a neat variation on the gum wrapper chains that we used to make years ago--when gum came in sticks, and the sticks were wrapped in paper.

I made mine from old magazine covers. There's a bit of a learning curve to that. You want shiny, coated magazine covers, but they're not all the same. Martha Stewart Living is too thick. Time is too thin. Yankee is perfect, but I don't imagine a whole lot of you subscribe to that. You'll have to experiment with what you have.

gum wrapper bracelet

The triangle twist pattern adds interest and also makes it easy to attach the chain into a bracelet without having to pull the beginning of the chain all apart. I've never been happy with the join on a regular gum wrapper chain bracelet.

The design is by Inna at Inna's Creations. To me the directions have you construct the bracelet sort of backwards--you have to estimate how big a loop to make for the next piece to slide through. I ended up pulling it apart and assembling it from the other direction. No guesswork, as the loops form automatically by being wrapped around the previous piece!

How to make a woven paper strip bracelet

Curl your hand as if you were about to put on a bracelet. Measure around the widest part. On me that's across my hand where the bottom joint of my thumb is. My bracelet needed to be 8 inches around, but I have relatively small hands.

Cut paper strips, 4.5" x 2". If you cut 3 strips for every inch of bracelet you will probably have enough. (I used 22 strips for 8" of bracelet.)

How to fold the strips

Fold strip in half lengthwise and unfold.

gum wrapper bracelet

Fold each half of the strip again, lengthwise, meeting the cut edges to the center fold.

gum wrapper bracelet

gum wrapper bracelet

Close the strip by folding at the center fold. You now have a folded strip 4.5" long and .5" wide, with the long cut edges enclosed within the strip.

gum wrapper bracelet

Fold the strip in half width wise. Now you have a V shape.

gum wrapper bracelet

How to create the woven pattern

Start with three strips. One is going to be a "loop maker" that will be removed once you get started.

Hold loop maker horizontally. The first strip is added vertically, with the crease at the bottom and the open ends at the top. Open up the first strip and slide it around the place holder, one half of the strip under the loop maker and one half on top. Pull the crease tight against the loop maker.

Open up the second strip. With the crease at the right and the open ends at the left, slide it around the first strip.

In the picture below the white loop maker is at the bottom. Strip one is green. Strip two is white.

gum wrapper bracelet

Fold strip one on the diagonal, as shown. The bottom edge of strip one (green) will line up exactly with the top edge of (white) strip two.

gum wrapper bracelet

Fold the little triangle down, making the crease right at the top edge of (white) strip two.

gum wrapper bracelet

Flip the piece over and fold the back side to mirror the front.

gum wrapper bracelet

gum wrapper bracelet

Turn back to the front side and remove the loop maker.

gum wrapper bracelet

Add third strip, vertically, with the crease at the bottom and the open ends at the top.

gum wrapper bracelet

Crease second strip (white) at a diagonal and fold across the third strip, front and back.

gum wrapper bracelet

gum wrapper bracelet

Continue adding strips until you reach the length you need. You must always use an even number of strips!

gum wrapper bracelet

gum wrapper bracelet

Joining the ends

It's helpful to fold in the blunt ends that have to go through the loop. (Seen on the long white pieces in this picture.)

gum wrapper bracelet

The long ends of the last piece, and the tabs of the folded triangles of the next-to-last piece both need to go through the joining loop. It's something of a juggling act to push the long ends through without having pieces fall off as you do it!

gum wrapper bracelet

Joining the ends takes a little effort and sometimes tools, like tweezers.

gum wrapper bracelet

Be sure to push the ends together on both the outside and the inside of the bracelet.

When the ends are all tucked in, unfold the blunt ends. Now fold the last triangle, inside and outside of the bracelet, and tuck the tails under. Again, tweezers are helpful.

gum wrapper bracelet

gum wrapper bracelet

gum wrapper bracelet

The tail is tucked under the other white piece.

gum wrapper bracelet

gum wrapper bracelet

Extreme Cards and Papercrafting: pop up cards, movable and mechanical cards, digital crafts and unusual papercrafts.

9 comments:

Helen said...

Cool! My son would love this. Thanks for the instructions.

Laura said...

That's great! Thanks for all the detailed instructions...left a little blog love for your site here.

Blog Award

Laura said...

CPEEP - This brought back so many memories - thanks! Don't know that I've commented before, but I thoroughly enjoy your blog, and want to pass along a blog award to you that I recently received. Hope this brings even more paper/pop-up enthusiast's to your blog. Please visit my blog to collect the award, and to pass it on to other blogs of your choosing: http://cricutcard-iologist.blogspot.com
Cheers, Laura

Sam said...

Thanks for the link! I really like your triangle method... it looks really nice! I'll have to try it sometime.

Kim said...

Thanks for the reminder - we'd just been discussing these over here! Thank you for figuring it out for me :)

Maureen said...

I too love this bracelet. Inna's directions are correct. You link the last piece to the first. I have used many different papers to make these. They are so cute. Love your blog.

Lamb said...

I tried loading your instructions but it did not come up as pdf at all. What am I doing wrong? lol

Carol said...

PDF? Which PDF?

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the instructions!

Catherine-Greece