The classic paper chain is, well, a classic. But sometimes even an old favorite needs a little "chainge". These new paper chains take extra time, but require no staple, tape, or sticker to secure each link. Plus, it's fun to change the shape, and they are easy enough for a 4 year old to make without injury (didn't you ever staple your thumbs together making a paper chain?) I have, with difficulty, found instructions for Stapleless Paper Chains in two locations. One was rather confusing and lacking any photos or diagrams, while the other was a pdf that was impossible to locate a second time. I decided to attempt my own tutorial for it. So, here we go.
You'll need: paper, scissors, pencil, and two round templates (1-2 inch and 2-3 inch).
Making the Links: I cut a regular size paper into fourths--in half vertically and then in half horizontally. This creates a chain link approximately 3 inches long. You can go for the jumbo size and use a whole sheet of paper (yielding a 5.5 inch link), or even a teeny tiny version. Any size rectangular paper will work.
Fold your paper in half vertically. Next fold it in half horizontally. You should now have one folded edge on the left side, two folded edges on the bottom, and four edges on the right side and top.
Note: The center cut must be wide enough for the next chain link's unfolded stem to fit in. Also, try to keep a good distance between the tops of the semicircles. The smaller the distance, the weaker the chain link.**
Now cut along all your lines. This is a finished link. If you want all the links to be identical in your chain, you can create a pattern to trace from this first link. If you want each one to be individual, don't bother drawing any lines--just cut freehand (it adds a charming spontaneity).
Connecting the links into a chain: Vertically fold link 1 and feed it through a horizontally folded link 2. Repeat this process until you have reached the end of your chain. Then secure the very last link with a small piece of tape.
Rectangle--Very easy to cut the straight lines of the outer shape. Great for younger children if an adult can cut the centers.
"Y"--This was the easiest for my son to cut. I drew a line that curved up towards the top right corner. Then I cut out the centers.
Heart--Perfect for Valentine's Day.