For a Christmas stocking stuffer I had bought Tim and the kids an old fashioned Wrigley’s Gum tin stuffed with Juicy Fruit, Double Mint, and Spearmint gum. We finally opened a pack yesterday (okay, we don’t chew a lot of gum around here!) and I was disappointed when I noticed there was no outer wrapper around the gum, just the foil inner wrapper. When I was a little girl I use to make gum wrapper chains all the time. Not only did I save wrappers, but had everyone else I knew save their wrappers for me. I can remember how excited I was when my chain was finally as tall as I was. Then, I can remember working on it and getting it so long it crossed a wall in my room. My plan was to circle my room. Never made it that far, but long before computers and dvds could distract us during inside play time, gum wrapper chains were a fun way to pass some time. We also fashioned necklaces, bracelets and rings out of the wrappers.
I have been told that you can still buy some gum that has wrappers, but most do not. I’ve also been told you can use Starburst wrappers to make the chains, but we never buy that either. All I know is that I want to make sure my grandchildren learn how to make gum wrapper chains! Well, as it so happens, today is my birthday, and yesterday at Sunday dinner, I was given a few wrapped gifts. Eureka! I’m always looking for ways to reuse things, and here I had this lovely pile of colorful paper that is destined for a landfill if I don’t do something with it, so with a quick Google search, I discovered the size of the standard gum wrapper, cut in half lengthwise (which you needed to do to make a chain) was 1″ x 2 3/4″. Off I went to grab our paper cutter, and before you knew it, we had a pile of faux gum wrappers ready to be made into chains!
So, in honor of Earth Day this Wednesday, here is a chance to do a little nostalgic crafting along with some re-purposing and recycling! “How to” make a gum wrapper chain is included in our FREE Open Patterns, but be warned… it is addictive! Michelle and I have some ideas of some different kinds of things to do with the chain which we’ll share when our chain gets some length! Enjoy!