Making Swedish Paper Chains

IMG_6283For lovers of paper cutting, here is a fun Christmas project. It might seem early for this, but I enjoy doing Christmas things a bit early before the rush starts.  You get to use up odds and ends of recycled gift wrap, cutting links which are then strung together. What makes the links Swedish, I don’t know. The project was buried in an old book of Christmas decorations. And while cutting out each individual link might seem tedious, each link is fairly large, and once you get going, you’ll quickly find you have a long chain, and that it’s fun. Of course, you can use other kinds of paper, including construction paper or pages from seed catalogs. But I enjoyed using up some of my stash of saved gift wrap.

I was going to take my chain and photograph it draped dramatically in our pine trees, out back, but it had been raining steadily for hours. I was able to take a picture of this wet chipmunk . . .


and quickly took one picture of the chain, as it was getting rained on. So I sparkled it up a bit in Photoshop!


IMG_6281Above is another view.

I used this recycled gift wrap paper.


Then I cut the paper up into strips.


Following is the full set of instructions for making the Swedish Paper Chains, which I watercolored. I am a little unsure as to how it will appear in various browsers. If you click on the image, it should come up full size. The link pattern should be about 2-1/2′ tall, and almost 1″ across the widest part of the bottom (big) loop. If you have any problems, email me at, and I can send you the image as an attachment. You can then print it full size on a color printer. Hope you enjoy! Fran

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2 thoughts on “Making Swedish Paper Chains

  1. Hi I am trying to make these with my class, but can’t seem to get the right size to print. Do you still have the link for the correct size? Thanks in Advance!!

  2. Hi Ann–Sorry for the difficulty. I had painted the swedish paper chain instructions on a piece of 8-1/2 x 11″ paper. Then I scanned it, copied the image and uploaded it into the post. So the went through a lot, computer-wise. Have you double-clicked on the image so that it came up full-sized on your screen? Then, drag it to your desktop, click on it, and specify “print.” On my computer, a preview comes up, and I can see that it will print the correct size. Try this, and see if it helps. Fran

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