I first discovered this perpetual paper chains project a couple of years ago when I bought a copy of Stitch the Halls by What Delilah Did.
I fell in love with all of the projects in the book, but especially this one. It’s such a wonderful idea! You can see the perpetual paper chains I made for Tom’s Mum here. Since I made these, I have wanted to make some simple ones without the embroidery as I thought that would work really well. As with lots of projects, they are on my ‘to-do’ list for a while before I actually get around to making them! But they seemed perfect for Little One’s first birthday, and I started in January to give myself plenty of time!
I had my eye on some lovely wool felt from Cloud Craft for this project, and was lucky to receive some for Christmas. I decided to add in an extra shade of pink (links below). You can cut 6 strips from one 20 x 30cm sheet, which makes 3 links of the chain.
You will need
Matching stranded cotton (all available here)
9mm snap fasteners (2 for each link of the chain)
Needle and fabric scissors
Plasticard, 0.5mm thick and cut into 24.5 x 2.5cm strips
Paper scissors or a craft knife for cutting the plasticard
Ruler and pencil
Having made a batch of these perpetual paper chains once before, I decided to make a template for the felt out of some plasticard. This made it easier to cut out the felt at exactly the same size. Measure 25 x 3cm and cut out your template.
Once you have made your template you can cut out your felt pieces. Place the template on the felt and lightly draw around it. Carefully cut out the felt using your fabric scissors.
Don’t the pieces look lovely all cut out?
Take two pieces of the same colour, and position the snap fasteners. Using two strands of embroidery thread, sew the base side of the fasteners 2.5cm/1″ away from the end (see photo in Step 4). Sew the two top parts of the fasteners to the very end of the other piece of felt at the same distance apart. I found it helpful to double-check they lined up before moving on to the next step!
Layer the two strips of felt together so that the snap fasteners are facing out. Join them together by sewing along the edges, using two strands of embroidery thread. You might find that the felt stretches a bit here, but don’t worry – we can sort that out later. Try to keep it lined up as much as possible (I found it easier not to use pins but you could if you wish).
When you have stitched along 3 edges, place a strip of Plasticard inside. You might find it helpful to make a Plasticard template too, which will need to be 24.5 x 2.5 cm. I found that I needed to trim the Plasticard down a little when I placed it inside, just to ensure a snug fit.
Once the Plasticard is in position, stitch along the open edge to close it. Secure the end of the thread with a couple of back stitches and then finish off. Join the snap fasteners to turn it into a chain link, and then repeat with your remaining pieces of felt.
I hope that Little One will always have these – it’s so nice to have something special that will come out every year! 🙂