I am a habitual saver/collector of anything that might be “useful” at some point in the future. I hate to throw anything away that has potential. In the course of my job, I burn thousands of CDs & DVDs, and the DVD packaging includes a little foam ring that cushions the top of a stack of blank discs.
After several years I had a couple hundred of these things, and I couldn’t figure out what to do with them. Then, one day, I just started playing around with them, and folded one in half. Hmm, idea! I wondered if they could be woven together like the old gum wrapper chains I made in my younger days. A little experimenting, and I had a chain going. Once it got long enough, I wove the two ends together, and I had a wreath.
But, I was going to need a lot more, I thought. I had recently bought a CNC hobbyist cutting machine (Klick-N-Kut Zing) and decided to buy some craft foam sheets (3 mm thick) and experimented. My first rings were identical to the DVD rings, 1 ½” (38 mm) with a 9/16” (14 mm) center hole. I designed and laid out the rings in CorelDRAW vector drawing software, and exported as PDF to import into the CNC cutting software (Make-the-Cut). Soon I had dozens more rings.
I gave the resulting rings to a craft oriented friend to decorate, but we decided to try to make items with smaller rings, so I bought a pack of 2 mm foam sheets in a multi-colored pack. I shrunk the original pattern to 2/3 scale, 1” (25.4 mm) with a 3/8” (10 mm) center hole.
My friend decorated these rings, and we liked them even more. They make nice mini-wreathes, soda can coasters, or other possible decorations. Use some imagination and you can create holiday themed items like red hearts, green lucky clovers, orange pumpkins, red-white-blue flags. The possibilities abound! I even saved the small center hole dots to decorate with.
Here’s how to string the foam rings together. Fold one ring in half. Hold the folded edge between thumb and index finger. Fold another ring in half WITH THE FOLDED EDGE IN THE SAME DIRECTION as the first ring. Cant second ring 90° and tuck it over one end of the first ring. Grab another ring, fold it in half, tuck it over second ring. Keep going. Soon you will have a nice chain.
I found that 30-40 rings in a chain made a pretty good wreath, without putting too much strain on the interlocked connections. Once the two ends are woven together, adjust shape and pin onto corkboard, then use a hot melt glue gun to tack a small dab of glue between rings, on what will be the backside of the wreath, to make it permanently stable.
These wreaths are flat, but you can rotate them into a vertical orientation and decorate as desired to make elegant tiaras/crowns for those "Royal" tea parties!
Here are the PDF files for the 1" and 1.5" rings.