Gum Wrapper Chain-links

Introduction: Gum Wrapper Chain-links

How to make a gum wrapper chain that kind of looks like real chain links, not a weave.

Materials - gum wrappers (at least 4, preferably more), ruler (optional), a rounded object like a marking pen.

Why? I have no idea.
But, have you ever challenged yourself to do something you didn't think was possible? I mean like making something that no one else has ever done. I don't know if anyone has made things like this before. I've seen a few examples where woven chains of wrappers have been used to sculpt various things. They usually use fish line to tie them together. I try to make things with just the wrappers and nothing else. No glue or tearing of the pieces (I have cheated on some). It's very challenging and rewarding to think up designs and solve the problems of making them stay together simply with folds (quite similar to origami I guess).

Please enjoy my simple example here, let me know if you want to see more, and please try out your own designs and share!

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Step 1: Fold Some Sticks

Lay the wrapper out flat with the serrated edges facing up. Make sure the little flaps at the ends are unfolded all the way.

Fold in half lengthwise. Try to make the fold as exact as possible.

Step 2: Keep Folding the Stick

Keep folding in half a couple more times lengthwise. When you get to where you can't fold it, crease it down the middle again lengthwise with your thumbnail. Keep in the middle as much as possible.

Step 3: Rolling the Stick

Fold around the crease as best you can. Then roll the piece between your thumb and fingers to produce a cylindrical stick made of aluminum.

Repeat these first three steps for at least 4 sticks (2 sticks per chain link).
Repeat as necessary for more chain links.

Step 4: Measure for Half Way Point

After you have the number of sticks needed for your links, line them all up and mark their halfway point. I use a ruler and it's about 1 3/4 " to the middle. You can just use another wrapper folded in half if no ruler is handy. I use the ruler and make a crease across all the sticks at the same time.
Fold each in half to a 90 degree angle.

Step 5: Make the Spiral Connectors

Take one of the bent sticks and hold it next to an unbent one as shown (it helps to have an extra un-bent stick for this). If you haven't got an extra one, just use one side of one of the bent ones.

Wrap the one leg of the bent stick around the straight stick. Keep wrapping around in a tight spiral wrapping outside the bend in the bent stick. Once you have wrapped the half leg of the stick around as many times as it will go, pull out the straight stick.

Repeat for as many bent sticks as you wish.

Step 6: Shape Each Half Chain Link

After making connectors you will have a straight part with a spiral pig-tail on one end. Now take a rounded object (I used the bottom of a sharpie) and bend the straight part so it forms a "U". The objective is to have the "U" be equal in length on both sides. If your round object is too small or too large, it will come out lopsided.

Step 7: Join the Half U's

After you have bent all the sticks in to U shapes, you can assemble your chain links.

It takes two(2) U's to make one chain link. Place one "U" flat and right side up. Place it's mate flat but upside down over the first one (kind of like an "n"). Make sure the pig-tails are on opposite side - left/right. The pig-tails form a female connector and the straight part the male. Simply mate the two haves together and you have your first link. (don't be embarrassed, you're just making chain links here)

Repeat as desired for additional links, but remember to first insert through one end of you chain or you will just have a bunch of ovals.

Step 8: Other Chains

You can vary the size of your chain links by using less of the stick for the connector. You'll need at least a wrap and a half to hold the links together.

You can also make smaller ones by only using 1 stick per link and simply making more bends to fasten to itself.

Step 9: Next Ones?

I have started with small projects for my gum wrapper creations. Here are some other projects that are more complex. If you would like to see an instructable on one of these, please let me know so I can prioritize. (I spend too much time making these as is).

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    4 Discussions


    12 years ago on Introduction

    ...Wow. Great job, your stuff is so cool. Even doing that stick thing with the wrapper is awesome. Nice job, these actually look like those metal ones you get in the store! +1 rating.


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks. That means a lot coming from an Instructable connoisseur such as yourself. I'm just learning this new site and think it's a great place to share ideas.


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    It is. This instructables not bad at all. I would like i'bles on the other stuff. ;)