How To: Paper Bracelets

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When I was in high school, I used to make these paper bracelets out of gum wrappers but you can use this same technique to make bracelets from many different kinds of wrappers both paper and plastic. Once you master making a bracelet, challenge yourself by making something more complex like a purse or a tote bag, which entails sewing sections together. The only limit to using this technique is your imagination. {Click on the images to make them larger or to download them for reference.}

Enjoy, Mari

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Steps 1-3

Select your material. In my case, I chose a paper teabag wrapper that I unfolded and cut in half. Each half will make one of the interlocking sections. For this bracelet, I used about 15 teabag wrappers cut into 30 halves.

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Steps 4-6

Fold one of the halves in half and trim to make a neat edge. Fold that in half lengthwise and fold each outer edge to the middle.

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Steps 7-9

Then, fold the outer edge towards the middle fold and reinforce the fold with your fingernail or another hard surface like a bone folder or a pen so it is strong. Fold that in half to make a V-shape.

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Steps 10-12

Fold the ends of the V-shape into the middle to make a smaller V. Do this twice in order to make two sections that will interlock. Look closely at the center image. Notice that the clean, folded edge of the inside V is facing upwards. The opposite edge (like the one in the leftmost image) appears to have more than one fold, which can be confusing when you interlock the pieces. The easiest way to interlock the two pieces is by inserting each side of the V through the neatly folded, clean edge.

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Steps 12-15

Interlock each of the pieces through the clean edge as shown above. Repeat, making sure to leave the clean edge available to insert the next V.

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Steps 15-18

Continue interlocking pieces (alternating colors as I did if you like) until you have enough to fit around the wearer’s wrist. Unfold the first V (see middle image) and insert each side through the last section. This is a bit tricky and you might need to use a pair of tweezers to pull the paper through, but all you are doing is refolding the V into the last section to close the circle. Follow the same pattern as the other sections and you should be fine.

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3 responses to “How To: Paper Bracelets”

  1. knudsens says :

    Cool. My little sister will love tihs.

  2. Clare's mom says :

    I made one of these chains at camp in the 8th or 9th grade that ended up being over 20 feet long! We didn’t do anything with the chain–just competed for length. Can you imagine how much gum we were all chewing at camp? The real challenge, for me, was chewing a pack of Blackjack so that I could honestly use those wonderful light blue and black wrappers–nothing else was that color.

  3. Cat says :

    I just finished making mine. I love it

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