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Paper angel chains
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Friday Fun

Paper Angel Chains

What you will make:

Create a chain of paper angels by cutting multi-folded paper strips. It's just like folding and cutting paper doll chains! The angels can be used to decorate your Christmas packages or as part of a centerpiece. Join two or more chains of angels together to form a circle around a festive candle. The angels stand on their own and can be used to add some sparkle anywhere you are decorating for the holidays!

This craft project is great for family, classroom or group craft time. With a little preparation by the adult or teen leader, this project is both quick and easy for groups of kids.

Have more paper crafting fun (and learn about symmetry) by making classic Paper Doll Chains!

Here's what you need:
  • Lightweight computer or craft paper
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Markers
  • Optional: Colored paper, cardstock and tape, glitter, glue, chalk, colored pencils

This project is rated VERY EASY to do.

How to Make Paper Angel Chains

Read all of the steps before starting.
Printable pattern for paper angel chains Step 1: Project Preparation

Read through the project and gather the materials needed for creating chains of paper angels. If you are doing this project with a group, pre-cutting the strips of paper will make the craft go faster.

You may also want to make some angel templates that can be traced. Create your own or download and print Aunt Annie's Paper Angel patterns on cardstock. The templates are available in two sizes. Select the size that best fits your folded strips of paper, and adjust as needed. Pre-cut enough templates so there is one template for every three or four people making angel chains.

Tip: The angels with wings down are the easiest to cut. Instead of holding hands, these angels are joined at the tips of their wings and the bottoms of their skirts. For an example of how you might decorate these angels, see the sidebar.

Step 2: Cut Paper Strips

Cut strips of paper that are approximately 4½" by 12" from lightweight craft paper. If you are using computer paper, cut each sheet in half lengthwise.

Tip: If you are planning to use construction paper, it is best if shorter strips are used to reduce the bulk after folding. Try strips that are 4½" by 6", folded in four equal sections to cut a chain of two angels. These shorter chains can then be taped together.

Step 3: Fold Paper Strips

Fold the paper strip into eight equal sections of accordion pleats.

1) Fold the strip in half, matching edges and making a sharp crease.
2) Fold one edge back to meet the fold just made, and crease. Turn the paper over and repeat with the other edge.
3) Fold the top layer back to meet the center fold, turn over and repeat.
4) Open the center fold like a book. There are three layers on each side with a single layer in the center.
5) Fold one side of three layers in to meet the center fold. Repeat with the other side.
6) Fold the center fold back to complete the accordion folds.

Step 4: Draw or Trace Angel

With the cut edge of the folded strip to the right, draw half of an angel along the left (folded) edge with arms extending to the cut edge. You can trace a precut template or draw an angel of your own design!

Tip: If you plan to stand the chain of angels, it is best if the angels are connected in two places. So, like the arms, extend either the wings or the skirt to the cut edge.

Step 5: Cut Angels

Hold the folded strip firmly and cut carefully around the angel outline. Do not cut along the folds.

Unfold the paper strip to reveal your chain of angels. The chain of angels will stand if each angel is folded just a bit. Tape two or more chains of angels together and form a circle. Why not make a whole choir of angels?

Step 6: Decorate Angels (optional)

Leave the angels plain or decorate them with markers. Use black markers on angels cut from white paper for a dramatic effect. You might also add glitter to the wings!

That's it! Your paper angel chain is done!.
Paper angel chains

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Before you start:
  • Make a place to work.
  • Read all of the directions.
  • Gather everything you need to do the project.
  • Think about the project. Imagine how it will look and what you will do with it.

Are you ready?
Okay, get started!!!

Paper doll chains joined at the wing tips

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Tip: Paper angel chains will stand when each individual angel is folded slightly. These angels were made with Aunt Annie's template, which joins the angels at the wings. It is the easiest template to cut.

Two rows of paper angels as a centerpiece

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Tip: Arrange rows of paper angels and single paper angels to create a centerpiece for your table.

Angels colored with black markers

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Tip: For a dramatic effect, use black markers to decorate angels cut from white paper.

Angels colored with chalk and colored pencils

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Tip: Angels cut from white paper can be colored with chalk and colored pencils. Smudge the chalk on first then draw accents and decorations with the colored pencils.

A whole choir of paper angels

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Tip: Cut paper angel chains from a variety of colored papers. Arrange several rows of angel chains to form a whole choir of angels!

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