Gum Wrapper Chain Book

By Debi Devitt

The Ultimate Mini Album Website

I am calling this book a gum wrapper chain book because the technique used is the same as that used for making gum wrapper chains. I have so many old magazines that I have actually made several out of magazine strips, which is a great way to upcycle or recycle items that you have on hand.  Plus I love how colorful it is.  On the other hand, the benefit of using actual gum wrappers is that you would have a certain pattern and color scheme if you chose one or two gum types.

Instructions for Creating a Gum Wrapper Chain Book:

Cut pieces of magazines to 2 x 4-1/2". Use clear packing tape to coat most of one side. It doesn't have to go all the way to the ends as the ends will be folded up and won't show. Also, I choose the more colorful side to make for a more colorful book. But I am also doing some black and white ones that I think are interesting. I like to use old scrapbooking magazines because they are so colorful. I also like using National Geographic magazines for nature journals.

Fold and link your magazine strips as per the instructions at this website.

Build them to the desired length of your journal.

To connect two rows of chains together, create a plastic needle from an old credit card. Cut it to about 2-1/2", creating a bit of a tip on one end and punching a hole in it on the other end. The Crop-A-Dile is the perfect tool for this job.

When laying out your rows make sure that you are getting a zig zag pattern to where your needle will come in and out. In other words, it shouldn't be two pieces straight in a row. You should have to jog over a bit.

Go ahead and create a knot on one side of the row. This will be adhered down and will not show later.

Insert the needle into the top loop of the second row.

Pull snug. Insert needle into the next loop in the second row and so on until the whole row has been connected, pulling snug between each stitch.

Flip over and continue in this same manner on the other side. This will bring everything together nice and snug. After you've done both sides, add another row until you have it the size of the gum wrapper chain book you want.

If you want your back cover to also be made with woven magazine strips or gum wrappers, create another cover in the same manner.

A word on your thread. I use embroidery floss because it is inexpensive and easy to use. You could use just about anything for your thread. Many people use fishing line.

Using some chipboard the same size as your rows of woven magazine strips, cover with decorative scrapbook paper or cardstock.

I like to use paper from my recycle box for the inside pages to keep with the theme of upcycling and recycling. Cut these a bit smaller than your covers.

I used my Bind It All to bind my books together, but you can certainly use whatever type of book binding you prefer.

I bind my chipboard covers first and then adhere my woven magazine covers to the chipboard using double-sided tape. This allows me to make sure I am placing the cover appropriately to allow my spiral binding to open properly.

I really enjoy these little books as sketch journals. I love the bulky feel of them. They feel like they have some substance before I even put something in them.  I also use them as notebooks.  When I am working in my transcription business, I keep a lot of notes, write daily goals, etc.  I have filled a couple of these with these types of notes.  There is just something special about writing in a pretty book rather than a plain notebook.  Don't you agree?

You can also use gum wrappers (of course) and potato chip bags. Cut them open and wash the insides. Then cut them to the same size as the magazine strips. No packing tape coating is necessary with chip bags. There are all kinds of things you can use to make a gum wrapper chain book besides gum wrappers.

Return from Gum Wrapper Chain Book to Recycled Books.

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