D.I.Y. Fabric Chain Tutorial

Half the fun of Christmas is decorating. Every year, the day after Thanksgiving, my daughter and I make a big batch of Chex Mix, put on Christmas carols and go to town transforming the house for the holiday.


I have my fair share of store-bought decorations, but my favorites are the ones someone made. One year my son brought home a red, green, and liberally glittered paper chain from school. Like all mothers, I proudly put it on the tree, and secretly thought it was hideous.


It got me thinking about how it could be something beautiful, though. I pulled out some red and green felt and made my own version. My son is grown now, but I’m still hanging my felt chain every year, and every year someone asks me where I bought it.

I made a new chain for the shop this year using wool flannel. I stuck with traditional red and green, then added a bit of grey wool and metallic thread to spiff it up. I love the old school kitsch of the chain, with the sophistication of the wool and the tiny bit of sparkle. Classy and fun. 

To make your own chain, you need three wool fat eighths (or more), fabric glue, and heavy thread or embroidery floss.


You don’t have to stick with the traditional red and green, or even three colors. Try red and gold, blue and silver, or go for a monochromatic color scheme with 3-5 shades of the same color. Have fun with it.


With three fat eighths the finished chain is 16 feet. Plenty long enough to wrap around your tree or hang over your mantle. You could even use one to add some cheer to your office. We wrapped ours around the big pole by the check out counter. 


Materials: Sue Spargo Wool fat eighths in Holly Berry, Avocado, and Charcoal, Dazzle thread, and Aileen’s Tacky Glue. I also used Hiroshima embroidery needles to add my thread accent, and I have to say they are wonderful needles. A real joy to work with.

Instructions: Cut your fat eights into 1” x 6” strips. Place your strips in piles by color. Glue your 1st strip in a circle overlapping the ends about 1 inch. Repeat with all remaining strips, threading your next strip through your last circle and alternating colors, as you add circles to your chain. Using your choice of thread, hand stitch an X on the overlapped portion.

This tutorial is our 12/05/2018 advent calendar feature. Products linked in this post will be 10% off that day only. 

I hope you enjoy this project!