Halloween Paper Chains

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Here are some easy-to-make and chillingly cute ghost and Jack O’Lantern paper chains for Halloween!

Download the free templates (in US Letter size: HalloweenPaperChainTemplates-Letter or in A4 size: HalloweenPaperChainTemplates-A4) to get started with your Halloween preparations!

Before printing, you first need to think a bit about what kind of paper you will use.  Some printers can print onto construction paper, but especially if this activity is for children, I recommend that you opt for normal printer paper.  This is because after folding the paper it becomes rather bulky and thus makes cutting out the patterns more difficult when the paper is thick.

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Let’s get started!

GhostPaperChain1_5380 1. Print one of the templates (set the scale of the printer to 100%), and cut around the borders of the patterns to make long rectangular strips.
GhostPaperChain2_5382 2. Make accordion folds along the dotted lines as shown in the photo.  Note that the printed pattern must face out.
GhostPaperChain3_5383 3. Cut along the outline of the pattern, but be careful to NOT cut along the sections marked as “Don’t cut here” (shown with orange lines in the photo).  After this step, you have a couple of options:

  1. Cut out the faces of the ghosts and the Jack O’Lanterns -> Go to Step 4.
  2. Decorate and/or color the back side of the paper chains -> Skip to Step 9.
GhostPaperChain5_5386 4. For the ghosts, cut out their mouths.  For the Jack O’Lanterns, cut out their mouths and noses.

Next:

For the ghosts, go to Step 5.

For the Jack O’Lanterns, skip to Step 6.

 GhostPaperChain6_5387 5. Ghosts: Use a hole punch to punch out the ghosts’ eyes. I recommend that you NOT attempt to punch through all of the layers at once. Instead, make holes in two layers of paper at a time. You may end up with ghosts with slightly different eyes, but I think that it simply adds a bit of character to each ghost!
GhostPaperChain_5389 A ghost paper chain!
JackOLanternEye1_5393 6. Jack O’Lanterns: Fold the upper half of the face of the first pumpkin along the dotted line that goes through its eye, as shown in the photo.  Then, cut the eyes out along the printed outlines.
JackOLanternEye2_5396 8. After the eyes for the first Jack O’Lantern are cut out, trace the inside of the eye onto the next Jack O’Lantern and cut out the eyes.  Repeat for the rest of the Jack O’Lanterns.
JackOLanternPaperChain_5400 A Jack O’Lantern paper chain!
HalloweenPaperChainDecorated_5516 9. When decorating your paper chains, the sky is the limit.  Some ideas include: coloring the paper chains or gluing on pieces of paper, fabric, glitter, sequins, etc.  (Note: Remember to decorate the non-printed side of the paper chains.)

Now you have one of a kind ghost and Jack O’Lantern paper chains!

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If you want longer chains to hang as garlands, simply tape the 4-part paper chains together.

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Taping the two ends of a paper chain together makes a perfectly ghoulish candle cover, spine-chilling enough even for Luna the Halloween Witch!  (Note: a paper candle cover can be a fire risk; if in doubt, substitute the candle with a battery powered light, for example this DIY LED pumpkin light.)

If you liked this project you might also enjoy making old-fashioned doll chains of your own design, here is a great page with instructions which you might enjoy.

To share photos of your Halloween paper chains, please visit Muumade’s Gallery.

Happy Halloween!

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