Colorful, creative ideas and patterns for recycled candy wrapper crafts

Colorful, creative ideas and patterns for recycled candy wrapper crafts

Candy is a delicious treat enjoyed worldwide by children and adults of all ages.

While it seems that nearly everyone has at least one favorite candy or beloved memory of classic and retro candy varieties ? juicy fruit gum, tootsie pops, fireballs, string licorice etc. however, very few people are aware that candy and gum wrappers can be transformed into colorful, creative, even complex works of art. 

More often than not, candy and gum wrappers are tossed as litter onto city streets or discarded without a second thought.

Recycling candy wrappers into origami artwork, functional crafts and even wearable accessories has become one of the hottest crafting trends for children, pre-teens and teenagers. 

In particular, ideas, patterns and instructions for gum wrapper crafts have been widely publicized on the Internet.

If you are searching for fun and creative projects to entertain your kids, peruse the internet for unique ‘candy wrapper crafts’ and ‘gum wrapper crafts’. These projects can be both fun and educational for children as they incorporate environmentally sound lessons about recycling and re-using materials.

Some of the most popular candy wrapper crafts include gum wrapper chains, which can be made into bracelets, necklaces rings, garlands, and photo frames, wallets, purses and handbags made from candy wrappers, and decorative, three-dimensional origami designs such as swans, boxes, cubes, baskets, stars, flowers, boats, fans, and other geometric creations.


One fascinating piece of history about gum wrapper crafts is a story about a man who won the Guinness Book of World Records Award for creating the longest gum wrapper chain ever. Gary Duschl first began crafting his gum wrapper chain in 1965, when he was just 14 years old. He began by saving Wrigley gum wrappers, and asking his friends to save theirs as well.

Today, Gary Duschl’s gum wrapper chain stretches over two miles long, in other words, 42 times the height of the Empire State Building, twice the height of Mount Everest and long enough to cross two hundred foot ball fields. Duschl’s goal is to continue to add gum wrappers to his chain until its length reaches 26.2 miles, the same length as a marathon. 

In fact, Gary Duschl encourages people from around the world to help him complete his unbelievable gum wrapper craft by mailing him their discarded gum wrappers.

If you are interested in creating gum wrapper crafts, the first step is to learn the folds and techniques for creating a gum wrapper chain.


The Gum Wrapper Chain:  Fundamental Design for Colorful, Trendy Gum Wrapper Crafts

1)  Open a printed chewing gum wrapper and flatten it out to its full size. Fold the wrapper in half the long way. Crease the fold firmly using your fingernail.

2)  Cut the gum wrapper in half the long way, along the fold you made in step 1.

3)  Set one of the gum wrapper halves aside, and select one to fold in half lengthwise again. Make sure the colorful pattern is on the outside of the fold. 

4)  Fold this strip in half lengthwise once again, to make a crease, then unfold.

5)  Now fold in the two sides of this gum wrapper strip to meet the crease down the center. 

6)  Fold the strip in half lengthwise.

7)  Then, fold the ends of this strip in half, toward the middle, so that the strip of wrapper makes a V shape.

8)  Now, set this folded V aside and go back to the original other half of your gum wrapper. Repeat steps 1-7 on the other half of the gum wrapper.  Once you have completed both folded links (both halves) of the original wrapper, you will be ready to fit them together.

9)  Fit the two prongs into the slots. In other words, slide the top ends of one V all the way through the slots of the other V. Once attached, these links should form a zig-zag pattern.

10)  Keep repeating these steps to make and bind together links of gum wrappers, and you will be well on your way to creating your own gum wrapper chain.

Guinness World Record Gum Wrapper Chain
Origami Art: Diagrams