If you were a school-age kid in the 1980s, you likely spent countless hours in the background perfecting the chains of gum wrappers that once graced every strip of fruit (and other brands) you chewed through.

Kirsten Frits, a reader from Seattle, Washington, suggested rethinking these elementary school skills by using brightly colored newspaper pages to create oversized chains that can spice up any potted plant.

By tweaking the traditional way of folding rubber packaging chains, you create a less bulky version that fits nicely around a pot. For the full childhood experience, you might even give it a try Chew some gum while you fold.

Step 1

Cut off the bottom four inches of your newspaper.

step 2

Cut the remaining side in thirds. Each section should be 4 “by 18”. Repeat with at least four sheets of newspaper so you have 12 strips of newspaper.

step 3

Place a strip horizontally in front of you and fold it in half lengthways. The paper should stay in place after folding. However, if you want a more polished look, add a line of glue where the edges meet.

Step 4

Halve in the middle, fold and then open again.

Step 5

Fold each outside edge into the middle crease you just made. Thoroughly fold the edges.

Step 6

Fold in half again. The resulting rectangle is the unit with which you will create the chain. It should be 4.5 “by 2” and form a V shape when you look at it from the side. Repeat until at least 12 units are made.

Step 7

Start working with two units. Place the open ends of unit 1 into the loops of the open end of unit 2.

Step 8

Carefully align unit 1 vertically as you slide it through unit 2 from right to left until it stops, so that you have a backward “r” shape.

Step 9

Insert a third unit into Unit 1 in the same way, this time from bottom to top to create a side “Z” shape.

Step 10

Continue this zigzag pattern until you have used all 12 units.

Step 11

Lay the chain flat on a table and measure how long it takes to complete. Adjust the length of your chain by adding more units or subtracting some as needed.

Step 12

Finally, wrap the chain around the pot and tape the ends together so that they are snug against the side.