DIY Paper Chain Rainbow Wall Hanging

This post was originally published in July 2019
and updated as of June 2022.

You may have seen our oversized paper chain backdrop here on the blog or on our Instagram a couple of weeks ago, and if you did, you know that we loooove making paper chain decor! For starters, it’s so nostalgic. What kid didn’t love making a paper chain to countdown to Christmas or to decorate for the holidays? And while, sadly, we are no longer making paper chains to countdown to our 10th birthday party, as adults we love how affordable they are while still making a big decor impact! Plus, all of that folding and glueing and folding and glueing is soooo therapeutic (and pairs wonderfully with a few episodes of The Great British Baking Show). So, we decided to try another twist on paper chain decor with this DIY Paper Chain Rainbow Wall Hanging!

Minimal rainbows in stylish colors have started popping up all over our Pinterest feed, and this was such a fun way to try out the trend. We love this project as wall art for a kids room, party decor, or as decor in a classroom! All you need is a little paper and glue and you’ll be ready to make this graphic work of art! Keep reading for the tutorial.

Supplies needed to make your own Rainbow Wall Hanging

Rainbow template (Find it below)
Cardstock in tan, mustard, light pink, and coral
Paper slicer or scissors
Hot glue gun + sticks
String for hanging

How to make your own Rainbow Wall Hanging

Step 1: Begin by mapping out your design. If you are using our template, each square represents 2 links, so if you would like to make your wall hanging smaller, you can mark off the squares you will not be using, or, if you’d like to make it larger you can make edits to the template to add more.

Step 2: Cut your strips. As mentioned in step 1, each square represents two links that you will want to cut out with your paper slicer or scissors. We cut each of our strips at about 6″ x 1″ wide.

Step 3: Begin making your chains by creating a loop with one paper strip and secure the ends with a dot of hot glue to make a ring. Slide the next strip inside of the ring, wrap then ends around and secure them with hot glue to make another ring. Repeat this process working on the first vertical chain, from top to bottom, changing colors according to the template.

Tip: We found that the rainbow image is more distinct  if the connector chains are tighter. For instance, on the first ring of every row you would glue the strips together right on the edge of the paper, but on the next right you would put your glue about an inch from the edge of the strip to make it tighter. By repeating this pattern with every other ring, there will be less space between the rings and the design will show more clearly.

Step 4: Once all of your rows are made, slide the tops of the paper chains onto a dowel. Attach a piece of string to the dowel and hang.

That’s it! You just made a big, graphic piece of wall art that is sure to make a statement.

There is so much to love about this project! First, it’s so easy to put together but the pay-off is big! Plus, large statement pieces like this can be super expensive, but when you’re working with paper and glue you can make this for a couple of bucks!

We also love to think of the possibilities for variation with this project. Instead of a rainbow you could do geometric shapes, animals, letters, numbers and so much more to customize it for your home decor or for a party! Get out that paper slicer already!


Happy chain-making!
ox. Liz