One of the weirder things I’ve purchased at a yard sale.

I have a bad feeling I’ve titled way too many posts this way. But sometimes I see something that I just can’t pass up. It makes no sense for me to buy it, I don’t have room in my house for it, and even if I did, I don’t know what it’s purpose would be or how I would display it.

This, my friends, is a perfect example.

I came across a giant bag full of gum wrapper chains. Do you remember these? I never learned how to make them, myself, but I remember having friends that were obsessive about the craft. And obsessive is a good way of describing the person who spent hours and hours making this particular bunch of chains.

I just finished untangling all of them and carefully measuring every last link. Friends, there is over 200 feet of chains in this bag.

That photo is about one-fifth of the total length of the chain.

I just can’t stand to think that someone spent hours, months on this and here it ends up in a crumpled paper bag, thrown carelessly on a yard sale table. The people selling it didn’t even know where it had come from. Does no one respect good old fashioned American craftsmanship anymore?? Some poor teenager spent a miserable summer, probably cooped up in her room with red shag carpeting, listening to Pink Floyd, moping about how her parents didn’t understand her, how that guy that lives down the street won’t notice her no matter how flattering her new haircut (with wings!) is, the only thing making her happy the progress she was making on this keen gum chain she’d been working on for three months.

Of course, here I am now with 200 feet of vintage gum chain on my hands. I did check eBay, because once the sentimentality of my purchase has passed, the re-seller in me kicks in, and a 6-foot chain sold a couple of months ago for $14.99. But other than that, I don’t find any listed. Maybe someone on Etsy would appreciate this nostalgic marvel?

(BTW: I’ve gotten lots of toddler goodies at sales lately. If that kind of thing floats your boat, you can take a look over at Zero to Twins.)

June 3, 2012 - 11:32 pm

Shara I found a gum wrapper chain at a sale one day in the freebie box. It is one of my favorite things. I adore it. Lucky you to have found such a loooooong chain! I love the idea that someone worked so hard to make it. If you do decide to let it go – LMK, maybe we could work out a swap or trade or ?????

June 11, 2012 - 9:06 am

Stasia Howard I SWEAR you wrote that bit about the teenager with the shag carpeting listening to Pink Floyd records about ME! I can’t tell you how many of those chains I made back in the day…

June 15, 2012 - 7:35 am

Lara Jo Hahahahahaha! I can see you diligently working away as you listen to “Goodbye Blue Sky.”

June 6, 2014 - 12:39 pm

Noor Hello!

I was wondering if you still have this, will you be willing to sell it to me? I am part of the homecoming decoration committee and i want next years theme to be charlie and the chocolate factory. I need to either make or buy a wrapper chain within 2 months, and since i eat no candy making it would be hard.

Thank you so much! my email is

June 23, 2014 - 8:12 pm

Lara Jo Hi, Noor! Unfortunately, I don’t have it anymore — I sold it on ebay several months ago. What a great theme, though! Maybe you could solicit the candy wrappers from your family and friends who do eat candy? I wish you great success with your decorating!