Childhood Memories Friday: Gum Wrapper Chain

I was cleaning out a closet the other day that was long overdue.

I pulled out old quilts I’d made in 4-H, old toys I’d sewn, and I even discovered this:

gum wrapper chainMy good old gum wrapper chain.

I remember years ago, one of the rare nights when my sister and I had a babysitter, she taught me to make this chain. I copied the way she folded the wrappers, linked a few, but got so frustrated when I forgot how to do it the next day. Thankfully, I was able to figure it out, and for years thereafter I faithfully increased its length.

gum wrapper chainSmall as they are, the wrappers do bring back memories. Beech Nut … lots of Juicy Fruit … remember Fruit Stripe gum, with the cute little zebra?

fruit stripe gumI remember a gum flavored like ice cream – chocolate, strawberry, vanilla – it had stripes as well. Does this ring a bell to anyone else?  Even at the time, I remember kind of cringing at the idea of chocolate stripe gum. I can still taste the powdery coating on it. Maybe this is it?

chocolate gum strawberry gum 1970s

My girls are fascinated by the gum wrapper chain, but alas – most gum today doesn’t have wrappers. No, it comes in little foil packs or small paper wrappers totally unsuited to such extravagant crafts as we made back in the 1970s …

Did you have a gum wrapper chain? Whatever became of it?

9 thoughts on “Childhood Memories Friday: Gum Wrapper Chain

  1. And then there was the night we had a huge gum wrapper chain at church, in the hallway on a shelf and when we went to retrieve it, IT WAS GONE! Grandma Short, a caring older lady, said, “Who would steal a gum wrapper chain?” (or something on that order. I don’t think we ever got it back.

  2. Our supermarket has a single rack of “retro” candy, and they carry Fruit Stripe gum.

    Yipes! Stripes! Fruit Stripe Gum!

    Actually, nowadays, it’s more like “Yipes! A buck for Fruit Strip gum?”

  3. I remember that chocolate ice cream gum–it was awful!

    I also recall a friend of mine had one of those chains. It was incredibly long and I was fascinated by it.

  4. We ARE twins separated at birth, right?? I spent 5th grade OBSESSED with finding NEW, DIFFERENT gum wrappers! My then best friend Susan and I got in trouble for doing gum wrapper folding in class!! Still, my parents helped my obsession. On a trip “all the way” to Indy (60 miles!!) we found the candy counter at, Ayres? (no longer sure which store) and they had BLACK JACK, TEA BERRY and CLOVE gum!! My Dad threw caution to the wind and bought me a pack of EACH!! How cool was that? My chain eventually stretched around my bedroom a few times. Sadly, I think Mom threw it out when I went to the Peace Corps!

    Lovely post!! So fun to remember such things.

  5. I just saw an advertisement in Marthat Stewart Living magazine highlighting a mother/daughter duo making paper chains out of…..Starburst wrappers. I may have to try this with my daughter so she can add this to her life experience!

  6. OMG!! I forgot all about these and I used to make them! And the gum too, those ice cream flavors. So much fun!! Thank you for this memory!!

  7. i did and i do – it’s out in my garage in my memory boxes 🙂

  8. Yes, I have one too, it is priceless to me, Mine is about 6′ long.

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