If you’re not familiar with a finger trap, it’s traditionally a tube woven from bamboo that “traps” the fingers of an unsuspecting person who places them inside. While the origins of the finger trap are debatable, the simplicity and joy of one never gets old.

Weaving strips of newspaper in a circular shape creates this classic gag puzzle. The basic over-under pattern is the same one used to weave a basket or a place mat, but you will be weaving in the round.

Creating this simple practical joke will test your dexterity, and maybe bring some giggles to your weekend. For an extra challenge, find different colors in the paper to weave with.

Step 1

Start with two pages of newsprint and fold each in half along the horizontal fold. Weaving the finger trap will be much easier if one of the sheets of paper is a solid color and the other one is mostly text.

Step 2

Using a ruler, measure and cut one 1.5-centimeter-wide strip off each page. Make sure to keep the strips even in width for their entire length.

Step 3

Cut both strips you just made in half at the fold. You should now have four strips, two mostly newsprint and two solid color. Moving forward these will be your “text” and “color” strips.