Fun and Easy Paper Crafts for Chinese New Year

January 28, 2017

Dragon paper craftThe Chinese Lunar New Year, marking the start of Year of the Rooster, begins today, January 28. To kick off your celebration, create some neat Chinese New Year crafts, like these cute paper dragons and lanterns. They're easy and fun to make and perfect to decorate the house, and make great playdate, school, or scout group activities. They'll also be perfect to have on hand while you watch the San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade on February 11 Have your own parade through the living room!

Paper Dragons

Here’s what you’ll need to make your dragons:

  • Gold stickers or paint (red and gold are traditional colors for Chinese New Year)
  • Crepe paper in red, yellow, or orange
  • Dragon head template (download here)
  • Heavy white paper or card stock (letter size)
  • Markers or crayons
  • Wooden chopsticks or other thin but sturdy sticks
  • Tape
  • Paint brushes
  • Scissors

Here’s how to make them:

  1. Download the template and print out a head for each dragon you want to make on card stock. Children can color the head with markers or crayons. Be colorful and creative!
  2. Cut out the dragon’s head.
  3. Cut three strips of crepe paper to at least three feet in length. Kids can decorate the crepe paper strips with gold stickers or paint. Make sure you let painted strips dry before handling.
  4. Tape the chopstick to the back of the dragon’s head to make a handle
  5. Tape the crepe paper strips to the dragon’s head.

Now you’re ready for your dragon parade! Grab hold of the handle and parade your creation around the room.

Paper lanternsPaper Lanterns

Here's what you'll need to make the paper lanterns:

  • Construction or other heavy colored paper (red is a traditional color for Chinese New Year)
  • Scissors
  • A ruler
  • A pencil
  • Tape
  • A stapler
  • Glue, glitter, stickers, markers, paint, sequins, and other things to decorate your lantern

Lantern lines diagramHere's how to make your lantern:

  1. Fold your sheet of paper in half lengthwise.
  2. With your pencil and ruler, draw a line lengthwise on the paper one inch from the top of the unfolded edge. This is your "do not cut line" that marks where you stop cutting.
  3. Now, take your pencil and ruler and draw lines one inch apart from the folded edge to the do not cut line.
  4. Cut the paper along the lines to the "do not cut" line.
  5. Now unfold the paper. If you flip it over and re-crease the fold in the opposite direction you can hide your pencil marks.
  6. Roll the paper into a cylinder and tape the narrow edges of the paper together where they meet. The middle of the lantern will flare out at the crease.
  7. Cut a one-inch wide strip from the narrow end of another sheet of colored paper for your lantern's handle. Use the stapler or tape to affix the handle to the top of the lantern.
  8. Add decorations: stickers, glitter, paint, markers, crayons, and more can be used to make your lantern a thing of beauty!

Gung hay fat choy—wishing you good fortune and prosperity!