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Chinese New Year is a time for families to be together. Celebrations include having dinner on Chinese New Year’s Eve, setting off firecrackers, giving lucky money to children, ringing the New Year bell, sending New Year greetings, Dragon and Lion dancing.



The Dragon Dance is one of the most anticipated events of the New Year celebrations. The dance is only performed on special occasions and is believed to ward off evil spirits and at the same time brings good fortune. The dragon has long been valued in Chinese culture as a caring creature, despite its fierce looks.

Chinese Dragon dance cny

To promote the celebrations of the Chinese New Year, we have created this ‘Art How to…’ step by step guide on how you can make your very own Dragon so that you too can perform this very special Chinese Dragon Dance.

Step 1 – Making the Dragons Head

Chinese Dragon Head   Chinese Dragon Head   Chinese Dragon Head

Firstly, paint the head with a couple of layers of white acrylic paint. This will make the other acrylic colours or Deco patch paper you use to decorate the head much brighter. Paint chosen areas with acrylic paint to add detail and colour e.g. Eyes, mouth, horns etc.  Highlight features and detail using beautiful Deco patch patterned papers.

Next, Use a selection of collage materials eg feathers, sequins, glittear glue and dazzle dots to finish off!

   Chinese Dragon Head   Chinese Dragon Head

Step 2 – Making the Chinese Dragon’s Costume

Decide the length you want the body to be and cut the gold foil to size. Fold the foil in two as this creates the main ‘body’ of the costume.  Choose a colour of holographic foil to make the scalloped ‘spine’ of the costume, fold over and over it into a ‘concertina’ to help cut a uniformed scalloped shape. Cut a length for each side of the costume and use double sided tape to attach the holographic foil ‘spine’.

Chinese Dragon costume   Chinese Dragon costume   Chinese Dragon costume

Make the spiked ridges along the back using the self-adhesive foil. For each spike use the grid on the back as a size guide and cut 2 rectangles the same size (we used 8 squares). Cut both to a ‘V’ shape on the lower half, peel off the backing and stick halfway down one side of the scalloped spine. Stick the other on top to match. Cut the top half into a ‘spike’. Repeat process down the spine.

Chinese Dragon costume   Chinese Dragon costume   Chinese Dragon costume

Cut scales from holographic self-adhesive foil and stick randomly over the ‘body’. Add extra colour and texture by sticking feathers and sequins along the edge of the costume.

Chinese Dragon Head

“Kung Hei Fat Choi” (Happy New Year!!!) and Happy Making.


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