Chinese New Year Dragon Craft

Everyone can get involved in creating this impressive Chinese new year dragon craft! Encourage creativity in your school while discovering the traditions of the Chinese New Year, with an easy to make craft.

How to make a Chinese dragon

1. Encourage each child to be creative by painting a paper plate. Use a variety of colours to paint part or all of the paint. Once dry, pierce a small hole through the middle of the plate.


2. From a new paper plate, cut eight petal shapes from the rim. Glue the white paper petals around the first painted plate.


3. Complete each plate by cutting eight large petal shapes from different coloured tissue paper and glue behind each white paper petal. These will be the ‘scales’ of the dragon. Explore the ancient art of Chinese calligraphy by encouraging the children to add their names in Chinese.

Note: we’ve used 30 completed plates for our dragon.


4. To create the dragon’s head begin by painting a paper plate red which will form the mouth. Cut two cups from an egg box and paint red. Allow to dry.

Chinese New Year Dragon

5. Fold the plate in half and decorate with painted teeth, a tongue and nostrils. Create the top of the head by gluing on eyes and feathers – the bigger the better!

Chinese New Year Dragon

6. Draw the dragon’s feet on paper plates and cut out. Paint to finish and allow to dry.

Chinese New Year Craft

7. To assemble the dragon you will need string and spacers- we’ve used plastic tubes, but pasta shapes such as penne work just as well. Leaving a long end for hanging, i.e. a large know in one end of string and through a completed plate followed by a spacer.


8. Continue adding the plates and spacers until the body is complete, finishing with a knot in front of the last plate to secure. Leaving a long end for hanging, cut the string at the front of the dragon and staple the dragon’s head to the front plate, covering the knot in the process. Add the feet by stapling in the appropriate places.

CNY dragon craft

9. You should be left with long pieces of string, at the front and at the back, to help hang the dragon. The length of your dragon will determine how many additional points you choose to lift and hang within the body. We’ve picked two points, at roughly each third of the body, looping string around and pulling the body up to suspend.

How will you be learning about Chinese New Year? For more fun activity ideas follow us on Pinterest.

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