Awesome Chinese New Year DIY Art, Decorations, and Gifts You Could Try

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Chinese art and design is a huge passion and style influence for many. Tonight is Chinese New Year’s Eve (CNY), and it’s time to celebrate, give gifts, and decorate. Here are my favorite projects gathered for you.

These projects, based on CNY traditions, vary in skill level needed—some are for the kids, some are quick and easy, and some take a little more time and love.

Pick one and get started.

CHINESE LANTERNS

One of the most commonly recognized and highly regarded symbols of China is the enduring red lantern. Here’s a classic one, followed by some with creative twists. The kids can make them too.

Make it classic. Add gold paper to the top and bottom. (Image: Pinterest)

Make it classic. Add gold paper to the top and bottom. (Image: Pinterest)

Here are some straight forward instructions to get you started, but be creative and make them it your own. Or, you might like this simple diagram better (these instructions are for kids too).

FYI, you don’t have to fold it in the center and cut with scissors. If you want it to curve out like the picture above, lay the paper out flat, mark lines with a ruler and pencil, and cut with a craft knife against the ruler.

Chinese Lantern Garland

Here’s a pretty little DIY version of the Chinese lantern you an try, you could even hook them up with fairy lights for the night. The carefully explained instructions and photo guide are in this link at AOLife.com.

Simple, handmade, and pretty, you can use this Chinese lantern garland year after year. (Image: Carole Poirot/AOLife.com)

Simple, handmade, and pretty, you can use this Chinese lantern garland year after year. (Image: Carole Poirot/AOLife.com)

Chinese Lantern Tea-Lights

Print out your favorite Chinese paper from this website (or use your own), cut, and stick on to a little glass tea-light jar. Boom.

Make pretty Chinese lantern tealights for your party. (Image: Etsy/DigitalArtMart)

Make pretty Chinese lantern tealights for your party. (Image: Etsy/DigitalArtMart)

 Make Your Own Chinese Print Art

A DIY Chinese print, made from a foam takeout box. So simple. (Image: TheMetaPicture)

A DIY Chinese print, made from a foam takeout box. So simple. (Image: TheMetaPicture)

This is an excellent idea, that if you are just a little bit artistic, you could pull off. You can print your own cards, wall art, t-shirts, canvas bags…start a printing factory, make millions.

If you make a tiny one—say 1″ by 1″, you’ve made your own Chinese chop! Boom. Time to start signing your name in style. (Glue it on the end of a little wood block and use an ink pad).

Here’s the link to show you how.

1. Cut the square top off a foam take-out container.

2. Use pencil to carve out your design (maybe copy a picture you like) like a goat, since 2015 is the year of the goat/sheep in the Chinese lunar calendar.

3. Use a paint roller and preferably screen print paint (head to the art supply shop for those) or any paint really.

4. Start printing. You should definitely do some practice runs first before printing onto the actual project/good paper etc.

DIY Paper Fortune ‘Cookies’

Here’s the instructions link.

DIY paper fortune cookies, instructions found on Evite's website. (Image: Pinterest)

DIY paper fortune cookies, instructions found on Evite’s website. (Image: Pinterest)

These are fun, classy, and easy to personalize for your guests—special messages and heart felt encouragement for your loved ones will really set a good mood for the night, and for the year to come. It’s a tradition on CNY to speak only positive things to each other.

Paper Cutting

Chinese paper cutting has been around almost since they invented paper…here’s one to try—the Double Happiness character.

The Double Happiness paper-cut tutorial. (Image: Marie's Pastiche)

The Double Happiness paper-cut tutorial. (Image: Marie’s Pastiche)

You could glue it to cards, hang them on the door, walls, and windows. Try some others as well from Marie Pastiche’s great blog.

Snowflake Chinese Paper Cut

If you think you're getting good, try this paper cut design. (Image: Pinterest)

If you think you’re getting good, try this paper cut design. (Image: Pinterest)

Once you’re good at paper cutting, give this one a go. Just follow this picture, fold the circle of paper in half four times.

Fire-Breathing Chinese Dragon

This is a cute one for the kids. Once made, they blow through the tube and make it “breath” fire! The colorful little crepe paper blows in the wind.

Make your own fire breathing dragon. (Image: Pinterest)

Make your own fire breathing dragon. (Image: Pinterest)

The picture tutorial shows what to do, even though the instructions are in French. Looks like a little adult help will be needed. Instructions HERE.

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