Auspicious Chinese Character CNY Decorations: Easy Crafts With Kids

Auspicious Chinese Character CNY Decorations: Easy Crafts With Kids
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Auspicious Chinese character CNY decorations are must-haves in most homes where the festival is celebrated. Instead of buying them, how about making your own this year?

Not only can you involve the kids in the home decoration process, but also teach them a couple of Chinese words associated with Chinese New Year traditions and – most importantly – have fun bonding!

Ready to embark on an enriching and easy craft project with the little ones? Our Chinese character CNY decoration idea is a child-friendly twist on the doufang (斗方), which is a diamond-shaped piece of red paper featuring a Chinese character that carries the meaning of good luck, prosperity or the start of a new season.

Using materials that can be found easily around the home, such as paper plates, ice cream sticks and angpow packets, we are going to create decorations showcasing the characters ‘chun’ (春) and ‘ji’ (吉).


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Materials Needed for Auspicious Chinese Character CNY Decorations

Make sure you have these materials before starting on the crafts:
– Paper plates (diameter: 9-inch)
– Ice cream sticks
– Angpow packets
– Pipe cleaner
– Any piece of card that is about 13 cm x 8 cm big
– A small piece of green-coloured paper


Making ‘Chun’ (春) CNY Decoration: A Step-by-Step Guide

Making ‘Chun’ (春) CNY Decoration: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1

Colour the plate

Let’s start with the ‘chun’ (春) Chinese character CNY decoration. ‘Chun’ (春) means spring, which is when the Chinese New Year is celebrated. In fact, the festival is also called ‘chun jie’ (春节), or spring festival.

The first step in this craft is to paint a paper plate any colour that you prefer. We chose to create a pastel watercolour effect using watercolour pencils, but you may wish to use brighter and more festive colours. It’s up to you.

Step 2

Ice cream sticks on plate

Arrange ice cream sticks on the plate to form the upper portion of the word ‘chun’ (春). Glue them into position.

Step 3

Drawing on paper

Next, we are going to make a flower. Cut a square-shaped piece measuring about 9 cm x 9 cm from an angpow packet. Fold it in half twice. Draw a petal of a flower on one of the smaller squares, as shown in the picture. Fold the paper according to the fold lines and cut along the marked path to create the first layer of petals.

Step 4

Petals

Find another angpow packet with a different colour scheme. Cut a 9 cm x 9 cm square piece out of it. Repeat Step 3, this time drawing a slimmer petal shape. This will form the second layer of petals. The picture shows how the flower looks with the two layers of petals combined.

Step 5

CNY Flower

To complete the flower, make a small hole at the centre of each layer of petals and pull a pipe cleaner through both. Create a spiral pattern at the end of the pipe cleaner that protrudes in front of the flower petals. Then, tie a knot with the pipe cleaner at the back of the petals so that when the flower is attached to the paper plate, it can stay at a fixed height above the plate.

Step 6

Plate and Flowers

Cut a tiny ‘x’ on the plate such that the pipe cleaner can be inserted and the flower placed in a central position underneath the top portion of the ‘chun’ (春) character. Constructed this way, the petals are free-spinning, which adds an element of fun to the design.

Step 7

Back of Plate - CNY Craft

The portion of the pipe cleaner at the back of the plate can be run up to the top of the plate and stuck to it. Make a loop at the end of the pipe cleaner so that the ‘chun’ (春) Chinese character CNY decoration can be hung.

Step 8

DIY CNY decoration

There you have it – your pretty DIY CNY decoration! The blooming flower in the design helps to bring out the theme of spring and exuberance.


Making ‘Ji’ (吉) Chinese New Year Decoration

Making ‘Ji’ (吉) Chinese New Year Decoration

Step 1

Ji Decoration

Now, let’s work on another Chinese character CNY decoration – this time featuring the word ‘ji’ (吉), which means auspiciousness. This decorative piece is designed to stand on a surface.

We start the same way as with the ‘chun’ (春) decoration. Paint a paper plate in a colour that you like. We have chosen a bright yellow for this design. Then arrange ice cream sticks to form the top part of the word ‘ji’ (吉) and glue them into position.

Step 2

Card

Using the back of a penknife, make a score line at approximately 4.5 cm from one end of a piece of card that is about 13 cm x 8 cm big. Using cardboard recycled from packaging or a delivery box would be great!

The trick to scoring is to run the back of the penknife blade a few times across, making sure that the card is not cut through.

Step 3

Card with two score lines

Make another score line at about 2.8 cm from the other end of the cardboard. Fold the card along both lines, as illustrated in the picture.

Step 4

Side view

Attach the card to the back of the plate using double-sided tape to make a stand.

Step 5

Shape cut out of angpow packet

Cut a long oval shape out of an angpow packet that has a shade of orange. This piece will be used to make a mandarin orange to represent the ‘kou’ (口) at the bottom part of the ‘ji’ (吉) character.

A mandarin orange is used in the design as the Cantonese pronunciation of the citrus fruit is similar to the way ‘ji’ (吉) is said in Cantonese. Hence, these oranges are often seen together with the word ‘ji’ (吉) in Chinese New Year decorations.

Step 6

accordian folds

Make accordian folds on the oval-shaped paper as shown in the picture.

Step 7

Completed Decoration

Attach the accordian-folded mandarin orange onto the paper plate as shown, using either glue or double-sided tape. Cut a leaf shape and stick it onto the orange for the finishing touch.

We hope you will enjoy crafting these Chinese character CNY decorations with the kids and beautifying the home with your own artwork! Have a wonderful celebration this Lunar New Year!

If you enjoyed this story, you may also enjoy this other Chinese New Year craft ideas or this dragon craft.


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