DIY: Chinese New Year Dragon Puppet

Share this post

What comes to mind when you think of dragons?

In Chinese culture, dragons are friendly and represent wisdom.

The 2019 Chinese New Year begins on February 5 and lasts for 15 days. This holiday is based on the lunar calendar and thus changes each year. It typically arrives one moon later than the Western new year. During this time, traditional dragon dances symbolize peace, good luck, and good harvest in the year ahead.

Dragons used in New Year’s dances are traditionally colorful and are so big that they are carried by 40 – 60 or more people. The dance includes a traditional Chinese mix of art, music, and Kungfu.

Although the celebration of Chinese New Year may be more muted in our Valley than in China or other U.S. cities with large Chinese populations, the holiday can still be a meaningful occasion, especially for children.  The heart of the matter is gathering with family and friends.

Have fun with your children making your own colorful and interactive dragon puppet during the Chinese New Year. This can open up conversations about our neighbors from other parts of the world, and even help introduce new foods as you plan your own family parade and dance in your living room!




hot glue gun w/ glue sticks

2 paper plates

egg carton

1 chopstick

brightly colored acrylic paints

white acrylic paint

Sharpie or black paint pen


decorative feathers

tissue paper

crepe paper streamers

decorative paper

(i.e.: wrapping paper, scrapbook paper, or

butcher paper to decorate with your child. This will be cut into two strips that are 2” wide. The length of the strips determines the length of your dragon’s torso. 18” strips = 12” torso. The size is up to you.)


Download a template for adding ears and horns:

Or, design, cut, and paint your own, using sturdy craft paper.

STEP-BY-STEP Instructions

LEARN MORE about the Art Base.

About Abby Gierke

The Art Base Youth Programs Manager