A Crafty Chinese New Year Celebrated with Easy Painted Paper Lanterns

Chinese New Year is this week. Why celebrate?  It’s filled with a lot of kid fun & it introduces us to different customs & cultures from around the world.  It’s an opportunity to take us on a journey of exploration, understanding and mind opening experiences.  Several years ago we celebrated Chinese New Year and made Chinese Lanterns for fun (well…our version of a Chinese lantern minus the candles.  So, I don’t know if technically they are really a Chinese Lantern, but none the less…they were fun & decorative to create).

The Chinese New Year, at least in ancient times, actually lasted up to 15 days and has to do with the full moon.  One fact that appears to be consistent in our research is that the Chinese New Year always ends with a Festival of Lanterns on the final day.  Here is how we decorated for our festival of lanterns to commemorate a little Chinese New Year fun.

Step 1: Google Chinese symbols and/or letters to copy.  Print them for the kids to follow along.  We’ve even tried our best to re-create our names with the chinese letters we’ve found on-line.

Step 2:  Fold a 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper in half-length wise.

Step 3:  We used a ruler to mark off a line on either side of the paper (see below), which is the width of the ruler and runs length wise.

Step 4: The children then cut lines with safety scissors from the fold to the drawn line, but not past it.
Step 5: We then open the paper & lay it flat.  The kids then draw Chinese symbols on the edges.

Step 6: This particular year, they used water colors to decorate the cut lines. Step 7: We wrap them around, connect them with a staple or tape & voila – decorative Chinese New Year fun!

Added Family Fun:

1.  Google & discover they symbol of the Chinese New Year; 2014 is the year of the wooden horse.

2.  Google & discover with your Chinese symbol is based on the year and month you were born; we looked up each family member.

3.  Google & discover what 2014′s year of the wooden horse means to your chinese symbol.

Other Chinese New Year posts to check out include; Gok Jai desserts & Fortune Cookie Lunchbox Notes

 

Crafty Chinese New Year Lunchbox Note Fun Made Easy

 

paper fortune cookies for lunchbox fun Over the years I have LOVED sharing lunchbox notes with my kids & with Chinese New Year 2014 just around the corner, Friday, January 31st to be exact, I decided that this year I was sending paper fortune cookies with some well wishes to my youngest.  I have seen the fabric fortune cookies, but determined that wasn’t a project I could take on.  I needed it to be quick, easy & something that was fun, but didn’t take up hours of my time.  After a little configuring, we discovered that these are quick & easy to make.  It only took approximately 20 minutes to complete the entire project to share and we’ve even simplified it a bit to share with you complete with a free printable.

 

paper crafting for Chinese New Year Supplies Needed: 

Colorful Scrapbooking Paper

Compass or ruler with a pencil

Scissors

Tape

Stapler & staples

Pipe cleaners

cutting paper fortune cookies paper fortune cookie making

Step 1:  Draw a 4 inch circle using the compass with pencil and cut it out.

Step 2:  Cut a 4 inch piece of pipe cleaner.

 

creating paper fortune cookies

Step 3:  Tape the pipe cleaner down the center of the circle on the side that will ultimately be the inside of the paper fortune cookie.

Step 4: Fold the paper fortune cookie in half loosely not forming a crease at the bottom.

Step 5: Staple the very top of the folded cookie at the rounded edges.

Step 6:  Fold the fortune cookie in half to create the fortune cookie shape.

chinese new year crafts       lunch box note fun for chinese new year

chinese fortune cookie noteslunch box note fun for chinese new year

 

We searched the internet for a few chinese symbols & created a free printable of notes to fill the fortune cookies for lunchbox packing fun.  The printable is at the bottom of the page, but here is what it has included on it;

fortune cookie notes

Here is the free printable to simply print & clip: fortune cookie notes

Also, check out our Gok Jai recipe for a little family fun taste testing by clicking here.

 

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This Easy Craft Creates Kid Birthday Fun

paper chain craftI don’t know who gets more excited for my kid’s birthdays; me or the kids?

My youngest’s birthday is coming up at the end of January.  Over the years we have exchanged many notes to each other; it’s been one of our little ‘things’ that I treasure and love.  So I thought this easy craft would create a little birthday fun to share with her as we counted down to her big day in a special way.

It was very inexpensive, because I used what I already had in the house.  I’m notorious for purchasing scrapbooking paper & then not ever getting to ‘it’, but will some day.  So I raided my craft stash of scrapbook papers and pull out a bunch of wintery pink and purple sheets that were decorated with mittens, snowflakes, etc.  I then cut them into strips & created a paper rings with a stapler to countdown each day until her birthday.  I then attached notes to the chain in sealed envelopes for her to discover as a surprise along they way as she counted down.  It was simple & it has been fun and it’s just a little something extra to celebrate her!

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RomanceOnADime.com

 

Family Fun for the Holidays making a Reindeer Food Holder Craft

Reindeer Food Craft Over the years we have both made & received reindeer food.  Many of the reindeer food gifts we have received contained items like glitter, etc. in the mix.  So, I morphed the concept into our own concoction to share that is both festive & eco-friendly to any critters that might partake once it’s been dusted outside to attract Santa’s Reindeer for a visit.  You can grab my Reindeer Food Recipe by clicking here.  In addition to making this fun combo, we also created an affordable Reindeer Food Holder Craft that was perfect for family fun & a great way to share this festive treat with friends.  Making the Reindeer Food Holder Craft & filling it with the Reindeer Food has made a wonderful classroom gift or just the right share with family friends.  It also has provided a fun way to sprinkle out reindeer food on Christmas Eve.

 

Reindeer Food Holder Craft Supplies Needed:

Reindeer Food

Black Marker

Black poster board or card stock

Large Paper Bag

Pencil

Red Duct Tape

Scissors

Stapler

1.  Cut one rectangular side of the bag away from the rest of the bag & lay it on a flat surface.

Reindeer Food 012

2. Cut out a curved triangular shape like below (the sides equal 8 inches in length and then slightly curve/arc the top).

3. Using a black marker, add eyes towards the top of the arc.  Note: The point will end up being the nose of the reindeer.  You can also use the craft wiggly eyes if desired by attaching them with crafting glue.

4.  Roll the triangular piece of paper and staple it to create a cone shape.

5.  Add a piece of red duct tape around the point to create a rudolph nose affect.

6.  Cut two antlers out of the black card stock or poster board by creating a large ‘Y’ that is 1 1/2 – 2 inches thick.

7.  Cut out a handle form the black card stock or poster board that is approximately 10 – 12 inches long & 1 1/2 – 2 inches thick.

8.  Staple the antlers and handle in place.

9.  Fill the reindeer holder with reindeer food.  We actually wrap the reindeer food in a cellophane goody bag and tie it off with holiday colored ribbon before putting it in the holder and then open it & pour it into the holder on Christmas Eve before sprinkling it outside for Santa’s Reindeer.