How to Make a Paper Chinese Dragon Head

Updated November 21, 2016

According to the Char4u article Dragon: The Heart of Chinese Culture, dragons are a symbol of wealth, wisdom, protection, strength---and good luck. Create a paper Chinese dragon head to celebrate Chinese New Year. Wear one as a mask and participate in a New Year's parade, or hang it on the wall for a decoration.

Cut a piece of poster board in half, lengthwise. This should give you an 11-by-28-inch strip of cardboard. Choose any colour poster board: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple or black. One piece of poster board makes 2 large dragons. Cut it in half, lengthwise again, to make 4 dragons.

Wrap the poster board strip around the back of your head or a child's head. Staple the sides together close to the forehead.

Remove from head and glue the two pieces of protruding poster board together. Cut out the shape of a mouth. Consider what an alligator's mouth looks like when contouring the head and mouth: Add nostrils and a pointy snout.

Use pieces of construction paper to make paper scales, teeth, horns and eyes. Markers, stickers or shapes cut out of coloured duct tape can also be used to decorate the dragon head.

Attach crepe paper streamers in red, orange and yellow to simulate flames from the dragon's mouth. Streamers can also be attached to the back of the paper dragon's head for more embellishment.


Use this Chinese paper dragon head as a costume for you or a child. Wear a sweatsuit and make bracelets out of pipe cleaners with streamers attached to complete the costume.


Cover the staples with a piece of colourful duct tape to avoid snagging hair or skin.

Things You'll Need

  • Poster board, any colour
  • Scissors
  • Stapler
  • Construction paper
  • Glue stick
  • Markers
  • Crepe paper streamers
  • Stickers (optional)
  • Coloured duct tape (optional)
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