How to Make Chinese Dragons From Boxes

Written by verity jones
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How to Make Chinese Dragons From Boxes
Turn a couple of empty egg boxes into a colourful Chinese dragon. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

In Chinese mythology, the dragon -- or "lung"-- is a much beloved, wise and powerful animal, symbolic of the emperor himself. Colourful dragons make frequent appearances in Chinese decorative arts and no Chinese New Year parade would be complete without one. Making a dragon is a great way to teach children about Chinese culture. This toy dragon is made from egg boxes, but a costume-sized dragon could be similarly made from large cartons.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Two cardboard 1/2-dozen-size egg boxes
  • Poster paints
  • Paintbrushes
  • Hole punch
  • Ribbon
  • Red paper
  • Hot-glue gun
  • Hot-glue sticks
  • Jingle bells
  • Wooden lollipop sticks

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  1. 1

    Paint the outside surfaces of the egg boxes red, yellow and orange. Chinese dragons are frequently depicted in warm, bright colours. Paint the boxes a solid colour. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly. Then go back and add stripes or spots and scales with another colour, if desired. Allow the paint to dry.

  2. 2

    Cut out each compartment of the egg boxes so you have 12 cardboard-cup shapes. Choose one cup for the dragon's head, and paint the inside surface black. Set the head aside.

  3. 3

    Punch two holes in each of the other cups using the hole punch. Place the holes opposite each other, at least 1/2-inch up from the open end of the cup. These will form the body of the dragon.

  4. 4

    Line up the egg cups with the punched holes, open-side down. Thread the ribbon through the holes, linking the cups. Tie a knot on either side of each cup so that it cannot slide back and forth on the ribbon. Leave enough slack between the cups so that the dragon can wiggle.

  5. 5

    Cut a small "Y' shape out of red paper for the dragon's forked tongue. Turn the dragon's head on its side and glue the tongue to the black interior, so that it sticks out of the mouth.

  6. 6

    Glue the head to the front of the dragon's body. Glue two jingle bells onto the top of the head to represent eyes. Glue three jingle bells to the last cup of the dragon's body.

  7. 7

    Turn the dragon on its back and glue wooden lollipop sticks upright inside several of the cups. By doing so, you can lift the dragon and move it around, as in a Chinese New Year's parade.

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