How to Make a Snake Dragon Out of Paper

Written by erin ringwald
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How to Make a Snake Dragon Out of Paper
Create a Chinese snake dragon using paper mache. (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Commonly found in Chinese mythology, snake dragons represent power, luck and wisdom. You can find snake dragons in Chinese stores and at some home stores, but they are expensive. If you want to add some luck to your home or are just looking for an easy craft on a rainy weekend, create your own snake dragon using a balloon and some paper mache.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • 12-inch long balloon
  • String
  • Paper cup
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Newspaper
  • Liquid starch
  • Acrylic paints
  • Paintbrush
  • White construction paper
  • Red construction paper
  • Glue

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  1. 1

    Inflate a 12-inch long balloon animal balloon. Tie the end of the balloon to seal it. Bend the balloon into the shape you desire for the finished snake dragon. You can leave it straight or add waves to the length to make it look like it is crawling. Tie a piece of string to the tied end of the balloon and hang it from a ceiling fan or eyehook.

  2. 2

    Cut a bathroom paper cup in half from top to bottom, using scissors, to create the dragon's head and mouth. Cut the half circles off the bottom of each half and discard them. Place one half of the cup on the top and one half of the cup on the bottom of the balloon, inserting the balloon 1-inch inside of each piece, so that the cut out half circles follow the curvature of the balloon. Use tape to adhere the two halves of the cup to the end of the balloon not tied to the string, with the cups sticking out 2-inches from the end of the balloon. Keep the ends of the cup separated to create a gap between the untaped ends to create the mouth.

  3. 3

    Place newspaper under the hanging balloon to avoid a mess. Tear more newspaper into 1- by 6-inch strips. Moisten the strips in liquid starch, found in your local grocery store's cleaning aisle. Apply the moistened strips to the balloon and cup. Overlap the strips as you go to completely cover the entire balloon and cup surface. Leave to hang and dry overnight.

  4. 4

    Apply a second layer of newspaper strips using the same method as before to add a second layer to your snake dragon. Allow the strips to dry overnight.

  5. 5

    Cut the tied end of the balloon to deflate it. Remove the balloon from the small hole left behind.

  6. 6

    Paint the surface of the dragon using acrylic paints. Use any colour combination you desire. Include eyes, nostrils and scales using the paint. To create scales, paint half circles all over the dragon. Allow the paint to dry for 3 to 4 hours.

  7. 7

    Create teeth for the mouth by cutting out 20 1/4-inch triangles from a piece of white construction paper. Glue the triangles into the open mouth of the dragon's head.

  8. 8

    Cut a dragon tongue shape out of red construction paper. Glue it to the inside of the dragon's mouth.

Tips and warnings

  • If desired, create legs out of construction paper. Also, create spikes out of construction paper for the dragon's back.

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