Wednesday 8 January 2014

Chinese New Year Craft - Junk Modelling Firecracker Decoration

Happy New Year to you all. I hope you enjoyed the holidays, I certainly enjoyed my break from the internet, but now I'm back and raring to go!

We made the most of the last days of the school holidays with a little crafting, just in time to celebrate Chinese New Year.  We always mark this occasion either with a simple Chinese meal at home and fortune cookies, or sometimes we head up to London and visit China Town for the spectacular parades.

Firecrackers are a big part of the celebration tradition now, so we had a go at making our own child-friendly version, to act as a decoration in the home.

Homemade Chinese Firecracker decoration

If you've been indulging like me over Christmas, you should have the bits you need in your junk modelling sack!  A shaped box such as this hexagonal Turkish Delight carton is perfect, and of course I always have lots of corks.  I love crafting with corks (any excuse to open a bottle of wine) - check out the fairy toadstools and cork critters I made last year.

You'll also need some paint, some skewers and a large needle.

Begin by pushing your corks onto a wooden skewer.  This makes painting them less messy and will also create a hole through the middle that you'll need for threading later.

We gave our corks a couple of coats of red acrylic paint and then when dry added some gold detail. Stand your skewered corks in a tall glass or vase to dry.

Either paint over the branding on your box then paint on your message in Chinese symbols, or print it out onto red paper and cut to fit before glueing over the branding.

Next, thread a length of wool through the centre of each cork, securing it one end with a knot.  Thread another long length of wool through two sides of the box creating a hanging loop at the top and leaving a length of yarn hanging at the bottom.

Tie on your corks individually to the tail thread, snipping off loose ends as you go.  Finally, make a simple wool tassel to finish it off.

Chinese New Year Fire Cracker

For more Chinese New Year crafts you might like my Chinese Lantern using a paper shade or some of these great craft ideas from fellow bloggers:

Kids Chaos has made this brilliant dragon shadow puppet.
Domestic Goddesque is celebrating the year of the horse with these fab candy cane horses - use up your Christmas leftovers!
Peakle Pie has a wonderful paper plate dragon and some fan decorations.
Makie Do is making a puppet theatre - if only her daughter can get over her fear of dragons!
Family Days, Tried and tested has tonnes of ideas for a Chinese themed day.
Jennifer's Little World has adorable loo roll dragon puppets.
The Gingerbread House has some Chinese New Year tea light holders.
Red Ted Art has a whole round-up of activities!
Crystal's Tiny Treasures has these lovely chopstick holders.
Pink Oddy has this super-cute loo roll horse.
Hodge Podge Craft has this amazing dancing dragon.

Will you be celebrating Chinese New Year this year?  It's the year of the horse - but what's the year were you born?  I'm a tiger "roar" (Katie Perry Stylee).


  1. Sadly I was born in the year of the Dog! (I'm sure that many of my friends could comment that they are not surprised by that).

    Do you hide little treats inside the box?

    1. That's the plan, but it's currently hung up in the window so I worry things might melt! Maybe I'll fill it up nearer the time, I might put some little fortune cookies inside :0)

      Sorry about the dog thing!

  2. How cool is this. A great idea for repackaging the Turkish delight as a gift ;)

    1. Ahh the Turkish Delight are long gone I'm afraid *wipes powder from mouth*

  3. Simple construction but looks so effective.
    Glad you're feeling refreshed after your break :-)

  4. I am a sucker for a cork craft! Love it!

  5. So brilliant! I do love a good cork craft and what a great idea of skewering them to paint. I always end up in such a mess.

  6. That is genius! Such a clever idea and it looks so real as well. I didn't recognize that you used cork at all...

  7. you're amazing! Loving the look of concentration... and who ate all of the Turkish Delights?? x

  8. Firstly I love Turkish Delight and I will always help you if you need any more empty boxes.
    Secondly, I have just checked what year I was born which is the Horse, the same as 2014. However and delighted that this means : Diligent, friendly, sophisticated, talented, clever!! :-)

  9. Awesome #thatisall Please don't take any more time off - you make some of us feel inadequate!

  10. I was born in theyear of the Rabbit - NOT ONE WORD.

  11. What a great craft, it looks amazing! I was born in the year of the sheep, not very exciting!

  12. I think i may have found another thing to do with the girls. Thank you for sharing this.

  13. Fab craft project as usual Liz - I think I'm a Monkey!

  14. That's so professional! I always think I'm not going to bother with Chinese new year after all the excesses of Christmas but by the time it comes I'm ready, and the kids love the different way of celebrating

  15. That looks so professional! What a great idea! LOVE IT!


  16. That looks really good and like how you've made good use of the recycling. Do you think it would work with party poppers?

    I was born in the year of the horse.

  17. I LOVE this, genius idea. I'm a goat *chews the strap off your handbag*