Image of a lion dance craft for Chinese New Year for children

The idea of making a lion dance craft for Chinese New Year has been sitting in the dark recesses of my brain for ages.
I just couldn’t quite figure out what form it was going to take.
And so the concept just hung around as I waited for an idea to land upon me.
Yep. My creative process is very formal. Not.

I attempted to do some firework printing using paper tubes with my kids.
It was a bit of a failure. Thanks, Pinterest.
However, looking at the discarded paper tube paintbrushes, it struck me.
Perfect for a dancing lion’s mouth.
And so the project took form.

What you will need for this Lion Dance Craft for Chinese New Year:

Printable template for lion’s head
2 paper tubes
Tissue paper
2 pipe cleaners
Beads, buttons and pom poms
Jewellery wire
Craft glue
Hole punch
Hot glue gun (for adult use)

Image of a template for a lion dance craft for Chinese New Year for children

Print out your template and colour it in.
Make small cuts into a paper tube at regular intervals. Press down gently to fan these sections out. Dip into paint and set aside to dry.
Once dried, you can cut this toilet roll to about one-third of its size.
Cut out the inner circle of your template. Slide the lion’s head over the paper tube- the “teeth” will prevent the head from sliding off.
At the opposite end of the tube, make 4 evenly-spaced cuts into the tube. This will slide over the tube that forms the lion’s body.

Layer squares of tissue paper together. Cut the centre out and place over the paper tube.This tissue paper will sit behind the lion’s head, forming the mane. Trim the paper as desired.
Paint your second paper tube. Once dried, use a hole punch to cut 2 holes for front legs and 2 holes for back legs.
Thread a pipe cleaner between each hole.
Poke the jewellery wire through the middle of the tube. Secure with a bead on the underbelly. This wire will help your lion to jiggle and dance.
Thread beads and buttons onto the pipe cleaner legs. LOTS of fine motor fun at this stage.
I used a hot glue gun to affix pom poms. (An adult obviously should complete that step.)
Thread beads onto the jewellery wire.
Cut some extra tissue paper to layer over the lion’s body.

Now let the lion dance!

Need some more Chinese New Year crafts? Try these finger puppets.

Click here for my Chinese New Year picture book recommendations.

Pin for later:

Text overlay "Lion Dance Craft for Chinese New Year." Two images showing the craft product made with tissue paper and paper rolls.