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 ISSUE 64   •   18 JANUARY 2009  
   This issue: chinese new year


1. Editorial
2. Shiny lantern
3. Lucky garland

4. Paper plate ox
5. Red packet lantern
6. Featured subscriber blog

1. Editorial – spead the word

Welcome back to Kids Craft Weekly for 2009! I'm so happy to be back – I love the promise and optimism that the new year brings.

I also like that the new year encourages us to reflect on the past and to set goals for the future. I've been doing quite a bit of this over the past few weeks (I just love to sit quietly and think) and feel quite clear about what I'd like to achieve this year. It's a good feeling.

As well as losing a few kilos and getting more sleep (the usual suspects) I have set some specific goals for Kids Craft Weekly.

I am resolved to send newsletters out more regularly this year. I'm also going to make the time to work on several new books. I'm committed to making improvements to the newsletter and the website and to explore new possibilities in these areas. 

I'm also really keen to get the word out about Kids Craft Weekly to the wider world. For my part I'm going to be more pro-active about promoting the website and I am hoping that you will consider helping too.

If you're interested in helping me to spread the word in 2009, here are some simple ways you can do it.

Blog it. If you have your own blog or website, perhaps you could write a post about Kids Craft Weekly or consider adding the website to your list of links.

Bookmark it. Add the Kids Craft Weekly website to your bookmarks on digg and del.icio.us. 

Talk about it. Tell your mother's group, your brothers and sisters, your work colleagues, the lady with young kids who runs the corner store and that crazy cousin who works for some parenting magazine in Germany.

Pass it on. Forward on this newsletter to any of your friends who you think might like it. 

If every subscriber recommended Kids Craft Weekly to just one or two other people it would make a massive difference to our crafty little community. And you know what they say – the more the merrier!

Thanks so much for reading, and subscribing and spreading the word. I hope you like this newsletter – I really loved putting it together. Oh, and happy new year!

Happy crafting and I'll see you next time!

Amber Carvan

Chinese New Year

I thought it was fitting to kick start Kids Craft Weekly for 2009 with a collection of crafts for Chinese New Year. In the Chinese lunar calendar the coming year will be the Year of the Ox and it commences on January 26.

To find out more about some of the wonderful traditions associated with this celebration you can read more here.

2. Shiny lantern

These pretty lanterns are very simple and kids love how the lantern shape appears as if by magic! We had red and gold sticky contact on hand but if you don't you could try using  thin card or even origami paper.

You will need

• scrap paper
• red and gold sticky contact
• scissors
• split pins (brads)
• a hole punch
• some cotton or string


1. Cut out three similarly sized rectangles – one from scrap paper, one from gold contact and one from red contact.

2. Peel off the backing from the contact and cover one side of your scrap paper in red and the other side in gold. Then trim around the edges to make it nice and neat.

3. Cut the paper in strips approximately one centimetre wide.

4. Put the strips in a stack and punch a hole at the top and the bottom. Then insert split pins through each of the holes. It doesn't matter if they don't line up perfectly.

5. Fan out the strips to form a lantern! Then tie some cotton around one of the split pins to make a loop – now your lantern is ready to hang!

3. Lucky garland

There are two stages to making this lovely garland to hang in your doorway. The first stage is great for young kids. Older children will enjoy progressing the craft further and having a go at drawing the chinese symbol for good luck known as fu.

You will need

• gold string
red and gold tissue wrap
a blunt/wool needle (or plastic needle)


red cardboard
white glue
cotton buds (q tips)
gold glitter
• pencil or pen
• hole punch


1. To get ready, thread a length of gold string onto a large blunt needle and cut or tear some pieces of red and gold tissue wrap.

2. Thread the pieces of paper onto the string. Experiment with different ways of using the paper and the needle.

3. My kids enjoyed scrunching the paper and threading them roughly.Young ones may want to finish up at this point. Older kids will enjoy continuing on to add a good luck symbol.

4. On a piece of red card copy this good luck symbol. You can find good instructions on how to write these characters on this webpage (scroll to the bottom).

5. Use white glue and a fine brush to paint over the characters in glue. Then sprinkle on some gold glitter and allow to dry. Punch a hole in the top of the cardboard and attach it to the garland.

6. And there you have it! Hang the garland from a doorway to bring good luck to your home in the new year.

4. Paper plate ox

In the Chinese zodiac 2009 is the year of the Ox – the sign of prosperity through fortitude and hard work. Ox people are awesome, and I should know because I was born in May 1973 which makes me a Taurus/Ox. Some would say full of bull. :)

Enough silliness. This simple paper plate craft is fun for kids of all ages. The finished ox faces make great masks or look good hanging on the wall!

You will need

• paper plate
• sponge
• scissors
• brown paint
• hole punch
• split pins (brads)
• black marker
• tape or stapler


1. Cut an oval shape from a dish sponge.

2. Use the oval shape to paint a paper plate with brown paint. Make sure you completely cover your sponge in paint as this will be used to make the nose of the ox.

3. Cut out the paper plate to make the ox. Here is a rough guide to how you should cut. I've used an un-painted plate so that you can see the lines better :)

4. Stick or staple the horns to the ox.

5. Use a hole punch and split pins (brads) to fix the nose to the face.

6. Draw on some lovely soulful eyes and you're done!

5. Red packet lantern

An important part of Chinese New Year celebrations is the handing out of small red envelopes, known as red packets, from older (married) members of the family to the younger (unmarried) ones.

This impressive craft uses red packets to create a beautiful lantern – a great craft idea for older children. I'm grateful that my friend Meiying remembered making these at school and told me about them.

You will need

red packets (try your local Chinatown or eBay)
sticky tape
cord or string


1. Take a red packet and, with the front of the envelope facing towards you, fold in the two top corners until they meet.

2. Repeat this with the two bottom corners.

3. Once you have folded eight red packets like this you are ready to start putting the lantern together. Take four of the red packets and arrange them as pictured. Then staple the corners together.

4. Repeat this step with your remaining four packets. Now you have the top and the bottom of the lantern – you just have to join them together. Simply line up the folded edges of the envelopes and staple them together.

Your lantern will eventually look like this:

5. Now it's time to tidy it up and add the cord. Tie a knot in the cord and slip it in the hole at the top of the lantern. Then use the tape to seal the edges and trap the cord inside.
Tidy up the bottom and sides of the lantern also by using the same method.

6. Oops – we hung ours upside down! Never mind. It still looks gorgeous and the kids are proud of their folding and sticky-taping efforts.

++== Free red packets with Everyday Craft ==++

I was a little over zealous in purchasing my supplies for this issue and have *heaps* of red packets left over – about 200 in fact! I'll happily give these away (in packs of 20) to the next ten people who buy a copy of Everyday Craft.

6. Featured subscriber blog

Jump Up and Down

Subscriber blogs are featured on a first-in first-served basis. To have your blog included in this section just send in your web address and I'll add you to the list. But be warned, the waiting list is currently very long.


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