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 ISSUE 87   •   10 FEBRUARY 2010  
   This issue: Chinese New Year

Contents

1. Editorial
2. Shiny lantern
3. Lucky garland
4. Red packet lantern


1. Editorial

Has anyone else been busy sweeping?

It's Chinese New Year this weekend. I've always loved the traditions associated with this celebration but this year, especially so.

At the moment I have a very strong sense of being pushed from one phase of my life into another. I don't know what the future holds but I'm taking my lead from the Chinese who translate the word 'crisis' as being a 'dangerous opportunity.' What better time to embark on a program of change than in the new year!

Those who celebrate Chinese New Year will often make a point of thoroughly cleaning the house to sweep away any bad luck from the preceding year and prepare their surroundings for the new one.

So, I've been sweeping. And cleaning. And re-arranging the furniture. It's surprisingly therapeutic and, if nothing else, seems like a fantastic opportunity to get everything in order.

I hope you find the time to enjoy some of the Chinese New Year crafts that I've put together for you and the little ones that you love.

Kung hei fat choi! And may the year of the Tiger bring peace and prosperity.

Happy crafting and I'll see you next time!


Amber Carvan
editor@kidscraftweekly.com



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

Directions

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
scissors
a blunt/wool needle (or plastic needle)

Optional

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

Directions

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. 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. 

You will need

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

Directions

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.





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