Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Puff the Friendly Chinese New Year Dragon...

Here's how we celebrated Chinese New Year in February.....I had seen the wonderful Chinese New Year dragons made from red Solo cups all over the internet, fell in love with them and had to make one. However, I wanted my dragon head to be more dramatic and reusable. So back to the wooly fibers for inspiration. This time I used needle felting and hot glue to make the happy dragon of my dreams, (not wanting to frighten the children I chose a happy faced, toothless version).
 
I wasn't intending to blog this idea at the time that I made it so I do not have any "in progress" photos. Hopefully I can describe what I did in a clear and concise way.
 
Here's what to do....
 
Gather the following materials;
COLORFUL wool fiber, especially red
large styrofoam ball
knee high stocking
fiber stuffing, (Poly-fil or other)
needle felting needles
hot glue and glue gun
pompoms for embellishments
Solo cups, (1 for each student)
small Dixie cups to be used as spacers, (the size used for bathroom cups)
heavy string
peel and stick foam designs for cup embellishment'
Sharpie markers and pompoms
gold mylar wrapping paper or tinsel 
 
Using fiber filling, stuff the toe of the knee-high until it measures about 8" wide and 8" long. Insert the foam ball next, stuffing and shaping as desired. Tie off hose securely leaving the end of the knee high to be used to attach the head to the string of cups, (body). 
 
 

 
Cover the head with red fiber using the needle felting needle to attach the red fiber to the head. Wet felt two balls to be used as eyes. Use black faceted cabochon for pupils. Make eyelids and other embellishments with the fiber, (glue or needle felt these features to head). Pull tufts of fiber from batts to make the mane. Glue these on with hot glue. Add further embellishments, such as pom poms, as desired.
 
 Using the hot  tip of a hot glue gun, poke holes into the bottom middle of each Solo cup, so that it can be strung. Likewise, poke holes in the spacer cups. (Note: spacer cups are used to prevent the Solo cups from stacking into one another when strung). 
 
Allow children to decorate a cup using foam stickers and Sharpie markers, (making certain that the decorations are at the large end of the cup, otherwise they won't show when dragon is strung together).
 
Using heavy string, tie the end of the hose to the string end. thread Solo cup onto string with the wide part of the cup facing away from the head, then string the small spacer cup, (which sits inside of the Solo cup and is visible from the outside). Repeat until all cups are strung together. Glue mylar paper, cut into fringe, around the inside lip of each Solo cup, (or use tinsel garland).
 
Hang from ceiling and enjoy.
 

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