Chinese New Year Craft: Toilet Paper Tube Firecrackers - This West Coast Mommy
Arts & Crafts

Chinese New Year Craft: Toilet Paper Tube Firecrackers

Turn toilet paper tubes into a decorative string of firecrackers for Chinese New Year!

When I think of Chinese New Year, I think of the eagerly anticipated dragon and lion dances in Chinatown. I remember standing with my family in the massive crowd lining the streets and straining my ears for the sound of drums and firecrackers over the crowd. Those firecrackers meant the dancers were on the way!

The colours red and gold symbolize happiness and good fortune which is why they are traditionally associated with Chinese New Year and Chinese weddings. At New Year all the decorations are red, and we give red packets containing money (or gold chocolate coins) to children. Chinese homes display banners, lanterns, and strings of firecrackers for good luck and to frighten away bad spirits.

I know this is super last minute, but I still want to share this easy Chinese New Year decorative firecracker craft with you. It’s based on a whole bunch of toilet paper tubes. After scrounging around and looking in my recycling bin I was able to come up with 14 tubes. (We don’t really go through that much toilet paper in a week – I’m a toilet paper tube hoarder, precisely for craft projects like this.)

Chinese New Year firecracker craft supplies

We cleaned all the stuck on bits of toilet paper off the tubes then painted them with non-toxic acrylic red paint. Hubby’s old t-shirts make great painting smocks for the girls! You can see a few of the tubes needed a second coat of paint so we did those once the first coat had dried.

We painted our toilet paper tubes with non-toxic acrylic red paint.

Once the paint was dry, I hot glued a piece of gold ribbon around each end.

Hot glue gold ribbon around the ends of each painted toilet paper tube.

I experimented with using the same gold ribbon to attach the tubes to each other in pairs, but it was too floppy, so I used some 3″ lengths of 28 gauge wire which worked better. I glued each end of the wire to the inside edges of each pair of toilet paper tubes, leaving about half an inch between the tubes.

Then I cut a long piece of the same gold ribbon and tied it around the wires, attaching the pairs of tubes down its length. My knots were about 2.5″ apart, but you may need to adjust yours a bit so it looks right. I happened to have some other fancy gold ribbons lying around so I added them to the bottom for a little extra sparkle.

Tie the firecrackers together and hang on your door!

And that’s it! Hang your firecrackers on the door for good luck and to frighten away any evil from darkening your threshold.

Happy New Year! Gung Hay Fat Choy!

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  • This is so cute and smatt. I have the exact ribbon you have in the photo wide red with gold trim left from Christmas. I love to teach my granddaughter about different cultures and thier holidays and this would be a great project to do with her with a small tea party of cookies shaped like lanterns and tea for grandma and juice for Bella. Thank you so much for this!