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