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Make a Dragon Puppet | Chinese New Year Crafts

Make a Dragon Puppet

Total Time Needed: 1-2 Hours

Dragons represent good fortune, so they often make appearances at celebrations of Chinese New Year. Create your own luck with this puppet-size dragon.


  • Cardboard egg carton
  • 15- by 28-inch piece of red fabric (we used fleece)
  • Acrylic paint (Note: use only gold paint labeled "nontoxic")
  • Paintbrush
  • Stapler
  • Rubber band
  • Tacky glue
  • 18-inch-long dowel with a 1/4-inch diameter
  • Card stock
  • Puppet template


Make a Dragon Puppet

1. Cut the top from the egg carton, then cut the top in half. Cut the bottom into sections of two, four, and six cups, as shown. Discard half of the top and the four-cup section.

Make a Dragon Puppet

2. Paint the red fabric with a dragon-scale pattern. Paint the egg carton sections as shown.

Make a Dragon Puppet

3. To form the head, staple the eye piece to the egg carton top, then staple the top and egg carton bottom together at the back, so that the dragon's jaw is hinged. Fold the fabric in half lengthwise, gather the fabric at one corner, and secure it with a rubber band as shown.

Make a Dragon Puppet

4. Center the other end of the fabric so that the fold is between the dragon's eyes. Flip the fabric over the head, as shown, and staple the fabric to the outer edge of the eye cups and head. Add a bit of glue between the staples for extra hold. Insert the dowel into the rubber band.

Make a Dragon Puppet

5. For the beard, whiskers, and eyebrows, cut jagged shapes out of colorful card stock and glue them in place. For the tail, cut and glue two matching shapes together at the edges, leaving the bottom open. Let this tail pocket dry, then slide it over the fabric bundle and secure it with glue.


This year, Chinese New Year ushers in the Year of the Dragon.