Happy February guys! I’m excited for today’s DIY for a couple of reasons:
1. Valentines day decor is so dang cute.
2. This garland cost me like $2 to make
3. It is so easy, it’s hardly a DIY! So basically… WIN WIN WIN!
I was so excited when I came up with this love letter garland idea, I love that it’s classic valentines day decor, but a little more unique. I personally don’t decorate a ton for valentines day, so this super easy and inexpensive garland is so perfect for a little touch of V-day!
Okay, as I said this DIY is almost embarrassingly easy, sooo let’s just get to it!
Felt in colours: cream (2 sheets) red (1 sheet) and pink (1 sheet).
Black and white striped twine
Hot Glue Gun
I made a free printable for you guys to cut out and use as a stencil like I did – it makes it way easier! Just enter your email below to download it!
Print your free printable and cut out the envelope and heart shapes.
Trace the envelope shape onto your cream felt, then cut them out (I made 8 for mine).
Trace the heart shape onto both your pink and red felt (I did 4 of each).
Take your envelope felt pieces and fold the triangle part over to make an envelope shape, then hot glue it down. Repeat.
Hot glue your hearts onto your envelopes.
Lay your envelopes face down in a row. Make a strip of glue near the top of your envelope, and then glue the string on. Repeat. I just eyeballed the distance between each envelope.
That’s it! Hang up your cutie DIY Valentines Love Letter garland!
I can’t believe I’m saying this but… that’s it! So easy, I know, but this love letter garland totally delivers (pun intended lol). Anyways, I hope this garland makes you smile, like it does for me!
As always, if you make it, pretty please DM or tag me @savvynana! I can’t wait to see your cute valentines day decor!!!
Make a colorful dragon puppet to celebrate this vibrant festival this Chinese New Year. It will be a lot of fun.
Painting the dragon in bright colors will delight children of all ages; a red dragon is especially lucky.
It’s so simple to make using egg cartons, paper plates, and other common craft supplies you probably already have at home.
If you’ve ever been a part of a Chinese Dragon procession, you know what an exciting spectacle it is.
When I was a kid, I vividly remember how excited I was to see Melbourne’s famous Chinese Dragon. Dancing its way along the Moomba parade route amid the firework noise and gunpowder aroma.
I’ve added streamers to this Chinese dragon puppet so that children can dance around with it with the same excitement and swirling color.
You might want to organize a dragon parade with all of the finished dragon puppets to celebrate Chinese New Year if you are making this craft activity for Chinese New Year with a group of kids or as an art project for the classroom at your school.
You will need:
2 paper plates
egg carton base
feathers and streamers
How to make a paper plate dragon puppet:
1. Gather your supplies
2. Cut one plate in half and fold the other in half as pictured.
3. Cut the end of the egg carton off, these will be the eyes.
4. Staple the plate edges together around the edges and glue or staple egg carton section on top.
5. Paint brightly in your favourite colours.
6. When dry, glue on feathers and streamers behind the eyes.
Time to have some fun.
Here is some behind the scenes action of Emma’s puppet making style.
Did you know that around 100 BC, during the Han Dynasty, the smooth white paper that you write on every day originated in Ancient China? People could write on papyrus and parchment before the invention of paper as we know it, but it was expensive and difficult to make.
In addition, expensive silk was used in China, but only the very wealthy could afford it. That implies that it was not promptly accessible to everybody.
Since its invention, people of all socioeconomic backgrounds have been able to read and write.
It made carrying a book so much easier and made forgery harder because it absorbed ink. It is much lighter to carry a single stack of paper sheets across town than a dozen hand-chiseled tablets. Teachers needed to be strong and smart!
After being soaked in water until they turned into a pulpy mush, plant fibers and rags were mashed and pressed onto screens of varying sizes so that the water could escape.
The paper was lighter and simpler to use once dry than its heavier predecessor.
Since we don’t have as much access to bamboo and other plant fibers as we did in 100 BC, we’re going to make do with what we have and make paper from supplies we already have so we can still learn how to make paper.
Chinese Paper Making Activity
For this activity you will need:
art paper or construction paper
Hardware screen/window screen
You can buy paper making screens or you can make a simple one like we did here, by making a simple frame of wood scraps and stapling a square of hardware cloth to the back.
You could also do the same with a piece of window screen and the backside of a picture frame.
Tear your paper into smaller pieces, about 1” square.
Now we are going to hurry along our paper dissolving process by adding water and paper to a blender.
Run the blender until you get a nice watery pulp, add water as needed to make sure it purees up well, you can’t have too much water as it will drip off.
I used white drawing paper and one small piece of blue construction paper to get a very light blue shade.
In ancient China this process would have been done by a long soak of bark, hemp, bamboo, and other plant materials rather than a blender!
Lay the frame in a tub large enough to hold it and pour the mixture from the blender onto the screen, flatten it out with your fingers so that it is as smooth as you can get it.
The trick is to pour slowly and move it rather than pouring a giant pile in the center.
Let most of the water drain off your screen until it is just a slow drip then carefully flip your screen to release the paper onto an absorbent surface, I used a sheet of craft felt for mine.
Press a stack of several paper towels or napkins on top and press to absorb some of the water.
Place a block of wood on top and press or even stand on it to press it flat and squeeze more water out. Allow your paper to dry completely- it may take a day or two depending on how much water is left in your paper at this point as well as the humidity in your area.
Once your paper is completely dry you can trim it with scissors if you like to make it a more uniform shape. Still not flat enough?
Lay it under a couple of heavy books for a few days and it will be smooth and flat for your writing.
Use a small paintbrush to paint a few basic Chinese characters as part of your studies.
Experiment with different types and colors of paper, brown paper bags make a nice parchment style paper, add a little color, and cut some into various shapes.
Ancient China Paper Making Fun Facts
Paper making hasn’t changed much in all these years, basically the process is the same with new technologies and methods added in.
China tried to keep the art of paper making a secret but it eventually spread.
A Chinese government official, Ts’ ai Lun, is credited with starting the paper making industry.
It was another 1000 years before paper making spread into other parts of Eurasia.
The original paper making was originally done with mainly hemp.
The oldest record of paper making that we have is dated 105 AD.
Combined with the invention of woodblock printing in 600 AD China was able to print its first newspaper in 740 AD.
This dragon craft made of household recyclables is a great way to celebrate Chinese New Year and the Year of the Rooster.
I never quite get ready for the first day of the new year, which is January 1.
I always have the impression that I am still chasing my tail in a fog of stupor.
Fortunately for me, Chinese New Year is celebrated by my family. Based on the lunar calendar, the first day of the Chinese New Year varies from year to year and can be observed in late January or early February.
On January 22 this year, the Year of the Rooster begins. A Dragon Dance is always part of the celebrations for Chinese New Year.
Visit Hello, Wonderful to find my tutorial on how to make a dancing dragon craft from recycled materials.
According to custom, a community experiences more good fortune the longer the dragon lives. Therefore, utilize all of the paper tins! Any other person appear to have a strangely enormous assortment of paper tubes stored in their art cabinet?!)
The dragon is shown in action in the video. He makes a real mess of the dance floor.
Using clear contact paper and cellophane, you can easily make this suncatcher with a lunar lantern theme! It looks great in the window and is clean.
My kids adore making suncatchers. They are my go-to craft when one of them asks me to make something and I don’t want to think too much about it because they are so quick and simple to set up.
Yesterday, in anticipation of Chinese New Year, I created a sweet activity for my 3-year-old daughter to make a suncatcher out of Chinese lanterns.
Material needed to make a Chinese lantern sun catcher:
How to make a Chinese lantern sun catcher:
First draw your Chinese lantern. I drew mine with a black Sharpie on a piece of white paper but it might be easier to draw on black paper and cut it out. Make sure you leave lots of spaces to fill with colour.
I cut pieces of red cellophane into small pieces and placed the Chinese lantern on a piece of contact paper.
My daughter loves contact paper and when she wasn’t sticking her hands all over it she carefully placed pieces of cellophane into the gaps. When she had filled all the spaces we placed another piece of contact paper over it to seal it. Then I cut round the lantern to remove any extra pieces.
We love our Chinese lantern and have hung it up in the window. I think it’s calling out for some tassles so I’m going to have to look for some ribbons to add to the bottom.
I am linking up this post with some other parent bloggers who are sharing some brilliant Chinese New Year crafts:
Make a Chinese New Year bookmark to get into the festive mood! Chinese paper cutting, a traditional folk art, served as the inspiration for this simple project. To bring prosperity into your life, string a few lucky Chinese coins together.
If you haven’t already heard, 2020 will be referred to as “The Year of the Rat” during Chinese New Year. The rat is the first animal in the twelve-year Chinese zodiac cycle and represents: spirit, wit, vigor, sensitivity, flexibility, and alertness
We should get into the happy soul by getting shrewd and making a Chinese New Year bookmark recognizing the time of the rodent.
This simple Chinese New Year create project was enlivened by the conventional society specialty of Chinese Paper Cutting. To bring prosperity into your life, place a string of Chinese lucky coins in your pocket.
To accelerate this specialty task, or make it reasonable for a children Chinese New Year create project, you can discard the paper cutting step and decorate the bookmark with shimmering stickers or sparkle all things considered.
Bookmark the Chinese New Year With a Paper cutting Craft Project
You will need:
Pink A4 card (printer friendly)
Red glitter paper
Chinese coin charms (handful)
50cm red cord
Double sided tape
Use a new, sharp blade when cutting out the silhouette line art. Also, cut slowly, small sections at a time to avoid over-cutting.