Happy New Year!

You might think I’m late saying this, but actually I’m early – for Chinese New Year, which is on January 23rd this year!  I’m lucky enough to know a woman from China who inspires me to learn more about the Chinese culture.  For those of you don’t know what Chinese New Year is, let me explain!

Chinese New Year makes New Years at Time Square look like a birthday party!  It’s an amazing celebration that translates into the “Spring Festival.”  People thoroughly clean their house to sweep away any ill-fortune in hopes to make way for good luck.  They hang pictures on the top and either side of their doors to welcome wealth and prosperity into their home. On the Eve of Chinese New Year, supper is a huge feast with families.  After the feast, kids run into the streets where firecrackers are set off to scare away evil spirits.  Parents make dumplings that are eaten together before midnight.  In the morning children wake up to bulging red envelopes filled with money!  Last year I wanted to share this amazing event with my Girl Scout troop, so I learned all about the traditions, made red envelopes and even tried my hand at making traditional Chinese dumplings.  Well it didn’t work out so well.  The dumplings were a mess and after doing all this work our Girl Scout meeting was cancelled due to snow!  This year, 2012 is the year of the Dragon, so I hope to share the excitement with my Girl Scout troop.  I’ve decided to make these cute red boxes and since I can’t give them money, I’m going to give them chocolate gold coins.  Since we can’t light lanterns, we’re going to make these cute 3D circular lanterns.  You might be asking yourself why is she telling me all of this, well I thought you might want to do this with your kids or Girl Scout troop.  So here’s how I made these cute boxes:

  1. Cut a piece of cardstock 4’ X 5’.
  2. Stamp or color the paper any way you want.  I stamped my red cardstock using a VersaMark watermark stamp which instead of adding color to the paper actually enhances the color.
  3. Fold the cardstock into a barrel shape the long way and adhere the edges using a strong permanent adhesive.  Now I have an ATG gun which is pretty strong or red line craft tape. works really well.
  4. Now here’s the fun part; at one side you want to put glue on inside of the barrel so you can pinch it closed top to bottom.
  5. Then you want to use some type of crimper or pincher to ensure your adhesive closed real tight.
  6. Fill your box with goodies.
  7. Now put glue on the inside of your barrel so you can pinch it closed left to right.  In other words so each side is pinched a different way.
  8. Cut out a 1’ spiral circle in gold paper.  Cut out a 1’ circle in red paper.  Adhere the red circle to the gold spiral circle.
  9. Now stamp a sentiment onto the red paper.  I stamped a flower in black ink.
  10. Now you can add a simple gold   ric-rac if you want.

I think these boxes are so cute and can be used for any holiday and made in a variety of sizes.  Now that you know how to do it, let’s see what you can come up with!    – which means Happy New Year!!

Tinalala

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