Craft Time: Chinese New Year City Skyline

by Cate on January 26, 2017

A super simple and inexpensive craft to celebrate Chinese New Year.

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A few weeks ago, I taught a kids’ workshop that focused on celebrating Chinese New Year, which kicks off this weekend. We made two crafts (this being one of them), and the Asian Quinoa Salad recipe that I shared recently. I love this craft because it’s so simple to make, uses (mostly) items you have around the house already, and it makes for a beautiful piece of art.

I can’t take all the credit for it, as I stumbled on it while falling down the deep rabbit hole of Pinterest, but love how it turned out, and the kids loved it as well. You can, of course, change up how YOU make this craft, putting your own unique twist on it as I did, but however you make it, you can’t go wrong with it. Easy + forgiving = a crowd pleaser and that’s pretty much a recipe for success.

Here’s what you’ll need:
– background paper (I love the one I used; it’s not exactly patterned, but definitely not solid, so it gave it a look of being textured)
– wine corks
– Chinese newspaper (of course you can use a “regular” newspaper, but when we’re celebrating Chinese New Year, it seemed more appropriate to use a Chinese newspaper and I got them for free at a local Asian grocery store)
– paint
– black Sharpie
– glue stick
– scissors

Cut the strips of newspaper for the city skyscrapers. I suggested that the kids alternate some of the print between ones that were more straight text with ones that had more of the bold, blacker backgrounds. I also told them to feel free to use some of the newspaper print that had pictures on them because it would kind of look like billboards. Make them varying heights on glue on your background sheet from left to right. Although it isn’t reflected in my sample above, I went back with a black Sharpie and drew some rows of black squares to mimic windows on some of the skyscrapers.

I gave all the kids artist palettes filled with red, yellow, and white paint, and using corks, they added the Chinese wish lanterns floating in the sky. When putting the paint on the corks, you don’t want a thick coating of paint; just a layer thin enough to coat the bottom of the cork in a nice even manner. Because the paint is applied in a thin layer, it drives very quickly. I don’t give the kids a ton of instructions because I want them to feel free to explore the art on their own, but I suggested that they put the lanterns at varying heights across the sky as they added them.

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Using a Sharpie, add a little detail at the top and bottom of each lantern. I drew a super small straight black line on the top and bottom, and then a few vertical lines to mimic the strings.

My favorite part about doing arts and crafts projects with kids is that even though they all start out with exactly the same supplies, each of their finished pieces looks completely different.

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