Saturday, February 02, 2013

Chinese New Year Snake Craft

Craftiments:  Chinese New Year Snake Craft

The Year of the Snake begins next weekend.  In celebration of Chinese New Year, the girls and I made paper snakes.  We repurposed an empty paper towel tube to make the heads and fashioned the bodies out of folded paper garlands.  Would you like to learn how?

  • paper towel or toilet paper tubes
  • construction paper cut in 1 inch wide strips
  • tempera paint and painting supplies
  • scissors
  • glue
  • stapler
  • googlie eyes, glitter glue, stickers, other embellishments


Cut a piece of cardboard tube approximately 3 inches in length.  Cut a mouth shape at one end.

Cut pieces of cardboard tube, cut mouth shape at one end.

Paint inside and out.

Painting the tube.

Start on the snake's the body while the paint dries.  Glue the ends of two contrasting strips of construction paper together at a right angle.  Fold the bottom strip over the top strip, making sure they remain perpendicular.  Crease the fold.  Continue criss-crossing bottom over the top, keeping the strips at right angles to each other.

Making folded paper garland.
Making folded paper garland

When you reach the end of the strips, leave a 1 inch overhang, trimming if necessary.  Glue another paper strip to each of the two ends, overlapping by 1 inch.

Adding more strips to folded paper garland.

Continue folding and adding strips until the snake body reaches the desired length.  Glue the ends together leaving another inch of overhang.

Glue ends together, leaving an overhang

With the top of the snake's head facing you, glue the ends of the strips inside the back opening.

Glue ends in back opening

Squeeze the opening closed and trim the corners to round out the back of the head.

Squeeze opening shut and round corners

Staple it closed.

Staple back of head closed

Add eyes, fangs and a tongue.  Embellish with some glitter or stickers.

Embellish snake head.
Craftiments:  Chinese New Year Snake Craft

Time to play with these friendly serpents!

Craftiments:  Chinese New Year Snake Craft

For more Chinese New Year crafts for children, visit these posts:
Chinese New Year Paper Cutting for Kids
Flickering Paper Lanterns


  1. Love this! You always have such great projects.

  2. Love it! I remember doing that folding when I was little! Thanks for sharing at my blog.

  3. Cool craft for the kids and a great way to recycle cardboard tubes! Thanks for sharing @ Submarine Sunday!

  4. My boys would love these anytime! Turned out super cute- I love how colorful they are! :)

  5. Very cute! I'm sharing this on Twitter and will be doing this with the kids!

  6. I love this! I just sent it to my cousin who runs a preschool! I am visiting from Sugar Bee!

  7. I would love to do this. However my 3 year old would rip it apart in 10 seconds. I will keep this idea for later though because its wonderful

  8. These are super cool! Thanks so much for linking up to the weekly creative.

    Shannon @ Sewing Barefoot

  9. Wow these take me back to my childhood days! I remember having so much fun making these :)

  10. very cool! I might try these with my son as we a 'celebrating' chinese new year at my father in laws at the weekend! thankyou

  11. This is such a cool snake. I love the fine motor skills worked on by folding the paper. I pinned this post.

  12. Super cute, Kirstin! I am working on a 'Celebrating Chinese New Year' post and I'd love to feature this on if it's OK! I've pinned this!

    1. My post is up here. Feel free to grab a Featured Button off my sidebar!!

  13. Lovely colours and fun for big kids as well. Would be great if you stuck sticks so it could move like a puppet :)

  14. Fabulous project! thanks so much for sharing on Craft Schooling Sunday! You've reminded me that I don't think I've done this accordian paper folding with my kids, yikes gotta get on it!

  15. Found you while looking for an activity to do with my toddler. Lovely post and craft :0)

  16. I remember making these when I was small - such an enjoyable craft... must see if my twin nephews fancy making some

  17. Thank you so much for this tutorial! I know a snake lover who is 10 and he will love this!!!

  18. Wonderful tutorial! I loved the outcome!
    Great post!! I included it in my post Βόλτα στη Γειτονιά #21 :)
    Have a great week!!

  19. Loved this project! I featured it on my website for the Chinese New Year, here's the link:

  20. These are so cute! My kiddos would love to make them. :) I'm featuring YOU today over on my blog. Thanks for linking up to {wow me} wednesday. :)