Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Chinese New Year Paper Cutting for Kids

Craftiments:  Chinese New Year paper cutting craft for kids, includes free printable patterns for year of the horse

Paper cutting is a traditional folk art in China, its birthplace over 1500 years ago. During festivals such as Chinese New Year, paper-cuts are used to decorate doors, walls, and windows in homes, and are presented as gifts to good friends and family.  I thought it would be a fun craft to share with my girls for the upcoming Year of the Horse.

- small, sharp scissors
- red copy paper
- white card stock
- glue stick
- hole punch (optional)


The horse face pattern is a symmetrical design cut on a fold, and is more appropriate for older children who are very proficient with scissors. Download the pattern below and print it on red copy paper.  Make sure Scale is set to 100%.

horse face pattern

Fold the paper in half along the dashed line.  Begin by cutting out the shaded areas on the fold first, then proceed to the inside cuts.  To create a starter hole, you can gently fold the shaded area onto itself and make a small snip. When you are finished cutting, carefully unfold the paper and smooth it out.

cutting instructions

Paper-cuts can be displayed in many ways.  They are lovely taped to a window.

Year of the Horse paper cutting on window

You can also glue them to card stock. The contrast with white really makes the details pop.

Year of the Horse paper cutting glued to cardstock

Feeling playful?  Hold one up to your face and gallop around the living room!

child using horse paper cutting as a mask

I drew a simpler horse pattern for my younger daughter to cut.  You can download it below.

simple horse paper cutting pattern

We cheated a little and used a paper punch to give this horse an eye. The paper looked a little bare, so we added a few blossoms and leaves to the design. The blossoms were created by folding a square piece of paper in half three times along the diagonal, and then cutting a petal shape.  I think mountains, trees, clouds or a sun would also go well with the galloping horse design. Let your child use their imagination.

simple horse paper cutting glued to cardstock

May you be happy and prosperous in the New Year!

Craftiments:  Chinese New Year paper cutting craft for kids, includes free printable patterns for year of the horse

For more children's Chinese New Year crafts, visit these posts:
Chinese New Year Snake Craft
Flickering Paper Lanterns


  1. thank you! Using this for a homeschool co-op tomorrow.

  2. Such a lovely craft. Looks like a lot of fun! Thanks for linking to the In and Out of the Kitchen Link Party. Hope to see you next week.

  3. Thanks for the fun idea! Sharing this on The Mother Huddle tomorrow! :-)

  4. I was putting together another Chinese New Year post and I had to come see if you had something. I just love it! Pinned & featured at Diana Rambles.

  5. I'm the Editorial Assistant for Fun Family Crafts and I wanted to let you know that we have featured your project! You can see it here:

    If you have other kid-friendly craft tutorials, we'd love it if you would submit them. If you would like to display a featured button on your site, you can grab one from the right side bar of your post above. Thanks for a wonderful project idea!

  6. May I know got any paper cut for year of goat?