lion dancingHere is my version of the wonderful lion dance costume that is used in several of the Chinese celebrations. They are believed to bring luck. This one is a little time consuming and is for older artists, I would recommend above age 8. Keep in mind that your own creativity is key here. Use any material that takes your fancy, don’t feel that you have to follow my pattern too closely!


paper plate (I recommend on of the heavier paper ones with a lip)


crepe and/or tissue paper

construction paper


glue and/or tape (I used both)

embellishments (I used feathers, sequins, and pom-poms)

Directions:profile of lion

1. Paint your paper plate (I chose orange for the head color and black for the inside of the mouth.) After it is dry, fold it in half.

2. Cut lengths of crepe paper for the beard and mane. For the mane, I left the strips whole (I used 9 strips); but for the beard (I used 2 strips per side and 4 for the center), I folded each strip in half, then rolled it around my hand and then cut up almost to the fold 4 times (to make smaller strips.) Tape them on underneath the center of the mouth and sides tape the mane to the center of the back (folded part of the paper plate) also on the bottom.

3. Take a piece of tissue paper and fold it 4 times length-wise so that it is very long and skinny. Then fold in half width-wise. Cut a few designs (but don’t cut off all of the edge. I cut out a few shallow arcs; which I was able to use to make “fire” for the nostrils.) Unfold the tissue paper and loosely gather it at one of the shorter ends. This will be the “body,” tape it underneath where the mane is. (I used plenty of tape here.)

4. Fold up a piece of construction paper several times to create a stiff strip about 1″ wide. Fold it into a U shape to make a handle. Leave tabs on each side and glue or tape them to the center of the bottom of the head.

5. You could cut out a piece of red cardstock to make a tongue. I wadded up a piece of tissue paper to give it a little more texture. Then I glued it down in several places; shaping it to look like a tongue.lion’s mouth

6. I cut a 3″ by 4.5″ strip of cardstock and folded it in half and creased it really well. Then tapped it to the center of the top of the head to form a nose. (Cut a small strip of tape and tape the center down; then tape the sides down as well. I pulled the back part of the nose in a little to make the “nostrils” flare.

7. Next, I cut arcs about the same dimension as the nose piece and rolled them into loose cones. Then I glued a few feathers onto the top edges and taped them down on each side of the nose. Then I glued a white pom-pom in the center; and a sequin in the center of the pom-pom.

top of lion’s head8. I took a 3″ strip of tape, and put several of the cut-outs from the tissue paper body on the edge of the tape. Then I rolled the tape up to make a sort of a blossom. Then taped each blossom into each nostril.

9. Finally, I glued a few feathers on top of the “upper lip.” Now your ready to dance!

bottom of lion’s head