10 Easy Chinese New Year Decoration Ideas You’ll Need

Chinese New Year—you hear it coming even before you see it. Time to get your house ready for the Spring festival, and deck it with traditional Chinese New Year decorations!

Photo From: IQRemix via Flickr

For Chinese New Year, why not make your own decorations instead of buying them? We’ve scoured the web and shortlisted 10 of the most popular Chinese New Year decoration ideas. These decorations are not difficult to make, affordable, and have symbolic meaning. Hop over to the next section to learn more about the symbolism behind various decorations, and then try making them yourself!

Photo From: Wikipedia Commons

Popular Chinese New Year Decorations and Their Symbolism

  • Chun Lian (Spring couplets): These banners have four characters written on them, and are usually hung or pasted beside doors or above them. Pick couplets with messages of renewal and hope for the new year.
  • Paper cuttings: The skillful masters of this craft cut characters like “Fu” (blessings) and beautifully intricate scenes from paper. Take your pick from a wide selection of designs.
  • Ang Pows (Red packets): These packets containing money are given to children by their elders, and symbolise continued blessings in life.
  • Firecrackers: According to a popular Chinese myth, Nian was a monster that came to devour people every year, so firecrackers were used to frighten it away!
  • Live plants: Live plants are popular for welcoming spring. Different plants have different meanings, for example, lucky bamboo plants represent resilience, health, and abundance.
  • Fresh flowers: A floral display reiterates the element of Spring. If bought, flowers that bloom on the first day of the festival are doubly auspicious! Cherry, plum blossoms, and pussy willow branches are popular and are often decorated with colourful or red hanging decorations or ribbons. Orchids are chosen for nobility, hyacinth and narcissus for luck, and peonies are symbols of peace and prosperity.
  • Fruits: Mandarin oranges and kumquats are popular because of their golden hues. Pile them up in a basket or have a full kumquat plant in a pot in your house to bring in prosperity and good luck.
  • Gold coins: Ancient gold coins as well as any representations of money, such as ingots, symbolise wealth.
  • Chinese knots: Decorations featuring the looping knot are used as protection against evil as well as to represent longevity.
  • Fans: The fan and its pattern are found in many designs because fan in Chinese sounds like “good”.
  • Lanterns: As the holiday traditionally lasts 15 days, a lantern festival is held on the last day to mark the end. The light brings luck and is a welcoming sight.
  • Animal symbols: Lastly, every year is always represented by a zodiac animal. Try incorporating the new year’s Zodiac animal into your Chinese New Year decorations!

Photo From: Wikipedia Commons

By putting up Chinese New Year decoration ideas around our home, we attract all kinds of good vibes and blessings. As part of your house decoration ideas for Chinese New Year, why not put a little more sincerity and hand make some of them? We’ll show you how to make Chinese New Year decorations that are simple and affordable below!

1. 3D “Spring” Character Standee Decoration

Idea & Photo From: en.paperblog.com

There are all kinds of ways to welcome spring. Here’s a deceptively simple and affordable way to usher it in: just cut a Chinese “Spring” character! Time: 15 mins | Approx. Cost: $1

You’ll need:

  • 1 12” square piece of paper (Card stock)
  • Pencil
  • Scissors or penknife

Directions:

  1. Fold the square in half into a rectangle, and then open it.
  2. Rotate the paper 90 degrees and repeat the above.
  3. Now fold the paper in half but this time from corner to corner, and then open it.
  4. Repeat the same with the other two corners. You now have a square paper scored with 4 lines.
  5. Push the parallel folds in, and the corner folds out. You will get a spiky pyramid shape.
  6. Now collapse the pyramid into a triangle and draw the pattern as shown in pencil.
  7. Unfold and your standee is ready!

You can use the standee as it is, or get creative with it and draw some patterns or outlines with a gold marker. Alternatively, paste some plastic beads and decorations to jazz up the spring-heralding as one of your Chinese New Year house decoration ideas. We recommend using red paper (of course), or green if you want “growth”. Make some small ones to perk any corner of your home up!

2. Ang Pow Fish Hanging Decoration

Idea & Photo From: goodyfoodies.blogspot.com

This is an adorable one, and perfect for the kids. Fish is regarded as an auspicious symbol as it used to be an expensive ingredient. Turn those piles of unused red packets into loads of little fishes, and hang them all over your house. They look great on the branches of pussy willows and cherry blossoms! Time: 5 mins | Approx. Cost: $0.50

You’ll need:

  • 1 Ang Pow / Red packet
  • Scissors
  • Stapler
  • Tape
  • Ribbon or string

Directions:

  1. Cut down your ang pow into a square.
  2. Fold the square in half. You will get see a folded line when you open it.
  3. Cut along the folded line to the middle.
  4. At the other end, cut a small square out for the mouth.
  5. Push the two cut ends over each other like making a cone. The centre should point towards you.
  6. Staple the overlapping ends together.
  7. Tape or staple a loop of ribbon or string behind and it’s complete.

Some longer red packets will give you two fishes if you cut them down the middle, so use those. These paper fishes are easy to make and sway so happily when hung. You can cut out two more triangles for their “fins” if you like. Add more life to them with some store-bought googly eyes!

3. Fan Wall Mural

Idea & Photo From: en.paperblog.com

Make fans part of your home decorations ideas for Chinese New Year, since they bring in all things “good”. These wall mural fan look like abstract flowers and take next to nothing to make! Time: 15 mins | Approx. Cost: $2

You’ll need:

  • 2 sheets of A4 paper
  • Penknife
  • Stapler

Directions:

  1. Fold the A4 paper down lengthwise.
  2. Open it and cut along the folded line.
  3. Repeat with the second piece. You will now have four strips of paper.
  4. Start folding the paper into an accordion pattern about ¾” thick.
  5. Staple one end and fan open the other.
  6. Repeat with the other three strips of paper.
  7. Combine the four into one circular piece. Staple them together.

Use red, gold, yellow, or patterned paper to make your fans. You can vary the sizes, or layer your fans to make your mural pop!

4. Lantern Tealight Holder

Idea & Photo From: www.visiontimes.com

Hanging up lanterns might be a bit of a chore so you can try these as one of your Chinese New Year decoration ideas instead. They make for interesting lighting when the light casts a pattern through the lantern design and can be customised to any glass or holder. The lantern itself can also slide off so you can repurpose them for another event if need be. Time: 15 mins | Approx. Cost: $4

You’ll need:

  • 1 Glass
  • 1 sheet of paper (Card stock)
  • Penknife
  • Glue
  • 1 Tealight

Directions:

  1. Prepare your sheet of paper by cutting it so that it’s long enough to wrap around your glass and about half an inch more, but leave the height to be about 2-3” taller than the lip of the glass.
  2. Cut slits in the paper about ¾” apart. Be careful to leave the starting and ending away from the edge of the paper by about ¾” as well.
  3. Wrap your paper around the glass and glue the bottom band to the base.
  4. Now push the top band down to align with the lip of your glass. The slits will bulge out to create your lantern. To help, you may want to fold a line down the top and bottom of the slits.
  5. Glue the top and your lantern tealight holder is finished. Pop in the tealight!

Standard colours of red and gold are pretty but experiment with other patterned paper, like floral! You can also adjust the slits’ thickness to your liking and finish off the ends of these lanterns with ribbons for a more complete look.

5. Floral Paper-Cutting

Idea & Photo From: www.visiontimes.com

You don’t have to be a master to do paper-cutting! Remember those snowflakes you used to do in school, that involved folding paper and cutting random shapes out? In this version, you work with a design to get a beautiful floral cutout. Paste and layer these cutouts on the wall or doors to welcome Spring and abundance. Time: 10 mins | Approx. Cost: $0.50

You’ll need:

  • 1 8” square piece of paper
  • Pencil
  • Scissors or penknife

Directions:

  1. Fold the piece of paper 4 times.
  2. Cut out the black portions of the design as shown.
  3. Unfold and paste where desired.

Use standard printing paper thickness so that the paper is thin enough to fold and cut easily. You can play around with varying sizes and hues. We suggest using paper in different shades of red to create cutouts in various sizes, and then pasting them over one another to get an wonderful large display. You can also paste them on the orange baskets or bottles of treats.

6. Paper Chinese Firecracker Decoration

Photo From: Nitin K Parekh (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons

Idea From: Topmarks We can’t set off actual firecrackers in Singapore for safety reasons but we can still have these hanging around the house. These brightly coloured fireworks are resounding additions to your repertoire of Chinese New Year party decoration ideas! Time: 30 mins | Approx. Cost: $5

You’ll need:

  • 1 sheet of red A4 paper
  • 1 sheet of gold paper
  • Hole punch
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Red ribbon

Directions:

  1. Print this template onto your red A4 paper.
  2. Cut the cards out and punch the holes where indicated.
  3. Cut strips of gold paper about ½” thick and a bit longer than the cards.
  4. Stick one strip near the end with the holes and the other on the opposite end.
  5. Trim the excess.
  6. Roll the card and glue the ends.
  7. Repeat with the other 5.
  8. Thread the red ribbon through one of the firecrackers. After passing the first hole, leave some excess then tie a knot or two before threading through the second hole. This will prevent the bottom firecracker from slipping out and hold the rest in place.
  9. Add the rest and arrange them in a random way until satisfied.

This set of six firecrackers can be easily repeated until it’s a much longer set so feel free to make many of them and adjust their height. For added cheer, use a gold marker to write Chinese characters on them. Alternatively, use a few gold ribbons, curl them, and attach it to the ends of the chain for a golden tassel.

7. Hanging Tissue Pom Pom Flower Decoration

Photo From: Karine via Flickr

Idea From: www.hgtv.com These decorations are popular because they are simple to make and look great in any setting. This is one contemporary way of setting up Chinese New Year decorations for home that has a clean and minimalist design. Time: 15 mins | Approx. Cost: $5

You’ll need:

  • 10 – 12 pieces of tissue paper
  • Floral wire
  • Wire cutter
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon

Directions:

  1. Layer about 10 – 12 sheets of tissue paper on top of each other.
  2. Fold the paper like an accordion, 1” to 1 ½” thick for each fold.
  3. Once done, twist a small length of floral wire in the middle.
  4. Attach a loop of ribbon to the wire. Make sure the loop is long enough for you to hang the pom pom with.
  5. Trim the ends of the folded paper.
  6. Fluff the tissue strands up for your finished flower.

It’s easy to have some variations with this decoration. Flowers with rounded ends look like peonies, while sharper ends make your flowers look like chrysanthemums! You can start with dark colours then layer lighter colours on top to create an ombre effect . You flowers will look more realistic that way. Just remember, no white flowers please, as they are given at funerals!

8. Origami Pig

Idea & Photo From: Origami Amazing

2019 is the year of the Pig so make some of these adorable origami pigs! Get kids in on the action as the steps are simple to follow. Feel free to look up lucky colours for your zodiac, and use different coloured paper. Time: 15 mins | Approx. Cost: $2

You’ll need:

  • 1 piece 15cm square paper
  • Marker

Directions:

  1. Follow the instructions here.

Try having a few in different sizes if you want to put them together as a display, or lay them flat and stick them on handmade cards. This is one of the more versatile Chinese New Year decoration ideas.

9. Ang Pow 6 Petal Hanging Decoration

Idea & Photo From: chinesenewyearlanterns.blogspot.sg

It’s a flower, it’s a lantern – however you see it, it’s perfect for Chinese New Year! Use new or unwanted Ang Pows and repurpose them into one of these hanging balls to greet your guests. Time: 30 mins | Approx. Cost: $3

You’ll need:

  • 18 Ang Pow / Red Packets
  • Stapler
  • Ribbon or string

Directions:

  1. Fold the Ang Pow lengthwise then widthwise, but only pinch the fold near the edge and not do a complete fold. These serve as markings for your second step.
  2. Fold the four corners up, with them ending at the earlier marks you have made.
  3. Repeat this with all 18 Ang Pows.
  4. Staple six of them together as a set, flap to flap on one end.
  5. Do the same with another six.
  6. For the remaining six, lie them horizontally to one of the “flower” you have made, and match their flaps to the end flaps of the “flower”.
  7. Staple them together.
  8. Now fit the other “flower” for the other face and match the flaps.
  9. Staple the remaining flaps and a ribbon or string and hang your new ornament.

With the range of Ang Pows these days, you can change the look of this decoration easily. If you’re feeling fancy, buy some tassels or reuse some old hanging decorations, and attach them to the sides or base of the ball.

10. Rolled Paper Roses Decoration

Idea & Photo From: Dozi

Flowers play a big part in Chinese New Year home decorations so here’s another versatile craft to brighten up plants or table settings. They’re cute and fun to make, so create plenty of them for an abundant Spring statement. Time: 5 mins | Approx. Cost: $0.50

You’ll need:

  • 1 piece 5” square printing paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue or blu-tack

Directions:

  1. Cut out the shape as shown.
  2. Start rolling the strip (not too tight!), from the outside end towards the centre.
  3. When you reach the end, release the roll and then glue or blu-tack the edges to the round end.

This is one of those floral Chinese New Year decoration ideas that can fit in anywhere. Our suggestion is to brighten up pussy willow with these flowers by attaching them to the branches directly. Just remember not to roll these too neatly so they look more natural. Play around with colours; pink would be pretty!

Crank up the Chinese New Year music and work on these now so they will be ready for the festivities! Enjoy!

CART
CART