Besides Chinese New Year Goodies, decorations are also an important must-do for Chinese New Year. We all celebrate a new year because it signifies a success for every person. It’s a time of reflection of what is ahead, and it is usually welcomed with high gratitude to everybody.
The Chinese New Year is an annual event starting from Mid-January to Mid-February, and is a great time to celebrate with the loved ones. Every year, an animal signifies the year. For instance, a dog symbolizes the year 2018 based on the Zodiac calendar, thus called the year of the dog. That is why there are numerous beautiful portraits of the dog in this year’s decorations. This is so because of the beliefs and superstitions that the Chinese hold as part of their life. The New Year in Chinese countries, including ours, is usually treated the way other nations treat Christmas and New Year holidays, and it is welcomed with joy and gladness.
During this festival, people meet to forgive each other, have dinner together and as well as avoiding any differences that may arise. This is because it is meant to bring new and great things that are associated with luck, happiness, blessings, richness, and the success of all kinds.
Decorations make the New Year look brighter and hopeful. Chinese communities are not left out of this, thus there are various ways in which they celebrate using embellishments. Each of these decorations signifies something, and the color red is what is used, since it carries a message of hope for a future, and that’s what the New Year is all about.
How then is Decoration Done?
As Chinese New Year approaches, it is common to begin off decorating at least ten days before the actual date as a sign of the start of the festival known as Spring. Let us take a look at some of the decorations which include DIY tips just for you!
1. Use of Blooming Flowers and Plants
These are exquisite flowers customarily prepared to prove that the coming year will be a success. These flowers can be collected from the branches of trees which include the orchards, pussy willows, the blossoms that are got from plums and also peaches. The flowers are mixed up with fruits like oranges, which signify abundance and joy during this period. A famous plant we all see during Chinese New Year is the Pussy Willow (Top Left Image) heavily decorated with decorations ranging from red packets all the way to mini lanterns.
Things you need:
- Flowers (Roses or any type of flowers you prefer)
- Tamarind branches with leaves
- Cable Ties
- Double-Sided Tape
- Using the branches, form the skeleton of the wreath by bending them and secure every section with cable ties.
- The whole skeleton should be about 4 to 5 branches thick for a sturdy structure.
- Then, attach the tamarinds and flowers using double-sided tape to the branches and ensure that they are well hidden between the leaves.
- If you have followed these steps correctly, you should get something like the picture above!
- Get ready to decorate your home with this beautiful wreath!
2. Wall Stickers
These wall stickers can come in the form of paper or acrylic versions as seen in the photos above. They can be bought almost in all convenient stores and are widely available in Chinatown during the Chinese New Year season! Not only are these stickers an extremely beautiful decor item, they are very cheap and easy to decorate! Get these stickers in whichever designs you like and let your creativity run wild!
3. Paper Cuttings
These papers are designed in such a way that it reflects the joy during the period of festivities. The color red is outstanding at this time. Therefore, the cuttings are done using this color, and then the designs are bonded or instead joined together to bring out images that will convey a relaxing mood for the New Year. They are later pasted in places where they are visible for instance, in the windows and the doors. The designs can be in the form of an animal or a plant which will convey a message. For instance, it can be fruitful, being youthful and energetic prosperity among others.
DIY Knitted Cushion
Things you need:
- 400cm x 20cm Fabric (Color of your choice)
- Wool Stuffing / Expanded Polystyrene (EPS)
- Sewing Needle and Thread
- A Long Stick for Shoving
- Several Sheets of A4 Paper
- Clothes Peg
- Fold the fabric into half and sew the edges together.
- After sewing, flip the fabric inside out so that the threads are facing inwards. You do not want your threads to be exposed as it will be unsightly.
- Roll the sheets of A4 papers and stuff it into one end of the fabric, this is to ease the stuffing process later on.
- Clip the clothes peg on the other end of the fabric to prevent the stuffing from coming out.
- You can start stuffing either wool or EPS into the fabric and use the stick to squeeze the stuffing, ensuring that they are stuffed tightly together.
- Once it is fully stuffed, you can sew up the both ends securely.
Now comes the tricky part where you will need to twist and turn your fabric into the shape of a cushion.
Follow the steps in the photos below and do not worry if you cannot get the perfect shape in one try because we have done it more than 5 times to finally get a perfect shape!
- Finally, tuck the two ends of the fabric at the back of the cushion and make sure that they are well hidden.
- Your cushion should like something like the one above!
- And tadah, a simple DIY Knitted Fabric Cushion!
These lanterns are ordinarily red, and their primary significance is to keep away any lousy wind that may be in the making. The Chinese hang the lights on the tree branches, the doors (both for the homes and offices), and also along the streets where they are viewed, and these will show that no lousy omen will occur during the year. It is effortless to make the lamps, however, when the New Year festival is about to start, one can always buy from the vendors where they are in plenty.
DIY Cute Paper Lanterns
Things you need:
- Red A4 Paper
- Gold Strip of Paper
- Gold Tassle / DIY Threads for Tail
- Gold Marker
- Bow Pencil
- Sewing Needle
Step 1: Find the center of the A4 paper and mark it with the bow pen.
From there, draw out a six-petal flower with a small circle at the tips as shown in the diagram above.
Cut out the shape with a pair of scissors.
Step 2: Decorate your gold tassel whichever way you want.
You can choose to even add a colorful bead or jade to it like in the photo above.
Step 3: Outline the edges of the paper with the gold marker pen and color the circular edges.
Step 4: Gently curl the petals inwards, ensuring that the gold outlined side is facing outwards.
Step 5: Using the gold strip of paper, make a loop identical to the size of the center of the lantern.
Glue the edges and then glue it on the outside of the lantern.
This loop will be the section where the tassel will come out from.
Step 6: Poke a hole in the center of the lantern and string your tassel through it.
Secure the tassel by tying a knot at the other end of the tassel as shown in the photo above.
Step 7: Align all the tip circles to the top and glue them together.
Step 8: Finally, thread a knotted piece of thread or embroidery floss through the hole at the top.
There you have it, a perfectly simple to do mini lantern!
5. Door Couplets
They are well-known for sending kind regards and wishes for the New Year, and are fixed on the doors whereby messages of good tidings are communicated in different ways.
The couplets come in pairs as the word suggests and they are ordinarily linked to moral and respectable life ahead full of luck. They are fixed on both sides of the door to make it a merry-making event and are written in the form of poems which can be sung to make sure that the spring festival is as successful as possible. They also increase the awareness of the festival that is just about to start. Below is an example of how doors are decorated. The decorations are on both sides of the door and also the poem as earlier stated. This must be a high type of décor when viewed on the door, and it brings out a refreshing atmosphere.
That is all! Hope you have enjoyed reading this blog and happy decorating for the coming season!