School Project: How to Make a Dragon

dragon image by BorisNoWorries from

Things You'll Need

  • Paper cup
  • Red tissue paper
  • Rubber cement
  • Scissors
  • Red felt
  • 2 blue pom-poms
  • Plastic eyes
  • 1 red pom-pom
  • Pipe cleaner
  • Bells
  • Colorful wrapping paper

Making a dragon puppet is a perfect choice for a school project because it is a representative image in the Chinese New Year and many Asian cultures as a whole. You can use it to educate children about Eastern cultural symbols. In the West, dragons are a clear symbol of evil that the heroes of our myths and legends must kill. However, according to the Edsitement website of the National Endowment of the Humanities, "The Chinese dragons are paid homage as celestial beings with royal bearing. They are invested with powers of regeneration that permeate the natural world and renew the cosmic order."

Wrap the exterior of your paper cup in red tissue paper. Glue it into place with rubber cement.

Cut two small triangles out of the red felt. Each side of each triangle should be about an inch long. Glue the triangles to the bottom of your red cup in the positions 2 o'clock and 10 o'clock. These triangles will act as the dragon's ears.

Glue a plastic eye to each blue pom-pom. Hold the cup horizontally, with the mouth of the cup and the ears facing you. Glue the pom-poms right in front of the ears, on the side of the cup. These are the dragon's eyes.

Take a two inch peice of pipe cleaner, fold it in half and twist it slightly. Add a bell to each end. Glue this pipe cleaner, at the folded middle, right behind your dragon's eyes. It will act as his antennae.

Glue the red pom-pom to the lip of the cup, parallel to the eyes. This will be the nose of the dragon.

Glue a small triangle of red felt beneath the nose, on the other side of the lip of the cup. This will be the dragon's tongue.

Cut a strip of colored wrapping paper that is two feet long and six inches wide. Fold the paper in half so that the colored paper shows on the top and bottom of the strip. Glue the sides together.

Glue one end to the dragon's head, at the bottom of the cup. This will be the dragon's tail. Fold the strip of wrapping paper accordian-style to give the dragon's tail the illusion of movement