How to Make a Chinese Lion on a Paper Lunch Bag

by Jen Randall
Chinese lions are typically red and yellow; they symbolize joy and happiness.

Chinese lions are typically red and yellow; they symbolize joy and happiness.

China Photos/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The Chinese lion figures prominently in Chinese culture. For special events such as weddings or births, or on holidays such as the Chinese New Year and the Chinese Spring Festival, dancing lions and dragons, fabulously decorated and animated, aid the celebration. Characterized by bright yellow and red fur, the Chinese lion symbolizes -- and expresses -- joy and happiness. Make a Chinese lion on a paper lunch bag as an engaging, fun craft activity to learn more about Chinese culture or simply to celebrate the Chinese lion during any holiday or festival.

Items you will need

  • Paper lunch bag
  • 1/2 sheet white computer paper
  • 1/2 sheet green construction paper
  • 2 sheets red construction paper
  • 2 sheets yellow construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Glue stick
  • Black pen
Step 1

Fold the white piece of paper in half lengthwise. Cut the paper on the fold. Set one piece aside and place the other paper horizontally on a flat surface. This will be where you draw the lion's face. Measure the paper using the ruler into a grid of three even rows and columns. Mark these lines gently with the pencil.

Step 2

Draw two large ovals that fill the entire box in the center two rows on the exterior two columns. Rim the ovals with a thick tube-like outline to make the lion's eyes. On the interior corner of each eye, draw a half circle to make the colored part of the eye and draw the pupil.

Step 3

Draw a circle with a circle inside between the eyes on the lower forehead of the lion. Draw small, rounded ears in the top right and left column blocks.

Step 4

Make an upward-arching half circle that covers the entire bottom row, starting from the left most column ending in the bottom right column. Draw a second half circle inside the first for emphasis. The half circles make the lion's mouth. Draw large, loose swirling circles to make the nostrils and nose decorations in the space above the crest of the mouth and between the eyes.

Step 5

Glue the lion's face onto the paper bag's bottom. Decorate these pieces with markers or glitter as desired.

Step 6

Fold the two sheets of the yellow and red construction paper in half lengthwise. Cut the paper in half at this fold. There should be eight pieces total. Measure down each piece 2 inches and mark this line with a pencil. Use the scissors and cut fringes up from the bottom strips that are approximately 1 inch apart, ending at the pencil line. This forms the fur; the fringe can be closer than 1 inch or farther apart, depending on how ruffly you would like the fringe to be.

Step 7

Open the paper bag so that it is filled with air. Place the bag upside down so that the lion's head is facing the ceiling. Decide where the four pieces of yellow fringed paper will go. Glue them on one by one. Repeat this the red paper, tucking the 2-inch buffer under the yellow fur ruffles.

Step 8

Cut out a circle that is approximately 1 inch in diameter with a 3-inch-by-1-inch tail from the green construction paper; either use the ruler or estimate the length and diameter. Glue or tape this green piece onto the top of the Chinese lion's head. The green symbolizes good luck.

Tips & Warnings

  • Further decorate the Chinese lion with markers, glitter or craft paper.
  • Use the paper bag lions as hand puppets or wall decorations.
  • Watch an online clip of the Chinese lion's dance to see the different ways that a Chinese lion looks and acts during festivals.

About the Author

Jen Randall has been a writer and editor since 2004. She has worked as a newspaper reporter, academic editor, freelance blogger and ghostwriter, covering education, art and design, fashion, culture and society. Randall earned her Bachelor of Arts in comparative history from the University of Washington.

Photo Credits

  • China Photos/Getty Images News/Getty Images