Monday, January 6, 2014

Crafting with my kids: Chinese New Year {The Year of the Horse} Money envelope horses

Happy New Year! It’s time to bring this little space into 2014.  We had a very happy Christmas and New Year, although Lily and my nephew came down with some sort of  Norwalk/stomach flu virus(ugh) over New Year’s (thankfully, it was over quickly!).
It is frightfully cold (the so called “polar vortex”) and I am worried about what the next 48 hours will bring - fiercely studying the literature on how to prevent frozen pipes.  
On the crafting front, we are gearing up for the Lunar New Year (Jan. 31) and I thought I would share this quick and easy project using recycled red money envelopes (lai see in Cantonese / hóngbāo in Mandarin) .  We have acquired quite a collection of money envelopes (from several friends and my husband’s colleagues and students).
For this project, we cut out a number of horses from recycled cardboard (cereal boxes, etc.). For a template we used a dala horse template because of it is simple cutting lines, but something more elaborate would be beautiful.  If you have a horse cookie cutter that would work as a template as well.   We painted the cardboard in acrylics (yellow or red or gold).  After the paint had dried, we made coats / blankets for our horses using the money envelopes.  We cut the envelopes to the desired size and glued them to our cardboard houses. 
All the pretty horses!  We might attach our horses to a banner or a mobile or use them for place settings.  We haven’t decided yet.
P.S. Canada Post releases the CNY Year of the Horse postage stamp on January 13th!
Happy crafting,


  1. So cute! How fun to craft with your girls.

  2. Every craft you do with your kids for the CNY is exceptional! I love how you used the money envelopes (they are so cute!) as saddles!

  3. Your family is just so crafty!

  4. You are always so on top of things. What a darling idea to use Dala horse templates!

  5. I was hoping that you'd have some fun ideas to share! Josie and I are going to work on her CNY tree this afternoon.

  6. Ugh - we are super-duper cold too!! Love the horses - they turned out great (love the stamps too).

  7. Hope you're staying warm, KJ! I love your new craft for CNY - I haven't even started mine let alone the spring cleaning that is necessary before the festivities begin. Can't believe how fast the time is going.

  8. I think its great that you celebrate the chinese new year with your kids! I never did, I think I was barely aware of the chinese new year even existing when my kids were little.. my head was so in the clouds most ot the time! lol!
    have a great week!

  9. I love this idea. I work with special needs kids and this is the right amount of simplicity while still celebrating culture.

    1. Thanks so much for your kind comment. I have always enjoyed glue or collage-based projects because they work and are enjoyed by many different groups and conducive to recycled materials. Happy New Year and happy crafting!

  10. I love popping by and seeing your crafting.
    There is a huge Asian community here in Vancouver and we've been watching the decorations going up around us. Happy non-Chinese New Year by the way :)

  11. I stumbled upon your site after searching for cny crafts. thank you so much for posting your idea! I knew my hoarding of those little red envelopes would come in handy when hubby would suggest throwing them away after we were done with them! thank you again! the girls will have so much fun making this craft.

    1. Thanks Elise, that is very kind of you to stop by! I am an envelope hoarder too :) Happy New Year!

    2. I had to come back and report.. the painted dala horses with red envelope blankets were a big hit at my playgroup today! I had a CNY themed playgroup and we used all of my old red envelopes and the kids got to each take home their horses and a red envelope. It was bitter cold, and some of the older kids who had school cancelled even had fun. Your site is so inspiring, I cant wait to see what craft you post next.

    3. I am so glad you decided to use your envelopes and try this project. Thanks so much for taking the time to report back, your feedback made my day!

  12. Super cute! Happy New Year! I have featured this at Diana Rambles!


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