Chinese New Year Paper Cutting for Kids

Paper cutting is a traditional folk art in China, its birthplace over 1500 years ago. During festivals such as Chinese New Year, paper-cuts are used to decorate doors, walls, and windows in homes, and are presented as gifts to good friends and family.  I thought it would be a fun craft to share with my girls for the upcoming Year of the Horse.


– small, sharp scissors – red copy paper – white card stock – glue stick – hole punch (optional)


The horse face pattern is a symmetrical design cut on a fold, and is more appropriate for older children who are very proficient with scissors. Download the pattern below and print it on red copy paper.  Make sure Scale is set to 100%. craftimentschinesenewyearofthehorsepapercutting7-6318985 Fold the paper in half along the dashed line.  Begin by cutting out the shaded areas on the fold first, then proceed to the inside cuts.  To create a starter hole, you can gently fold the shaded area onto itself and make a small snip. When you are finished cutting, carefully unfold the paper and smooth it out. craftimentschinesenewyearofthehorsepapercutting5-1935664 Paper-cuts can be displayed in many ways.  They are lovely taped to a window. craftimentschinesenewyearofthehorsepapercutting9-6144247 You can also glue them to card stock. The contrast with white really makes the details pop. craftimentschinesenewyearofthehorsepapercutting3-4444364 Feeling playful?  Hold one up to your face and gallop around the living room! craftimentschinesenewyearofthehorsepapercutting6-1220603 I drew a simpler horse pattern for my younger daughter to cut.  You can download it below.


We cheated a little and used a paper punch to give this horse an eye. The paper looked a little bare, so we added a few blossoms and leaves to the design. The blossoms were created by folding a square piece of paper in half three times along the diagonal, and then cutting a petal shape.  I think mountains, trees, clouds or a sun would also go well with the galloping horse design. Let your child use their imagination. craftimentschinesenewyearofthehorsepapercutting4-9494064 May you be happy and prosperous in the New Year! craftimentschinesenewyearofthehorsepapercutting2-2273399