Miss Kalea made some Chinese firecrackers in her Chinese school craft class last weekend, I thought it would be fun to share how they were made. They are super easy and fun to make with the little firecrackers in your life. Let me first apologize for the not-so-great photos. It's midnight, and I'm sitting on the kitchen floor making these next to a pile of unraveled toilet paper, which I'm sure Miss K is going to ask me why I can do that but she can't. :)
These are the supplies you will need:
1) Chinese red envelopes ~ Most Chinese families, particularly those with elderly parents, will have these at home, like mine do. But I wasn't going to drive 40 miles to LA for a few envelopes. So I found these in the local Chinese market. Super cheap, a bunch in a pack for like a buck, and they come in various designs/patterns. If you have a 'Chinese bank' nearby, you can stop in and ask for some for free. If you cannot get your hands on these, just use any red paper you may have with the thickness of gift wrapping paper. Red construction paper works well, too.
2) braiding cord ~ The kind you use to make bracelets. I chose the white color since it most resembles the 'wick'.
3) elastic cord ~ I found them next to the braiding cord. I chose the sparkle kind cause, well, it's just more festive.
4) toilet paper core ~ You can make two firecrackers per core.
5) thicker white paper scraps ~ Anything thicker than plain copy paper. Scrapbooking cardstock works great.
8) gold marker
STEP 1 ~ Unravel the toilet paper core and cut horizontally in two pieces.
STEP 2 ~ From the bottom tip, roll each cut piece so that the diameter ends up at about 0.60" - 0.75".
STEP 3 ~ Glue the tip to seal the roll. You might need to hold the tip for a few more seconds to keep it from unraveling.
They should look like these.
STEP 4 ~ Cut the red envelope the length of the toilet paper core you just rolled.
STEP 5 ~ Roll the red envelope around the core roll and glue to adhere to the core roll.
STEP 6 ~ Cut out four circles from the thicker paper scrap in the size of the diameter of the wrapped cores. The circles do not have to be perfect circles. You will trim off the extra 'edges' later.
STEP 7 ~ The inside of the red envelop is white. Cut four strips about 0.50" in height and long enough in width to wrap around the rolled core. Draw vertical lines up and down across the entire strip. Set aside to let markings dry.
STEP 8 ~ Cut two 1.50" braiding cords and make a knot on each of the cords to make the 'wick'. I used white because it most resembles the real 'wick'.
STEP 9 ~ Cut two 3" elastic cords and tie each of the two ends together to make the firecracker 'handles'. Pierce holes through all four of the circles so you can slip the cords through.
STEP 10 ~ Add glue to the knots to adhere the cores to the circles with stronger bonds so they don't slip through the holes.
STEP 11 ~ Wrap the tops and bottoms of the wrapped cores.
STEP 12 ~ Apply generous amounts of glue to both top and bottom ends of the rolled core.
STEP 13 ~ Attach 'wick' to one end and elastic handle to the other end of the rolled core.
STEP 14 ~ Trim off the excess edge that extends beyone the diameter of the wrapped core.
And TA-DAAAAAAAA! There you have it, two super cute Chinese firecrackers!
So of course Miss K just had to get her cute little hands on them when she woke up this morning! (I guess I didn't glue the wick too well, cause her little hands pushed it in a lil. But short wick, long wick... They're both cute!)
I hope the photos and instructions were clear to follow. If I missed something, these are so easy to make, I'm sure you can figure it out. If not, just leave me a comment, and I will help. We are headed to my parents' to celebrate Chinese New Year, because I have absolutely no idea how to properly 'celebrate' it. Should be fun!
I printed them on 100 lb. cover stock, and they look absolutely fantastic (and even more so when I rounded the corners) and SO ready to use. Once I've processed and packaged them, I'd like to give away a few packs. So stay tuned for the giveaway!
In the meantime, Happy Chinese New Year from us!
(If anyone is interested in knowing how to make that red lantern K is holding, just let me know, and I will crank up a tutorial for that as well.)