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Paper Dragon Puppets – A Fun Paper Puppet Craft

Paper puppets are fun and inexpensive but paper dragon puppets are the best! Whether you want to set up a 10 minute, nearly no-mess craft, educate little ones about Chinese New Year, or you just want to incorporate more pretend play into the day, these quick dragon puppets fit the bill.

Easy Paper Dragon Puppets kids can make on their own (inspired by How to Train Your Dragon) #rufflesandrainboots #dragon #dragoncraft #howtotrainyourdragon #toothless
Make these adorable dragon paper puppets with the kids or let them make them on their own!

The Perfect Craft for Dragon Lovers and Chinese New Year

After the little one saw the movie, “How to Train Your Dragon,” we needed a Toothless and 53 of his closest dragon friends. What I’m saying is that I’ve made a ton of dragon puppets recently, and this fun craft is the best for her small hands. It’s complete happenstance (not awesome planning, mind you) that it only takes 10-minutes to whip out a few of these, including variations to this dragon craft for kids.

Dragon Puppet for Kids

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This paper puppet craft is a WIN!

This is dragon paper puppet craft is also a wonderful craft to facilitate discussion on Chinese culture or Chinese New Year. This year, we are incorporating the dragon puppets with one of her favorite books, Tikki Tikki Tembo. There’s a double-page spread of a dragon for the festival that my daughter just loves to talk about – maybe your kids love it, too?

It’s actually one of my favorite books because it’s so much stinkin’ fun to say that kid’s name 100 times. As a refresher… The legend is that Chinese parents used to give their first born son a great long name. Second sons “were given hardly any name at all.”

Firstborn son: Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo.

Second son: Chang.

Supplies for Our Paper Dragon Puppets Tutorial

Pretty simple supplies for this paper puppet craft:

  • construction paper
  • tape and glue stick
  • googly eyes (optional)

That’s right. No printable templates necessary. Just a fun dragon hand puppet your kids can make. Although, if you’re looking for a printable dragon puppet, you can check out our other dragon puppet printable crafts I put together recently that would make a fun Chinese New Year craft, if you’re so inclined.

Easy Paper Puppet Craft Supplies

Paper Puppet Craft Instructions

The first set of pictures represents toddler or young child sized paper dragon puppets – it fits their smaller hands better. Tri-fold the paper and remove one section on the long edge.

For a large version, lightly fold the paper in half to find the center. Then fold each edge into the center and secure with tape. Continue folding the body as in step 2 of the image below.

Fold a piece of paper into thirds lengthwise and cut off one of the sections. Fold the paper back in half lengthwise and fold on the width of the paper. Take it just more than halfway and fold it back. Flip it over and do the same thing. Tape up the long side folds (1 piece of tape per section is fine).

Make a paper dragon puppet - a simple paper puppet craft for kids

Paper Puppet Wings

Using the leftover strip from making the body, make a set of wings by folding the strip in half and cutting a shape. Unfold and cut down the center to get two wings. Attach to the back side of the head with glue and tape. They are going to take a beating, so I recommend both.

Fold up the wing a little so they stand up and can be seen easily. Trim the wings so that your child can stick their hand in the puppet comfortably, but don’t toss those pieces – you can make a nose piece, eyebrows, or a center nose ridge.

Tutorial Dragon Wings

Paper dragon Puppet Features (and Tips)

Make nostrils, teeth, tongue, fire, eyes, and any other embellishments for your paper dragon puppets. The only rule is to make sure you leave enough room for a tab of sorts – you are going to fold over a small tab so that each piece is made 3 dimensional. Cool, right?

Make the eyes first so they have time to set up and dry a little. You can add everything in any order you’d like, but I recommend leaving the eyes for last, especially if you’re using googly eyes. For the teeth, be sure to cut slits in the sides so that the teeth fold around the mouth. You are going to want to glue and tape the teeth down, same as the eyes.

Yield: 3 paper dragon puppets

Paper Dragon Puppets - A Fun Paper Puppet Craft

Dragon Puppet for Kids

Paper puppets are fun and inexpensive but paper dragon puppets are the perfect for fans of the mythical creatures!

Active Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $3

Materials

  • construction paper
  • tape and glue stick
  • googly eyes (optional)

Tools

  • scissors

Instructions

  1. For younger kids with smaller hands, tri-fold the paper and remove one section on the long edge. For a large version, lightly fold the paper in half to find the center. Then fold each edge into the center and secure with tape. Continue folding the body as in step 2 of the image included in post.
  2. how to fold a dragon puppet
  3. Fold a piece of paper into thirds lengthwise and cut off one of the sections. Fold the paper back in half lengthwise and fold on the width of the paper. Take it just more than halfway and fold it back. Flip it over and do the same thing. Tape up the long side folds (1 piece of tape per section is fine).
  4. Using the leftover strip from making the body, make a set of wings by folding the strip in half and cutting a shape. Unfold and cut down the center to get two wings. Attach to the back side of the head with glue and tape. They are going to take a beating, so I recommend both.
  5. how to make dragon wings
  6. Fold up the wing a little so they stand up and can be seen easily. Trim the wings so that your child can stick their hand in the puppet comfortably, but don’t toss those pieces – you can make a nose piece, eyebrows, or a center nose ridge.
  7. Make nostrils, teeth, tongue, fire, eyes, and any other embellishments for your paper dragon puppets. The only rule is to make sure you leave enough room for a tab of sorts – you are going to fold over a small tab so that each piece is made 3 dimensional.
  8. Make the eyes first so they have time to set up and dry a little. You can add everything in any order you’d like, but I recommend leaving the eyes for last, especially if you’re using googly eyes. For the teeth, be sure to cut slits in the sides so that the teeth fold around the mouth. You are going to want to glue and tape the teeth down, same as the eyes.
  9. Dragon Puppet for Kids

Notes

For more fun puppet ideas, visit Ruffles and Rain Boots.

Did you make this?

Please leave a comment or share a photo and tag me @rufflesandrain

Kids Craft Dragon Puppet

More Fun Dragon Craft Ideas

If you’d like to see more like this, check out our crafts for kids page. Or, check out some of these:

Share This or Pin it For Later

So what do you think of our dragon family? It’s ever-growing and they are named, so they must be part of our family now. If you think this was a fun and quick craft for a fun afternoon activity, or you’re making this Chinese dragon puppet for your Chinese New Year celebration, can you please share it on Facebook? We sincerely appreciate it!

Easy Paper Dragon Puppets kids can make on their own (inspired by How to Train Your Dragon) #rufflesandrainboots #dragon #dragoncraft #howtotrainyourdragon #toothless

Shailee Butalia

Monday 16th of March 2015

Love this. My husband loves making things since we had our kid. He handmade Halloween shirts for us and made paper monsters to decorate the yard. I'll have to share this and some of your other projects with him. I think he will love it!

Sheila @ BrainPowerBoy

Sunday 1st of February 2015

These are super neat. I love that the construction is so easy but the finished result is oh so cool. Sharing!

Sarah Nenni-Daher

Monday 2nd of February 2015

Thanks so much, Sheila, and thank you for sharing them. These little dragons have become quite the popular cuties.

Lindsay @Artsy-Fartsy Mama

Wednesday 28th of January 2015

This is such a fun idea!! My daughter would love it!!

Sarah Nenni-Daher

Wednesday 28th of January 2015

It's amazing to me how sturdy paper can be - all of them are still going strong and it's been weeks! Thanks, Lindsay, for stopping by and I hope you get a chance to set these up for your daughter.

Christina @ I Gotta Create!

Wednesday 28th of January 2015

Fantastic! I pinned these and I'll be featuring you at the party tonight. Thanks so much for linking up! <3 Christina @ I Gotta Create!

Sarah Nenni-Daher

Wednesday 28th of January 2015

Thanks so much for the feature, Christina! See you at the party.

Louisa

Monday 26th of January 2015

What a great idea! Thanks for sharing. I'm going to share this idea with my sister who anticipates being snowed in this week. I'm sure she will appreciate a little mess craft project idea.

Sarah Nenni-Daher

Tuesday 27th of January 2015

It definitely makes for a fun craft indoors, Louisa, because after they're crafted the real fun begins! I hope they have a great time and thank you so much for stopping by!

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