How to Make a Chinese Dancing Lion Costume

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Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard, several different colors

  • Scissors

  • Glue

  • Hot glue gun

  • Red cloth

  • Gold fringe

The Lion Dance is done as part of the Chinese New Year celebrations and includes a group of dancers sharing a costume and performing an intricate series of movements and steps. Some Lion Dance costumes are elaborate, with giant three-dimensional heads that include mouths that open and shut as well as eyes that blink. You do not have to make such a complex costume for it to serve the same purpose. With cardboard, glue and cloth, you can easily construct your own version of the Lion Dance costume.


Step 1

Construct the lion head. If you need a reference, print out a picture of a traditional Lion Dance costume head to get an idea of what features you want to include. Draw an outline of the lion's head on cardboard. Cut out the shape of the head to be at least 2 feet wide and 3 feet long. Cut out eyes, mouth, nose, tongue, and any other features you wish to include from different colors of cardboard. Glue them together to make the lion's face.

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Step 2

Determine how much material you'll need to make the lion's body. Have the dancers stand in position as they would in the costume and drape the cloth over them. Cut it accordingly and hem with gold fringe. You can use hot glue to attach the border of the fringe to the edges of the cloth on the sides and rear. Do not attach it to the front end, as that is where the head will go.


Step 3

Attach the head to the cloth. On the edge where you did not attach fringe, hot glue the lion head to the fabric. Do this near the top of the head so that when the lead dancer holds it up it will be in front of her face and her head will be covered by the cloth.


You can include glue, lace, fringe or other accents in the construction of the lion's head.


Measure the cloth against the actual dancers to make sure that there is enough for them to move about and still be covered.


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