Chinese Parade Dragon for Under $75




Introduction: Chinese Parade Dragon for Under $75

About: I adore instructables and use it when I'm playing with ideas for my students (I'm a certified art teacher and the Art Director for a children's summer camp). I have found that it fuels my creative process a...

Chinese Parade Dragon for Under $75

I was given a challenge to make a Chinese parade dragon in two days for under $50, I completed said challenge and you can see the results. For the camp ceremony there needed to be a flap so a person could stand behind it and blow fire. I was going to make the dragon do that on it's own, but my budget was limited, I couldn’t find what I needed to make it work for the budget…and did I mention I had only two days!  I am calling this under seventy-five dollars to create because I did have some materials on hand and would venture those to be around twenty-five dollars to get if you bargain hunt.. My biggest regret is not taking more pictures of the progress or I would have made an instructable on it.  Some of the photos are at night, and yes I did make his eyes glow.  He was pretty cool and it was a highlight of the ceremony!

Materials Used:
Paint Brushes
High Temp Hot Glue Gun
High Temp Hot Glue
2 Red Full size Flat Sheets
2-4 spools Lion Brand Fun Fur Yarn (White)
10 Sheets of foam board (white)
Black Acrylic Paint
Red Acrylic Paint
1 Can Gold Spray Paint
2 Cans Flat Black Spray Paint
2 Hollow Rubber Bouncy Balls (large and transparent)
2 Large camping Glow Sticks (orange in color)
5 Large Wooden dowel Rods
1 Can Great Stuff Foam Insulation

Feel free to ask questions I would be happy to help you make your own.

UPDATE 2013:

Quick & Easy Chinese Parade Dragon  This instructable should help you with out to construct this dragon.  I made is very similar to the one found here.



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    22 Discussions

    I am wanting to make a Phoenix that is about this size to be used in a parade. I think that I can use the general frame and concept, but I'm having a hard time figuring out how to make the wings, any suggestions?

    1 reply

    This is amazing! I was actually tempted to do one of these around a certain holiday :) Nice execution.

    1 reply

    You can make it happen! I want to make another and not be in such a rush, I just have to find the time, lol

    Hi poofrabbit,
    Love your dragon! I need to make one for a charity group with little to no budget. Want it to be as nice as possible and yours certainly fits the bill. I'm new to this website. Did you ever post additional information on more details/pix on the head????

    Thanks so much!

    4 replies

    I can get you more info, give me a couple of weeks, I'll make a mini version of this that can be blown up into the size you see here. :)

    Morning Poofrabbit,
    I would be so grateful to receive dragon head instructions as soon as you can send me something! Meeting later on this week with the planning committee to discuss exactly this. I'm completely OK with what to do for the body, just need that beautiful dragon head of yours. Drafting volunteer worker bees for this one. Nothing I saw online comes even close to how great your project turned out. Habitat for Humanity, our local group, is so excited! Can't wait to receive more info.

    Many, many thanks from all of us.
    Nancy B

    Hi Nancy are you still interested in this. Let me know because I will sit down and create it in the next few days for you if you like. I've been getting a lot of requests lately in my inbox and I would love to see more of these made. :) This head was the size of a full sheet of poster board, do you have access to a projector? Or know a school teacher with a smartboard? I'm trying to think about how to get you a template the right size.

    hi poofrabbit-

    did you ever get a chance to write out any full instructions on how to make this? i'd love them if so!

    This is fantastic! I teach 4th grade and we're doing a unit on Asia - we are going to make one of these for our Global Celebration! Can you tell me please, what is under the fabric and on top of the poles? It looks like maybe a foam square? Again, thanks for sharing your talent and creativity!

    3 replies

    Hello! Sure I can tell you. It's foam board. When you take foam board and you "curl" it it breaks down part of the foam but puts it in a very nice curved shape. That laid in the interior of the fabric (which is two bed sheets sewn together and then folded in half and sewed together. I believe I used full sheets, but they may have been twin. Either honestly would work. Then I took hot glue and glued all over the top of the curve and put it on the bottom of the dragon. From there I used large dowel rods and centered it in the middle of the foam core. I used a spray insulation called Great Stuff. It's VERY STICKY. I sprayed that around the dowel and held it in place. It takes a while to set so you might want to put boxes around it to hold it up. What's great about Great Stuff is it's very light weight, and will hold things in place. Do note, it expands a great deal. Let me know if you need anymore help. I keep thinking I will make another one, but have nt had the time. When I do I'll make a step by step instructable.

    Thanks so much for your reply! We are starting on Monday - so I will definitely keep you posted and try to put a pic of the finished product up - the kids are SO excited! Your project is EXACTLY what I was looking for!!!! Yay you!

    Ah wonderful! Check out the Triceratops Skull Instructable  He did something very similar to how I made my head.  The difference is material.  I needed to keep the head really light, which is why I opted for foam core and hot glue to put it all together.  I'm so excited to see what they make!  :)  Keep me posted if you need any help as you start your process.

    Cool man, great job..
    I am looking to re-create this or something similar for up coming summer music festivals...
    Is there a chance you could give more detail on how to go about making the head...... thank you

    1 reply

    I will see what I can do about making an instructable, I've had others ask as well. I will mock one up in a smaller size (I don't have the room in my house for one this big) and that should help you out. :)

    Awesome job! This got me thinking that it could be really cool to make the shapes from aluminum welding wire (using hot glue) and then cover it with tissue and light it up at night.

    1 reply

    Thanks so much! I am sure you could use aluminum to create the shapes, as well as having it light up! I'd love to see if if you make it. :) I'm considering making another one and giving myself all the time I need. I appreciate the kind words!