Arty Smarty: Firecracker Shakers, Happy Lunar New Year 2021!

Lunar New Year may not be bustling and atmospheric this year, with fewer home visitors and restrictions, however, we can keep up the joy and spirit of this Chinese celebration within our own homes with handmade decorations! It is a great way to spend the long weekend with your children, if you haven’t already got something planned.

Here, The Asianparent Singapore shares some fun Chinese New Year themed Art & Craft ideas to do with your children!

I have an idea too, for a musically fun Chinese New Year!

Firecrackers usually make an appearance during Chinese New Year, as it is believed that the din from lighting firecrackers will drive away evil spirits. Over time, the use of firecrackers has evolved to take on more positive connotations, such as being a “sign of prosperity”.

I have always thought plastics provided a very vaguely similar sound to firecrackers. Since we can’t play with firecrackers in Singapore—it is banned—this can be our way of “setting off”, and enjoying firecrackers safely!

Keeping up with my practice of upcycling, here’s a simple tutorial of making your very own musical shaker, which can also be disguised as Chinese New Year decoration!

Firecracker Shakers

The star of the show: angbaos. A pretty way of recycling. And also, cut outs of pictures symbolic of Chinese New Year. I got these from various other red packets (angbaos) that I no longer use.

Preferably, I would have chosen to use the Chun Cui He drink bottles, as they have a smooth, cylindrical shape, perfect as firecrackers. Those are not available, so I did the next best thing; cut off the mouth of a similarly cylindrical bottle, so that I have a smooth top.

I managed to find an exquisite circular cut-out that will fit over the mouth of the bottle. I tied up some twine in a braid, taped it to the bottom of the circular cut-out, and brought it up through a ‘T’ cut in the middle. I made little cuts around the edge of the cut-out, so that I can tape it neatly along the mouth of the bottle with double-sided tape.

I very nearly forgot to put in the bits that will define it as a shaker! Remember to pop in just a palmful of pasta or beans, just before you tape up the mouth. A smaller number of bits will sound higher-pitched, and closer to the sound of firecrackers going off.

Now that the hard part is over, the fun part is decorating your firecrackers! This is where you can get creative, and do it your own way.

I cut open the angbaos into individual panels, and then used double-sided tape to put these panels of red together. It will be easier to fully decorate this piece before taping it to the bottle (it will be a lot less wrinkly). Paste down your cut-outs à la découpage, or I simply use a glue stick, and then layer on the adhesive book wrap. Be sure to go slow with the adhesive book wrap, pushing out all air bubbles as you go along.

This will go around the length of the bottle, with the help of double-sided tape along the top and bottom. And there you have it, your very own Firecracker Shakers!

I hope you enjoyed this post, and that you will enjoy your time making this as well. If you have made any musical craft this CNY, remember to tag us on Instagram @bloomschoolsg, and hashtag #BloomSchoolDIY. We can’t wait to see what you have made!


‘康’ means health in Mandarin, so here’s wishing all of you an abundance of health and wealth this
Year of the Ox.

Gong Xi Fa Cai!