Celebrate Lunar New Year: Action Art Ideas

Action art painting is fun and simple to do with kids of any age. This post has a slight twist or two for lunar New Year (or Tet or Chinese New Year or ?) This time of year there is often a need for lucky envelopes, called hongbao (Mandarin), lai see or li shi(Cantonese) to give money to most commonly children at family gatherings, although there are other potential recipients. Festive envelopes can be purchased or acquired from some banks, but this year we decided to try making some, granted a day later than we actually needed them, but such is life. We can use the red envelopes for weddings or next year. So actually, I am ahead of schedule.



  • Paint
  • Painters tape
  • Lidded box
  • golf balls, rocks or other toys/items that can be washed.
  • Small blank envelopes, we used #7 coin envelopes but plenty of variations
  • Or paper, small canvases etc


  • Tape paper or envelopes into the box or double up tape on the back of paper.


  • Put in globs of paint. We did mostly red, yellow, orange with some pink and purple. I added gold paint blob later so that it was more of a ‘top layer’.
  • Add some golf balls or rocks or whatever.


  • Affix lid, maybe tape it down if it does not latch tightly.
  • Shake! Shake! Shake!  Keep shaking until it you are happy with the painting results. You could jump and shake etc. To really get the sillies out or pout on top of it because you really just want the golf balls to play with. 😉
  • Carefully remove the paper envelopes to a place to dry. If you want to do both sides, repeat once paint is dry.
  • You could also stamp, write or trace on some words or symbols. We have a double happiness stamp and gold ink from our wedding that I might add to the envelopes when I know that I have an appropriate wedding to attend. But for now our envelopes will be remain ‘event neutral’.

The simplest version of this activity is printing out a coloring page and taping inside a lidded box, adding paint, a ball (or rocks or whatever you want) and the lid. Then shake! We did one with a simple Year of the Rooster picture.Using blank paper is just as much fun a great way to make on of a kind color wall art.


Sample of an oh-so authentic yet so subtle envelop you could buy…… [picture by B. Ng @ Seattle Supermarket] No one will know what is inside.


Chúc Mừng Năm Mới! Gong Hey Fat Choy! Happy Lunar New Year!


One thought on “Celebrate Lunar New Year: Action Art Ideas

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s