Good Fortune Boxes - Dick Blick Art Materials
Good Fortune Boxes
(art + social studies)
In China, the New Year’s celebration
is recognized as a time when people
put the past behind them and
welcome new beginnings.
Enthusiastic greetings of “kung hei
fat choi,” meaning “congratulations
and be prosperous” are delivered to
family and friends during this 15-day
holiday period. Floral decorations,
red and gold banners and poems of prosperity,
health and happiness are placed in homes and
public places. New clothing, special foods,
family reunions and fireworks are all traditional
parts of the Chinese New Year, as well as the
passing of red and gold envelopes filled with
money to children. The red symbolizes power,
happiness and good fortune, the gold represents wealth and prosperity — and the passing
of the envelopes signifies the passing of
blessings to the next generation.
Deja-Views® Take-Out Box
one per student
This lesson plan celebrates the Chinese tradition
of passing along good fortune or “Fu” to others.
Instead of a red envelope, students will use a
box form that is a familiar part of the AsianAmerican culture, decorate it festively with red,
gold and Asian-themed paper patterns and
create gold “fu coins” bearing good wishes to
place on or inside of the box. The Fu coins can
also be exchanged or passed along as gifts, if
Blick 140-lb Premium
Cardstock, Festive Red (114083419), one half-sheet per
Grade Levels K-8
Dover Pictura Chinese Design
CD (71310-1006), print out
Origami Paper, assorted
patterns (11245- or 12234-) at
least one per student
Acme Junior Stainless Scissors
(57058-1015), one per student
Wooden School Ruler, 12"
(55425-1012), one per student
Bone Folder, small
Blick Economy Graphite
one per student
Blick School Glue (23872-)
1. Start by making the coins. Plastiroc clay will
air-dry hard, durable and lightweight — it’s
also very economical. Flatten each ball into a
circle about 1-3/4" diameter (3/16" thick) and
trim any rough edges away with scissors.
Allow to dry, turning over at least once to
allow air to get to both sides. Dry time will
vary according to humidity levels and may be
decreased by placing in a sunny location or in
front of a fan. Clay will be white when dry.
2. While the clay dries, create the box. Trace the
box template onto the cardstock with pencil.
Cut out just on the inside of the pencil lines
so they are removed. Follow instructions
printed on template to fold into a box shape.
It is helpful to have a ruler to score fold lines
and a bone folder to press a crease.
3. Place glue on the side flaps and fold together.
Place a small piece of tape on the flaps on
the inside of the box to hold the shape while
the glue dries.
4. Decorate the outside of the box:
– Cut shapes from the origami paper and
glue them to the box
– Tear the origami paper and create a collage
on the box
– Use gold or black paint to make designs or
symbols (see above for ideas)
– Use images from the Dover Pictura Chinese
Design CD (71310-1006)
5. Place a small amount of gold paint in a
palette well and have students paint one side
of the coin, allow to dry and paint the other
side. Make sure the edges are
painted, too. Practice writing
the Chinese good luck symbols
on paper while waiting for coins to dry.
Although Chinese calligraphy is an
artform that takes years to master, young
children can make symbols using simple lines
and dots. The important thing is to connect
students to the Chinese written language.
Write the good-luck
symbols on either side of the coin, using
black paint and the bamboo brush.
– If working with very young children or on
limited time, cut the coins from Blick Gold
– Permanent black markers can be used
instead of paint to apply the symbols.
Use a medium or large tip, such as Super
Sharpie® (21203-2001) instead of a fine tip.
– The Simple Art of Chinese Calligraphy, by
Qu Lei Lei (71109-1001). Book contains
history, techniques, projects and over 200
names, characters, poems and phrases
– http//en.wikipedia.org - information
regarding Chinese New Year
– www.formosa-translation.com/chinese site contains Chinese characters for many
Copyright © 2006 Dick Blick Art Materials. All rights reserved.
Bamboo Brush, size 1
(05401-1001), one per student
Omyacolor Plastiroc Air Dry
a 1" diameter ball per student
Sargent Metallic Acrylic Paint,
Gold (00730-9015), distribute
Blickrylic Economy Acrylic
Paint, Mars Black
(00711-2046), distribute to
Rectangular 6-Well Tray
(03068-1006), share between
3M Highland® Transparent
Tape (23017-0051), distribute
Content Standard #3 —
Choosing and evaluating a range of
subject matter, symbols and ideas
Students explore and
understand prospective content
for works of art
Students use subjects, themes
and symbols that demonstrate
knowledge of contexts, values,
and aesthetics that communicate
intended meaning in artwork
Content Standard #4 —
Understanding the visual arts in
relation to history and cultures
Students identify specific works
of art as belonging to particular
cultures, times and places
Students describe and place a
variety of art objects in historical
and cultural contexts