The Dragon Boat Wrapped Holiday Ornament Tutorial

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25 Responses

  1. Darla says:


    I really love these. I love the picture of the red one with the pins sticking out of the sides – excellent job. Thanks for the tutorial on these as well. Your energy is an inspiration for us to try all kinds of crafts. How do you keep coming up with these amazing crafts?!

  2. Very pretty! Thanks for the tutorial, Jennifer.

  3. Betsy says:

    Yay! thanks. :)

  4. Amanda says:

    Wow those are awesome, and great tutorial!

  5. Stephanie says:

    Thanks for this tutorial. My daughter learned to make the earlier this week, but i didn’t have the template, so i could play too. Thanks so much for providing this.

  6. Sandra says:

    Thank you! The ones I first loved also had ribbon and glitter incorporated in the wrap.
    They are all beautiful and unique.

  7. Diane says:

    Thank you for your instructions. Unfortunately, I am not super crafty, but I’m on a dragon boat team and I would love to make these.
    In your figures 3, 4 & 5, are you alternating colors between yellow and orange after every rotation? I like the two colors and would like to try it.

  8. jennifer says:

    Hi Diane. The dragon boats are easier to make than they look. I used variegated yarn, so no color changes were required. I love how the stripes form without any extra effort on my part. I hope this helps. Have fun with it!

  9. Donna says:

    I made some of these with embroidery floss years and years ago. It was from a Carol Duval show I think. Anyway, I gave them all away and have been looking for the template and directions every year for quite awhile. I was thrilled when I came upon your excellent instructions. I didn’t know they were called dragon boats. Using the embroidery floss gives them a bit of shine and, with the many colors available, the colors combos are endless. Thank you so very, very much for ending my search – not to actually make them again!

  10. In fact decent not to mention awesome blog page i ran across presently.

  11. Carol Chan says:

    Hi Jennifer- Thank you for creating your video– I’ve never been able to find this project anywhere on the web until now!
    I’ve been making these ornaments for years & teaching the project to my geometry students. I learned how at a Chinese crafts fair about 30+ years ago. I recently found the “real” thing online– they are called “Zhong-zi” or “Zong-zi” which is also the name of the sticky-rice treats (wrapped in lotus leaves) that are popular during the Dragon Boat Festival. The zhong-zi treat is similar in shape to the ornament– hence the name! (You can google it to see PIX of the actual ornaments in China.)
    I use a longer strip of cardboard to form the shape– I make the length be 7-1/2 times the width. This allows the shape to wrap double– much stronger. I also use four tassels: 3 small ones at the pointy corners and a larger, longer one at the bottom. If you leave long “handles” on all those tassels, they can all pass through the interior of the zhong-zi and emerge at the top, forming the handle (rather than taping one on). Then I start the wrap by blending that strand into the handle. After wrapping, the END of the strand also gets gathered into that handle– so no tape required! I usually tie a fat knot at the top to hold them together; some of my students like to braid the rest of it. Also, I encourage my students to use two contrasting color strands, which wrap simultaneously, making the wrapping much faster, and accenting the color. We also add small jingle-bells to the interior before we close up the shape.
    I agree that it makes a great holiday gift. Thank you for sharing!

  12. jennifer says:

    Wow, Carol. Thanks for sharing the great tips. I will try your method the next time I made these. Have you posted photos of your ornaments on the web? I’d love to see what you’ve been making. All the best! – Jennifer

  13. Joanne says:

    Thanks so much for posting this. I recently saw these ornaments at a Weavers Guild Show in CO. I fell in love with them. I spoke to the artist and she told me a bit about them so I looked online and there was your site! So helpful. I am making them for all my friends for the holidays!

  14. Sue Williams says:

    Thank you very much and to Carol Chan for the very interesting information. I will certainly be trying out these lovely dragon boats for gifts in the future. Warm greetings from me in South Africa.

  15. Erica says:

    You mentioned that your friend learned this from her former art teacher in Michigan. My grandmother was an art teacher in Michigan and she taught all her students how to make these. I am wondering if your friend remembers the name of the teacher. If it was my grandmother, she would be tickled pink to hear that someone remembered one of her lessons.

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  17. Cheryl says:

    Love how you use the two colored threads. It’s worth the extra effort!

    A Girl Scout leader showed me how to make these thread dumplings many years ago. We use a metallic crochet thread. The metallic thread stays in place and is much faster to wrap.

    I cover the points with an acrylic craft paint before wrapping it. The paint matches the thread color so the corners blend in beautifully with the thread.

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  20. Susan Ma says:

    Thank you so much for the instructions. I was looking this for a long time. My grandchildren come to my house every summer for a week as Grandma’s Chinese Camp. I want to teach them some Chinese arts & crafts. They love to eat Zong zhi. This is great. I can tell them the history of dragon boat festival. Thank you, thank you. Susan

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