The Dragon Boat Wrapped Holiday Ornament Tutorial

‘Tis the season for handmade beauty. These dragon boat ornaments rank among my all-time favorite holiday adornments. Easy to whip up, they’re great for decorating for the holidays and lovely to display in your home all year round.

I learned to make these lovely ornaments about a decade ago from Julie Anderson, owner of the Threadbender Yarn Shop here in West Michigan. Julie, who learned this craft from a former art teacher, kindly refreshed my memory when I was scrambling to locate my template earlier this week. And now, I’m passing the project on to you. Enjoy!

(Please let me know if I need to clarify anything. I wrote this tutorial in one marathon session, so let me know if I goofed something up.)


Dragon Boat template printed on card stock (Download the PDF)
Crochet cotton, embroidery floss, or mix of novelty yarns
Craft glue

Optional: corsage pins, beads

1) The first step is to download the pdf, print it on card stock paper, cut out the template, and score on the fold lines. (Note: The template will print slightly smaller than the 2″ by 10″ size noted.)

2) To form a hanger for your ornament, tape a folded piece of thread to the reverse side of template on the crease between the pair of 1’s. Add a tassel or string of five or six beads to the reverse side of the template between the pair of 2’s for added flair.

* (Please note: I photographed the folding process without the hanger and tassel in place so the numbers would be visible.)

3) Now you’re ready to start folding. Fold the starred corner of the template (top right edge) on the crease between the pair of 1’s so that all three 2’s line up. Then fold the triangle down beyond the crease marked with a single 2 so the starred points meet. (shown in the image on the left)

4) Now fold on the diagonal line shown under my thumb, to line up the three points marked with 1’s.

5) Tuck in the triangle end piece (as shown below) and tape all open edges.

How to wrap a Dragon Boat

1) With the top point (marked with three 1’s and the the hanger thread) facing up, tape the wrapping yarn or thread to the top of the Dragon boat  half-way between a bottom point to the left of a crease line. Begin wrapping by pulling the thread up along the crease line to the left of the hanger, then down to the next  point to the right. (Fig. 1)

2) Wrap thread around the lower point and back up and around the top point, (Fig. 2) then back down around the second lower point. Repeat this process to wrap the third point.

3) Continue wrapping, tracing the previous thread line until the whole template is covered. (fig. 3, 4 & 5) Note: if you want to change colors, simply cut your thread and tape down with beginning of new thread and continue wrapping.

4) Once covered, cut the thread and glue in place at the bottom point. (For peace of mind, I leave a tale to thread through a needle and tie a knot before weaving the end in and cutting. This is not necessary, but it helps me sleep better.)

Now hang up your dragon boat and enjoy!

If you want to get fancy you can poke corsage pins into the three points and Super Glue in place. (See below.)

Below is a video tutorial I recorded at home:

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