10 Chinese New Year decoration ideas that aren’t tacky

Yes, it’s that time of the year again when everywhere and everyone is dressed in varying shades of red. If you are tired of hanging up the same old lanterns and couplets every year, this is the right article for you.

With these 10 out-of-the-box home decor ideas, some of which you can do together with your family, Chinese New Year will definitely feel more festive and less of a bore this year.

1. Cherry blossom lantern

Source: Naiise

For a beautiful decoration that holds special meaning, you might want to check this easy DIY project of a cherry blossom-adorned paper lantern. Cherry blossoms are not only a sign of spring, and in fact symbolise female power in Chinese culture!

All you need to do to make this is to get a white paper round lamp (Ikea sells these), dress them up with some fake cherry blossoms that you can either buy or make using coloured paper, and your unique lantern is completed in just a few simple steps.

2. Fabric fortune cookie

Source: Martha Stewart

For a table centrepiece that will entertain your family and friends during house visiting, try this cute idea from Martha Stewart. Write your own fortunes and insert them into felt cookies, and get your guests to open them up. It is sure to get everyone talking, and even the younger ones will have fun exchanging fortunes.

Tip: Write hilarious fortunes – the funnier, the better!

You can read this tutorial here for details on how to make these fortune cookies.

3. Chinese knot cushion

Source: The Designer Pad

Have time for a more time-consuming craft project? You can attempt to make your very own cushion! Chinese knots are a decorative handicraft art that began as a form of Chinese folk art in the Tang and Song dynasties, and now you can incorporate them into your house decor as well. If people ask where you bought your festive and comfortable cushion from, you can tell them smugly that you made it – all by yourself!

You can watch this Youtube tutorial for details on how to make this cushion.

4. Lantern fairy lights

Source: Red Ted Art

You may be familiar with creating paper lanterns back when you were younger, but one interesting way to really make these lanterns shine (literally) is to incorporate fairy lights. Stick the completed paper lanterns to fairy lights with double sided tape, and alternating leaving one light clear and one with a lantern.

You can read this tutorial here for details on how to make these lantern fairy lights.

5. Lantern branch

Source: A Pair & A Spare

On Christmas you deck your living room with a Christmas tree, so during Chinese New Year you can decorate your walls with the Chinese equivalent of a Christmas tree branch! All you need to create this is a tree branch (a kumquat bush one if you want something more festive), some tassels that you can make from paper, and small lanterns that are commonly sold.

You can read this tutorial here for details on how to make the branches’ tassels.

6. Floral wreaths

Source: EdgeProp

Taking inspiration from Christmas garlands, make your own CNY garland to hang on your door to welcome guests. You can either incorporate real blooms, or buy some artificial ones for a longer-lasting decoration that you can use again next year. Some common flowers that you can add in include plum blossoms, peonies, and chrysanthemums.

7. Paper pinwheels

Source: EdgeProp

One auspicious symbol in Chinese culture that you may not have thought of decorating your house with is the pinwheel. Pinwheels are believed to turn one’s luck around, and used to usher in good luck and fortune in the new year. Create a spectacularly colourful display in your living room space by using paper of different colours and sizes. This is also a fun project that you can do with young kids, so get them involved!

You can watch this tutorial here for details on how to make paper pinwheels.

8. Paper cuttings

Source: AliExpress

Paper cutting is a popular Chinese folk art that is commonly used in all kinds of celebrations, be it moving house, wedding, or Chinese New Year. For those who are good with crafts, you can attempt to make your own paper cut art and cut some truly unique patterns to call your own. If you are less artistically-inclined, there is always the option of buying them from Chinatown or online stores, thankfully.

You can watch this tutorial here for details on how to make a simple flower cut.

9. Wall stickers

Source: Pineapple Tarts Singapore

Too busy and can’t spare time to make your own CNY decorations? Don’t worry, you can still get something unique at the last minute, such as these wall stickers! The wall stickers come in the form of paper or acrylic versions, and can be bought almost in Chinatown or online during the festive season. Buy a few patterns and phrases that you really love, paste them in any corner of the house you desire, and you are all ready to welcome your house guests!

10. Customised family plaque

Source: KCottageStudio

The lunar new year is a time for families to come together and celebrate. What better way to celebrate kinship than with a customised family plaque that you can hang anywhere in your living space? We love that this looks super festive, adorned with a Peony Flower Set that lives forever by Fleur Boutique. Plus, you can hang this outside your door for guests to easily identify your house!

You can get a customised family plaque here for SGD60.