Chinese New Year is upon us my friends. My husband is half Chinese and I love an opportunity to share in his culture. Tomorrow marks Year of the Goat and I’ve created a fun DIY project to share.
Because the Chinese calendar is lunisolar, the Chinese New Year is often referred to as the Lunar New Year. Year of the Goat is one lunar year from Thursday, February 19, 2015 until February 7, 2016. For those unfamiliar with Chinese New Year, you may be wondering, “Why the goat?” The Goat is the eighth sign of a 12 year cycle of animals that appear in the Chinese zodiac. 2014 was Year of the Horse and in 2016 we will celebrate Year of the Monkey! (I happen to be born under year of the monkey — explains a lot, right?). Year of the Goat bears promise and prosperity. This lunar year is also referred to as Sheep or Ram. So if you hear someone say Year of the Sheep or Ram, they are talking about the same thing. During the beginning of a lunar new year, red money envelopes are given as gifts. They are also given for special occasions, such as the birth of a baby, a wedding or graduation. Red money envelopes are typically handed out by married couples, to single people, especially children. This year my husband and I will be giving them out to our little loves while wishing them a year of promise and prosperity.
Okay, now onto the fun stuff; this DIY gold money envelope will definitely wow its recipient.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- glue stick
- sponge brush
- x-acto knife (cricut if you have one* )
- gold paint
- red card stock
- templates (found in instructions)
First download and print my money envelope template using the red card stock. Cut along the dotted-lines for both the envelope and the goat. For the envelope fold on the solid ones, and glue it together on the overlapping flaps. Next, using the x-acto blade on the goat stencil card, slice out the goat silhouette.
If you own a die-cutting machine (e.g. Cricut, Silhouette, etc.) then you can download this zip file with .svg files for the envelope and goat.
Place your stencil in the center of the money envelope you just assembled (Tip: I used painters tape to hold down my stencil, it does not ruin the paper when you remove it). Using your sponge brush, dab your stencil with the gold paint. I used Deco Art Dazzling Metallics. Remove painters tape and stencil. Let dry for an hour or until dry to the touch.
All that’s left is to insert the money gift. There’s quite a bit of tradition and superstition surrounding the amount given. These traditions I learned from my husband, such as the number four should not appear in the amount given, such as in 4, 40, or even 400, as the pronunciation of the word “four” resembles that of the word “death” and so signifies bad luck for many Chinese.
If you can’t paint your stencil gold or don’t have time, you can download this free printable!
Enjoy! I would love to hear how yours turned out and who you gave it to.