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How to Make a Dragon

Craft with Metal for Lasting Beauty

1409_KCD_1In ancient China, dragons were symbols of power, prosperity, and good fortune. Inspired by jade pendants found in VMFA’s permanent collection, create your own dragon art using recycled materials.


What you need:1409_KCD_2

•Empty and cleaned soda can


•Craft knife

•Lightweight cardboard

•Masking tape

•Ballpoint pen

•Permanent markers

•Hole punch

•String, yarn, or ribbon


1409_KCD_3What you do:

1.Using a craft knife and scissors, carefully remove the top and bottom of your can. Keep the remaining section, cut it vertically, and unroll it so you have a flat piece of aluminum. Neatly trim the edges. (Adult supervision recommended when working with sharp objects. We recommend wearing light work gloves while working with metal.)

2.Stretch the unrolled can over the edge of a table or counter. Work it over the edge repeatedly until it is flat.

3.With the plain side up, carefully roll  ¼-in of the edge back over itself all the way around the aluminum. Smooth this flat with the back end of your ballpoint pen or marker.

4.Use masking tape to attach the flattened can, plain side up, to a piece of lightweight scrap cardboard.

5.Draw your dragon design using your ballpoint pen. The soft cardboard underneath will allow the design to be embossed into the metal. Come up with your own design or trace a template.

6.Add color with permanent markers.

7.Remove your dragon from the cardboard and punch two holes on either side of your design. Thread the ribbon or yarn through the holes and hang as you like.

Display options: Use as a wall hanging or door hanger. Mount on a stick and display in a flower arrangement or houseplant, or glue a magnet to the back of your dragon design.

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