Chinese Paper Cutting (剪纸 | Jiǎnzhǐ) is a beautiful art form that I have always loved. Sometimes the designs are hung on doors or windows like snowflake cutouts and called 窗花 (chuāng huā | Window Flower). The two main types of paper cutting use either scissors or pen knives. Scissors are usually used for symmetrical cuttings and pen knives for more elaborate asymmetrical cuttings. Each Chinese New Year, people look for creative new paper cutting designs to help decorate the house for the upcoming celebrations. Here are a variety of templates that range in complexity for 马年 (Mǎ nián | Year of the Horse). Feel free to share any that you enjoy as well. Carousel (Basic paper cutting with scissors) 旋转木马 ( xuánzhuǎn mùmǎ | carousel) is a perfect activity for elementary school aged kids and up. These scissor paper cuttings are like the snowflakes that kids make during the wintertime. Materials - Scissors - 6 pieces of paper (the thinner it is, the easier it will be to cut) - Pen - Glue Directions translated from the 1. Fold 6 pieces of paper in half and stack them one on top of the other with the folded edges on the left hand side. 2. Draw the design for the carousel on the paper with the folded edges on the left. 3. Now cut out the design with your scissors. If the paper is too thick, then cut the designs out on each piece of paper. 4. Glue the pieces of paper together aka the top of one piece of the bottom of the next piece keeping the folded edges on the left. 5. Glue the top of the stack to the bottom of the stack to create the circular carousel shape. Voila. You now have your very own Year of the Horse Carousel. This activity is translated from http://www.chinajiaoan.cn. 马年 (Mǎ nián | Year of the Horse) Paper Cutting Templates for Pen Knives Here are some templates for a variety of paper cutting templates that are relevant for the Year of the Horse. Click on the image to download the full-size image to use for cutting.