How to make a Dragon for St George's Day

Homemade Dragons with logos for FOLK 3D and The Lost Boys

Mon 1 Mar 2021

Join the online celebrations for St George's Day by making your own dragon at home, and sending video footage of it to Derby LIVE to include in the online parade. Our friends FOLK 3D have made this guide for you.  

You can also follow Folk 3D’s online video tutorial below to find out how to make your dragon from things you have lying around at home, and get the whole family to join in.

Visit our Filming submissions for St George's Day Celebrations page for details on how to send a video of your creation to us. 

Making a Broom Dragon

One of the Broom Dragons that regularly turn up at Derby St George’s Day Celebrations! To make your own you will need:

  • A sweeping brush preferably with a flat base.
  • A dragon head – see our sheets on making a shoe box or egg box dragon.
  • Some fishing line, wire or string to tie the head onto the broom.
  • Optional a piece of fabric to attach to the back of the head.

If you have more than one person to carry your dragon you can attach the fabric and others can go under it to carry it. You can also use umbrellas to help to lift the fabric up and shape it.

If you don’t have any fabric then see if you can decorate the bottom of the head and broom handle with ribbons, or paper strips. These will add movement.

Making a Dragon Mask

There are a lot of video instructions on making different dragon masks, far too many to recommend here.

If you don’t fancy wearing the mask you can put a mask onto a stick and carry it in front of your face.

You can add ribbons to the mask to add movement.

You can make it 3 dimensional or simply a flat piece of strong paper or card.

Think about what you will wear with the mask. Perhaps it’s about the colour of clothes you choose or about adding some fabric for a cape effect.

Mask work relies on you thinking about how you are going to move so do think about what kind of dragon you are!

If you want an idea of what we mean by this do watch our video and take a look at the box head dragon clip. Don’t forget that there are friendly, proud and shy dragons too! We hope you have fun!

Making a Box Head Dragon

What you will need

  • A cardboard box
  • Extra cardboard
  • Glue
  • Paint
  • A onesie or appropriate coloured clothing. Or you can attach a long piece of fabric to the back of the dragon head and make a dragon for more than one person to carry

Instructions

  1. Cut off the bottom of the box so that you can get your head into it.
  2. Cut out a mouth shape
  3. Using separate cardboard cut out shapes and stick onto the head. There are a lot of images online to give you ideas for adding shape to the dragons head and making the eyes.
  4. Paint.

If you are using washable paint and you would like to stop the paint from running in the rain then add a bit of PVA glue to the paint

Making a Dragon String Puppet

This dragon puppet can be made using a fishing line, however, you can use string. It’s easily carried by 2 people and could be carried by 1 person.

What you will need

  • A shoebox of similar-sized box
  • Card for the eyes and head shaping
  • Scissors or a craft knife
  • Tape or cable ties
  • Paint
  • Glue
  • Fishing line or string
  • Tissue paper (optional)
  • A long piece of fabric, we used a sarong

There a quite a few online tutorials on making a dragon head out of cardboard which may help you, however here are a few tips we thought might be helpful.

  1. We had to cut off the lid of our shoebox to make the mouth as the mouth would not have opened the right way. This means that we have had to stick it back on the right way.
  2. Make a crease along the width of one end of the lid so that the mouth would not open up fully.
  3. We put cable ties through the back of the head and the lid edge. You can use tape.
  4. Tape the lid to the box along the length on each side rom the back of the head and as far as the crease.
  5. Cut eye shapes with an additional piece of cardboard at the bottom of the eyes.
  6. Make a crease and use this additional cardboard to stick them onto the box.
  7. Cut shapes for the sides of the head and stick those on to the box from the point of the mouth crease allowing for a proportion of the sides to flap loose behind.
  8. We cut nostrils out of card and stuck those onto the end of the box and added some tissue paper cut into strips and stick with tape inside the mouth.
  9. We painted as we went along but I wouldn’t recommend this as it does make it more difficult to stick things on. So now it the time to paint! If you are using washable paint you can help to make the paint more waterproof by adding a bit of pva glue. We painted the inside of the mouth red and the box black and sponge printed over with a green/red mix.
  10. Make 2 small holes in the top of the box. These are for the strings. Thread an approx. 80cm length of your string or fishing line through the holes and secure well on the underside of the box making a loop of the line for the head to hang from. This was for children aged 9 – adult. You may need to shorten the length of the string if the puppeteer is quite small.
  11. You may need to experiment with the balance of the head but as long as the holes are small they won’t show if you need to make more. We have marked the holes with 2 pins so that you can see where ours are positioned.
  12. Secure one end of your length of fabric to the back of the head making sure that the fabric falls evenly on both sides. You can either stick this with tape or use drawing pins (if you are careful the pins won’t damage the fabric).
  13. Tie an approx. 40 cm length of string or fishing line to the end of the fabric making sure that the fabric falls evenly on both sides.
  14. We made elastic loops to fit over the wrists and tied these to the string to make it easier to hold.

In the first image you will see that we added a cocktail stick to the tail for additional effect! 

We hope you have fun experimenting with, making and using this dragon puppet.

Making a Concertina Dragon

Dragons come in all shapes and sizes. The concertina dragon is very simple to make, especially the small one.

You’ll find a great description here by Red Ted Art about how to make a small concertina dragon:

The same principle can be used for a large concertina style dragon. You can make your dragon any size however, you may need more sticks and people to support it if it is very long!

You will need

  • A long strip of paper – a roll of wall paper works well. You will be able to paint this if you prefer.
  • Card for the head and eyes
  • Glue and scissors
  • Sticks for carrying

Here a few tips that may help you:

  1. Fold a long length of strong paper in half – ours is 135 cm long by 27 cm deep (doubled to make it 2 sided
  2. Fold in a concertina style along the length
  3. Make short cuts along the bottom edge to make a fringe (optional)
  4. Choose card that is big enough to look in proportion to the body. If you want your dragon to look good from both sides you will need 2 pieces of card. Any card will do as you can always paint it. If you use washable paint adding a bit of pva glue will help to make it water proof.
  5. Cut out a dragon head shape. If you have a large piece of card you can fold it in half making sure that the mouth is at the fold, if using 2 pieces you can always stick this together with glue.
  6. Stick on the eyes. We used 3 layers of paper cut into circles. And we added teeth.
  7. Stick the head to the long strip of paper. If you have a double sided dragon slip the paper between the 2 head pieces. And stick well all around the edges but don’t stick the dragon head frills to the body.
  8. We added a tail cut from the same wallpaper, shaping the end of the dragon body by cutting a slope to make a back and sticking the 2 sides back together and the tail on.
  9. You don’t really need a tail as the dragon will look just as good without.
  10. Slide the carrying sticks between the 2 layers of the body. They should stay in place without any tape however you can use some if they don’t. We used 2 curtain poles but any sticks that are long enough will do.

Good luck and we hope that you have fun!

Making an Egg Box Dragon

This is a handheld puppet style dragon and can be made from any size of egg box. For a body it can have a long strip of fabric or a sleeve of paper or fabric.
Watch a kidspot online description of how to make a small one

If you don’t have the exact materials – be adventurous!

Ideas for what you will need

  • An egg box (or 2 for the eyes – any size will work)
  • Extra cardboard/strong paper for the shaping
  • Glue
  • Something for the eyes. Ideas include: 2 extra egg box depressions, ping pong balls, foam balls, scrunched newspaper
  • Paint If you are using washable paint and you would like to stop the paint from running in the rain then add a bit of PVA glue to the paint
  • A long piece of fabric for a large dragon, paper or fabric for a smaller one

Here are a few points on how we made ours:

  1. We cut the top off of the egg box and taped it onto the short end so that the mouth opened the right way.
  2. Cut 2 holes for fingers in the back above the tape.
  3. We scrunched a ball of newspaper and covered with one sheet of newspaper and stuck to the top of the head for the eye bases.
  4. Added paper eyes with googley inners.
  5. Painted it all including nostrils at the front end of the head.
  6. Added coloured card cut to give more shape to the head and smaller pieces scooped around behind the eyes.
  7. Added tissue paper flames stuck with tape inside the mouth.
Yellow and Orange dragon propped up by umbrella

Broom dragon

Painted box head dragon

Box head dragon

String dragon showing eyes and upper jaw

Dragon string puppet

2 children holding up concertina dragon in garden

Concertina Dragon

side view of home made egg box dragon

Egg box dragon

Yellow and Orange dragon propped up by umbrella
Painted box head dragon
String dragon showing eyes and upper jaw
2 children holding up concertina dragon in garden
side view of home made egg box dragon
Make a Dragon with FOLK 3D for St Georges Day