Happy Lunar New Year! What better way to celebrate than to make a handmade Red Envelope?
Red envelopes, or hong bao, are stuffed with a monetary gift and then given to children and young adults (unmarried) by older relatives during special occasions. This includes birthdays, holidays, weddings, and more. Red is considered a lucky color in the Chinese culture and is believed to represent good luck and fortune.
This pattern was written during the year of the Ox but you can easily modify the animal to fit each year's animal!
*If you prefer an ad-free, printable PDF version of this pattern, you can purchase it HERE. Thanks for supporting my designs!
-Please do not copy/redistribute any part of this pattern as your own. Feel free to sell your finished products - I only ask that you give credit to help support my work :). I would also love for you to share photos of your cute creations made with my pattern by tagging me on Instagram #curiouspapaya. Thank you!
-We will be working in rows.
-Light worsted yarn in Pillar Red (here, I'm using Paintbox Cotton Aran yarn)
-Size 2.75 mm hook
-Yarn needle, scissors
-Tan, dark brown , cream felt
-Dark brown, gold embroidery thread (here, I'm using DMC Light Effects Floss in Light Gold)
-Button, sewing thread, needle
-SC (single crochet)
-SLST (slip stitch)
-HDC (half double crochet)
-HDC INC (increase)
-HDC DEC (decrease)
-Count your stitches after each row.
-Keep in mind that if you are planning on using medium worsted yarn, it will result in a significantly bigger red envelope (which might be what you want!)
FRONT OF ENVELOPE (in red yarn):
ROW 1: CH 19. Starting in the second CH from the hook, HDC all the way down. CH 1 and turn. 
ROW 2-10: HDC all the way down the row. CH 1 and turn. (9 rows total) 
Fasten off and leave a short tail to weave in.
BACK OF ENVELOPE (in red yarn):
Give yourself about 10 inches of yarn before making your slipknot (we will be using this to sew the bottom edges of both rectangles together later).
ROW 1: CH 21. Starting in the second CH from the hook, HDC all the way down. CH 1 and turn. 
ROW 2: 19 HDC, HDC INC in the last stitch. CH 1 and turn. 
ROW 3: HDC INC in the first stitch. HDC all the way down the row. CH 1 and turn 
ROW 4-8: HDC all the way down the row. CH 1 and turn (5 rows total) 
ROW 9: HDC DEC, 20 HDC. CH 1 and turn (21)
ROW 10: 17 HDC, HDC DEC 
Fasten off and leave a short tail to weave in. [img 1]
STEP 1: Before sewing the pieces together, secure the button onto the front of the envelope. [img 2]
STEP 2: CH 8 in red yarn and create a loop. Fasten off, leaving a 2 inch tail. Secure it onto the backside of the envelope. Secure the string down the center by weaving it in or using fabric glue. [img 2 & 3]
STEP 3: You can choose to create a different pattern on your envelope but to make the ox, use the stencil in [img 4 & 5] to trace your felt shapes. Use brown embroidery thread for the nostrils. Secure the face on using fabric glue.
STEP 4: Using the 10 inch tail you made on the back of the envelope, lay the front and back of the red envelope on top of each other and sew the bottom closed. Weave in the tail.
STEP 5: Starting in gold embroidery thread, create a slipknot on your hook and then insert into the front side of the envelope in the top left corner. SC the front and back together along the edge [img 6-9].
Since the bottom of the envelope does not need to be SC closed, fasten off and bury the tail.
STEP 6: Repeat STEP 1 on the other side, only starting from the top right corner instead).
Your red envelope is finished! I hope that this handmade hong bao makes the person you're gifting it to smile.
Wishing you all a Happy Lunar New Year! 新年快乐!