Make a Court Robe


The clothing worn by the Imperial family in the Forbidden City was beautiful to look at, but the symbols used in a court robe also told an important story. Auspicious symbols–symbols that were important or lucky--were embroidered on the robe as wishes for happiness, longevity, and wealth.

The Emperor’s court robe symbolized the universe. Only the Emperor was allowed to wear the Imperial gold colour, and every Emperor’s robe contains the twelve symbols of leadership:

  • Image of the sun with a fire bird.
  • Image of the moon with a rabit.
  • Image of constillation.
  • Image of tmountains
  • Image of dragons.
  • Image of a pheasant.
  • Image of cups with tigers depicted on them.
  • Image of a vine.
  • Image of grain.
  • Axe head emboidered on robe.
  • Image of flames of a red fire.
  • Image of a geometric pattern of 2 mirrored shapes.

You will need:

  • Glue
  • Cardboard or Bristol board
  • Scissors
  • A photo of yourself
  • Markers or crayons
  • Embellishments (stickers, felt, feathers, rhinestones, sequins, buttons, beads, etc.)
  • Your imagination!


STEP 1: Print the downloadable template (PDF), along with a small photo of yourself.

To get started, print your worksheet, pick a small image of yourself, and grab scissors to carefully cut each out.

STEP 2: Cut out your face from the photo and glue it in place between the court robe and the hat.

Then you will glue the worksheet to some heavy paper or cardboard.

STEP 3: Glue the template to some card stock or leftover cardboard, like a cereal box.

Once you have cut out your picture, glue it to the worksheet between the robe and headdress.

STEP 4: Cut out the robe and hat.

Carefully cut the robe, hat and your face out. Follow the lines that appear on the worksheet.

STEP 5: Colour in and decorate the robe with auspicious Chinese symbols, or choose symbols and images that are lucky to you.

Now you get to decorate the robe and hat!  You can colour it in with pencil or marker, or glue decorations to the worksheet.

STEP 6:  Show off your new Imperial court robe and tweet a picture to @ROMkids. Use #ROMKidsFC to tag your photo!

Send a picture of the final product to us!  We want to see your hard work.