Paper Plate Crafts

Paper plates make great crafting materials.

They’re inexpensive and easy to find in the shops and take paint, felt pens, pencils and crayons easily (providing you get the ones without a shiny surface).

Oh, and they’re plastic free – win win!

Here are 5 paper plate crafts to enjoy making and customising to create your own versions!

Paper Plate Owl

Eight images showing how to make a paper plate owl.

You will need:

  • Paper plate
  • Paints, colouring pencils, felt tip pens or crayons for decorating the paper plates
  • Coloured card (for the owl’s eyes, beak and feet)
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Ribbon

Making Instructions:

  1. Fold the sides of the paper plate towards the middle and fold (top left image).
  2. Now fold over the top of the paper plate to create the owl’s head (second image top row).
  3. Open out the folded plate and paint the area inside the fold lines (third image top row). Wait for the paint to dry.
  4. Glue the opened top and sides back down (top right image).
  5. Paint the head and wings (bottom left image). Wait for the paint to dry.
  6. Have fun painting your owl’s feathers in any way you choose! (second and third image bottom row).
  7. Using coloured card, cut out 2 large circles and 2 smaller circles for the owl’s eyes, a triangle for the beak and 2 feet (third image bottom row).
  8. Glue the beak, eyes and feet in place (bottom right image).
  9. You can also add a length of ribbon to your owl so you can hang it up.

Why not make some more owls in different colours? Below are some brightly coloured owls which are painted and decorated with fabric squares.

Paper Plate Red Fox & Arctic Fox

Six images showing how to make a paper plate fox

You will need:

  • Paper plate
  • Orange and black coloured card for red fox (or use white card and colour it with felt pens, pencil or crayons).
  • White card for arctic fox
  • Orange and white tissue paper for red fox
  • White tissue paper for arctic fox
  • 2 wiggly eyes (or make your own with card and black marker)
  • Black pom pom for nose (or make your own with black card)
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Stapler

Making Instructions:

  1. Cut paper plate in half. (top left image)
  2. Using one of the halves, bring the corners together to create a cone shape and staple the straight edges together. Fold flat to create a triangle shape which will be the fox’s head. (top centre image)
  3. Spread glue all over the fox’s head and body and stick tissue paper all over. (top right image) For the red fox, I mainly used orange tissue paper with bits of white paper for the fox’s cheeks, chest and tail tip. For the arctic fox, I used just white tissue paper.
  4. Now glue the fox’s head to the body.
  5. With the card, cut out 2 triangles for the fox’s ears, a circle of black card (if you don’t have a black pompom), 2 eyes (if you don’t have wiggly eyes), a tail and 4 legs (bottom left image).
  6. Glue the eyes, ears, nose, legs and tail in place as shown. I also added tissue paper to the fox’s tail so it looked as fluffy as the rest of the body (bottom right image).

Paper Plate Snail

Eight images showing how to make a paper plate snail

You will need:

  • 1 large paper plate and 1 smaller paper plate (or 2 large and cut 1 a bit smaller)
  • Paints, colouring pencils, felt tip pens or crayons for decorating the paper chains
  • decorative bits and pieces such as mini pompoms, tissue paper, sequins & stickers
  • 1 pipe cleaner
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Wiggly eyes (or make your own with card and marker)
  • Sticky tape

Making Instructions:

  1. Paint one of the paper plates. Wait for paint to dry (top left image).
  2. On the smaller plate, draw a spiral of glue round the plate (third image, top row).
  3. Stick pompoms, tissue paper, sequins etc on the glue. Wait to dry (top right image).
  4. Now take the large painted plate and fold it in half. Cut 2 small notches in the straight edge towards one end (bottom left image).
  5. Cut the pipe cleaner in half (second image, bottom row).
  6. Thread the pipe cleaner through the 2 notches. Glue 2 wiggle eyes to the top of the pipe cleaner (third image, bottom row).
  7. Glue the snail’s shell to the body (bottom right image).

Paper Plate Snake

7 images showing the stages of making the paper plate snake

You will need:

  • Paper plate
  • Red card or paper (or use white and colour with a red felt pen/pencil)
  • Paints, colouring pencils, felt tip pens or crayons for decorating the paper plate
  • 2 wiggly eyes (or make your own with card and a marker)
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Sticky tape
  • Length of thread or ribbon

Making Instructions:

  1. Paint or decorate your paper plate. I painted bubble wrap to print  the light green pattern and a milk bottle to create the darker circle patterns. Leave paint to dry (top left image).
  2. Draw a spiral on painted plate. Cut out (second image, top row).
  3. Draw a forked tongue shape on red card and cut out (third image, top row).
  4. Glue tongue and 2 wiggle eyes to snake’s head (top right and bottom left image).
  5. Make a small hole in the snake’s head and thread through a length of thread or ribbon. Secure on the back with sticky tape (bottom centre image).
  6. You can make you snake move up and down by lifting the thread upwards! (bottom right image)

Paper Plate Bird’s Nest

Six images showing how to make a paper plate bird's nest

You will need:

  • Paper plate
  • Light blue & brown paint
  • Small piece of card or fabric for bird
  • pencil
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Decorative bits for the bird’s nest, such as wool, shredded paper and packaging, fabric scraps, buttons – anything you have!
  • Hole punch and ribbon (optional)

Making Instructions:

  1.  Paint top half of paper plate light blue (top left image).
  2. Paint lower half of plate brown (top middle image).
  3. Draw a bird shape on fabric or card. Cut out (top right image).
  4. Glue in place as shown (bottom left image).
  5. Have fun creating the nest (bottom middle image)!
  6. If you’d like to hang up your bird’s nest, punch a hole in the upper edge of the clouds and thread a length of ribbon through the hole and tie to form a loop (bottom right image).

Hope you have a wonderful time being creative!

For more paper craft activities to enjoy creating, have a look at my blog on Paper Chain Crafts.

There are also some printable colouring activities on the blog including colouring pages, door hangers and bookmarks.

If you’re looking for more creative ideas and activities for children then why not sign up below to receive a FREE activity pack, including arts and crafts, a recipe, bookmark, poem, fun facts about nature and grow your own food suggestions.

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