When it comes to crafting, you can’t get much more versatile than a paper plate. Really! They’re frugal, fun to work with, and you probably have some in your kitchen right now. So, grab a stack of them and get to work on some of these totally adorable paper plate crafts for kids.
We have some of the cutest paper plate crafts featuring birds, insects, animals, favorite holiday characters, princesses, and so much more. You’ll be surprised at what you can make with some scissors, glue, paper plates, and a little imagination.
Let’s get started, shall we?
Easy Animal Paper Plate Craft Ideas
The animal paper plate crafts below feature some of our favorites, from sharks for Shark Week to an adorable groundhog to tell us whether we’ll be having 6 more weeks of winter. We’ve also made a couple of birds, a polar bear, a hedgehog, and lots of other cute critters you don’t want to miss!
This rocking paper plate shark craft with his big, toothy grin is a favorite. It’s interactive, fun to play with, and easy to make! This is the perfect craft for Shark Week or as part of an ocean studies unit for homeschool or in the classroom.
We made this pretty paper plate peacock using a fun painting technique with a dish brush. We show you how to make two different prints on the plates using the dish brush so you can achieve the look you want. Tapping the brush on the plate gives you one look while swirling the brush on the plate gives an entirely different one. Both are beautiful! Put your pretty plate inside the cardboard tube to finish your standing peacock.
A bright red cardinal craft is a great way to brighten a winter’s day. Our paper plate cardinal is covered in red paint, feathers, and tissue paper to create a beautiful bird with lots of texture and interest. You could use this same idea to create a pretty bluejay, too, by changing out the colors of the paint, feathers, and tissue paper.
Our paper plate polar bear is a wonderful choice for a unit on arctic or cold-weather animals and is perfect for winter. We used small paper plates, but any size will do. It’s so fun gluing the soft cotton balls to the plate to make the polar bear’s fuzzy face.
If you’re studying hibernation or reading the story One Starry Night, try our paper plate hedgehog craft. The story is really cute, and then it will all make sense why our hedgehog is sitting in a red winter hat.
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More Adorable Animal Crafts for Kids
Our penguin snowglobe sensory craft is more than just a paper plate craft. The penguin’s belly is squishy and transparent, so you can see the miniature penguins and the glitter swirling around in the center of the mommy penguin’s tummy.
Practice letter identification and fine motor skills with this paper plate snail alphabet activity for preschoolers. You’ll also find directions for a spider web number lacing activity that’s terrific for working fine motor skills.
You’ll do a bit of cutting, pasting, and painting to make this colorful paper plate turtle craft. Cut construction paper into squares to make the colorful shell or use pre-cut tissue paper squares if you’re short on time.
It’s not easy finding a good craft for Groundhog Day, but we’ve got you covered with our cute paper plate groundhog. It makes a fun mask if you put it on a craft stick or attach a string around the back, too. But you don’t have to limit this craft to February. These furry mammals are interesting all year long.
This starfish craft was made with paper plates, and you’d never know it! We folded and creased the arms of the starfish to give it a 3D look, which really made it look more realistic.
Holiday Crafts made with Paper Plates
Looking for some paper plate crafts for the holidays? We have plenty! Starting with our collection of Valentine’s Day paper plate crafts and working our way through Christmas, you’ll find lots of fun projects to fill out your calendar.
If you find this post in February, we have a fun collection of the Cutest Valentine’s Day Paper Plate Crafts that you’re sure to love. You’ll find lots of cute animals with heart shapes that are perfect for making something special for your loved ones.
Hippity hop, here comes an adorable shredded paper Easter bunny craft that’s the perfect accompaniment to your favorite Easter stories. The shredded paper on the bunny’s face makes it look like an actual fluffy face, doesn’t it? Embellish with whiskers, a nose, googly eyes, and nice big ears, and you’re all set.
You could never be scared of this darling paper plate vampire craft. He’s too cute to be scared of! His big grin and silly eyes make him look friendly and approachable for kids, so they’ll love making this project for Halloween. If you don’t have any red ribbon for the bow tie, you can easily cut a bow out of paper and it’ll look just as cute.
Black cats may be considered bad luck, but we sure love them. Our black cat paper plate craft features a black kitty with an arched back that looks like it’s about to spring into action! These black cats will look fantastic in your windows on Halloween.
More Paper Plate Ideas for Holidays
Feeling festive? Check out some of our holiday paper plate crafts!
Make a pretend-play candy corn pizza to play with during Halloween! You can make this with regular or dessert-sized paper plates, and you can use tissue paper for added texture or just color your plates with orange and yellow markers.
Learn about primary, secondary, and tertiary colors and spiders at the same time! Yes, our spider web color wheel craft does all that and pairs perfectly with the book The Rainbow Web. Have fun mixing colors—you’ll start with 3 and end up with 12! While this is a fun craft for Halloween, you can try it any time of year when you’re studying spiders and other creepy, crawly things.
We used square paper plates for these paper plate Halloween characters featuring a black cat, Frankenstein, and two different monster versions.
Whether it’s Christmastime or you’d just like to bring a little cheer to your table in the winter, this paper plate snowman table setting is sure to be a hit with the kids. Make snowman pancakes for breakfast, or perhaps snowman pizzas for lunch. Your table will look amazing!
These projects don’t fit into the above categories, but you don’t want to miss them, as several are great for older kids, such as the mandala designs. You’ll also find fruit themed ideas and character craft ideas.
Just for Fun Paper Plate Crafts
Hot air balloons are wild and whimsical. If you’re as enchanted by them as we are, make this textured hot air balloon craft! It gives kids the opportunity to explore lots of different textures, such as smooth, bumpy, fluffy, sticky, and more.
Who says paper plate crafts are only for little kids? Tweens, teens, and even adults will enjoy making a paper plate mandala. We made two different versions using paper plates, q-tips, markers, colored pencils, and a few other items. If you want to try this with younger children, consider simplifying the patterns to make it less intimidating.
Try a new painting technique today! Our watercolor glue resist paper plate craft is a great place to start. Draw your designs with glue, let it dry, and then mix up some watercolors to paint over. Watch the white design appear as you cover the paper plate with the pretty watercolors.
Preschoolers will love this simple apple paper plate craft showing the apple rind, core, and the seeds inside. It’s a simple way to demonstrate the makeup of an apple and makes a great Back-to-School or beginning of the school year craft.
When summer rolls around, check out our paper plate watermelon. It almost looks good enough to eat. The black beans really do look like watermelon seeds!
Creative Character Themed Craft Ideas
Have a gamer on your hands? This paper plate Pac-Man craft is sure to get their attention. We painted ours with homemade puffy paint, and of course, we shared the recipe so you can make some colorful puffy paint of your own. Don’t forget to make some ghosts to go along with Pac-Man. We made Inky and Clyde!
Our Cat in the Hat paper plate masks were a big hit when the kids were small. They were fun to make during our playdate and made for a good photo op for the kids. This is a great craft for the classroom for Read Across America Day as well.
Any princess will fall in love with this paper plate Cinderella’s carriage craft. It makes a fun mommy-and-me craft and would also be a fun project for a princess-themed birthday party. Having princess stickers helps with the decorating, but you can also print out or paint on your princesses and designs.
These paper plate emoji crafts would make wonderful photo props or party decorations for an emoji-themed party! Not only are emojis just fun to make, but it’s a non-threatening way to initiate a talk about identifying different emotions with your children.
We hope you enjoyed this list of fun paper plate crafts for kids. If you’re not ready to get started right now, make sure you pin this post so you’ll have the collection ready when you have some time on your hands.