Looking for a rainy day activity? Crafting is a terrific way to spend quality time together as a family or to encourage creative thinking in the classroom. These fun paper plate crafts for kids allow children to work with color, scissors, shapes, lines, threading, and so much more. They’ll use their imaginations, work on fine motor skills, and make something cute and decorative that they can proudly show off.
Even better, paper plates are super affordable. You probably have a stash of them in your kitchen right now. Just add something to color or paint with, glue, and scissors, and you can create just about anything you can dream up.
Check out some of the BEST paper plate crafts for kids below.
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Fun Paper Plate Crafts for Kids of All Ages
First up are some paper plate projects that are great for year-round crafting with the kids. From emojis and ice cream to flowers and dream catchers, you’re sure to find the perfect craft for your kiddos.
1. Paper Plate Emojis
Whether you’re trying to teach kids about emotions or just want to make their favorite characters, these simple paper plate emojis from Natural Beach Living are sure to be a hit for preschoolers and older kids. Use them as puppets or as fun photo props for a party!
2. Paper Plate Flowers
Nothing lifts a mood like flowers, and these painted paper plate flowers from Handmade Charlotte will never wilt. Draw out the pattern on the paper plates for your preschoolers to let them practice cutting straight or curved edges. Paint them lots of different fun colors, and then layer the plates to make all sorts of fun designs.
3. Paper Plate Sunflower
Celebrate sunny days with a bright and sunny sunflower craft like this one from Non-Toy Gifts. Kids can either use a pencil eraser dipped in paint to make the sunflower’s seeds or use their fingertips to make fingerprints.
4. Captain America Paper Plate Shield
Marvel fans will get hours of play out of this awesome Captain America shield craft for kids. You’ll need three paper plates of different sizes to layer them to achieve the same look. Get the full tutorial at Kids Activities Blog.
5. Paper Plate Apple Craft
Although this paper plate apple is terrific for Back to School season, you don’t have to wait until August or September to make it. After all, encouraging kids to eat healthy foods never goes out of season! Enjoy an apple snack while you make this fine motor paper plate craft from Preschool Inspirations with lacing around the apple’s edges.
6. Apple Tree Craft
Speaking of apples, decorate your classroom bulletin board with paper plate apple trees. Following the tutorial from Simply Today Life, you’ll need two paper plates—one for the trunk and one for the tree—and lots of pom pom “apples.”
7. Paper Plate Minion
With Despicable Me and Minions movies coming out every few years, these fun yellow characters remain a favorite with kids of all ages. Make your own paper plate minion like this one from Glue Sticks & Gumdrops with a bit of paint, some black felt, and a mason jar lid for the big eyeglass. If you don’t have felt, no worries. White construction paper or cardstock works just fine in its place.
8. Paper Plate Dream Catchers
Although this project from Woo Jr. is designed for older kids, it can be adapted for preschoolers with a little help from an adult. Mostly, young kids will need help cutting out the center of the paper plate and perhaps punching the hole for threading the yarn. Dream catchers are colorful, beautiful and make terrific decorations for your child’s bedroom.
9. Paper Plate Rainbows
It’s never a bad time to add some color and cheer to your classroom or home. These paper plate rainbows from Glitter On a Dime will help you do just that. Color in the rainbow with paint sticks or markers and add fluffy cotton balls on either side.
We have more rainbow crafts, too!
10. Paper Plate Masks
Older kids will enjoy making these paper plate masks in pretty colors. Use a combination of oil pastels and watercolors to make them bright and bold. They’d be fun for a kids’ party, a masquerade ball, or just for pretend play. Find out how to make them at The Crafting Chicks.
11. Paper Plate Ice Cream Craft
When the summer months come around, make this paper plate ice cream from Easy Peasy and Fun. Paint the paper plate scoops bright, fun colors, and don’t forget the sprinkles! The cone is made out of paper, but you can cut another paper plate to make it instead if you prefer.
12. Paper Plate Crowns
Feel like royalty with one of these paper plate crowns by Meaningful Mama. Kids can color and decorate the paper plates using crayons, markers, or paint. Then, you’ll help them cut from the center to create the pointy crown. Decorate each point with buttons, stick-on gems, or pom poms to embellish it further.
13. Paper Plate Sun Craft
Animal Paper Plate Crafts
Is your child crazy about animals? These paper plate animals are cute and can be a wonderful and educational addition to a unit study on the animals below.
14. Paper Plate Bees
During the spring and summer, the flowers are all abuzz with bees. That’s the perfect time to make these charming paper plate bees from Non-Toy Gifts. Paint paper plates yellow (or just buy yellow paper plates), and use pom poms or a paint brush to make the black stripes. Stick on googly eyes, and make a cute pair of antennae out of clothespins and pom poms. Isn’t it adorable?
15. Paper Plate Lion
Preschoolers will have a roaring good time with this paper plate lion from Kids Activities Blog. The fringed mane is our favorite part and gives kids plenty of scissor practice to work on cutting straight lines. Make it for a safari theme, circus theme, zoo theme, or just for fun! They’d make cute lion masks if you put them on sticks.
16. Paper Plate Frogs
Hop on over to Our Kid Things to find out how to make the cutest frog crafts you’ve ever seen. The curled paper tongue is a really fun touch that the kids will have a blast making and pulling on.
17. Paper Plate Ladybugs
Did you know that ladybugs are a sign of good luck? These adorable little bugs from Crafts by Amanda are the perfect springtime art project. Make your paper plate ladybugs in the traditional red color, or let your imagination run wild. The green and purple beetles are cute, too.
18. Paper Plate Snail
This swirly snail craft from Toots Mom Is Tired is sure to get kids excited about these interesting mollusks. Preschoolers can practice cutting in curved lines, though they may need a little help. Much of the fun is in finding the perfect color pom poms to make your shell spiral.
19. Paper Plate Fish Craft
Grab a colored paper plate (or paint one) and some bright and fun cupcake liners to make this easy paper plate tropical fish. The kids can work on their paper folding skills, filling up the paper plate with folded cupcake liners to make the fish’s scales. It’s a wonderful ocean animal craft to pair with the Rainbow Fish book. Check it out at Hunny I’m Home.
Halloween and Thanksgiving Paper Plate Crafts
Fall is an exciting time of year. It’s Back to School season, Halloween, and Thanksgiving all within the span of a few months. The kids will love these simple and inexpensive crafts celebrating all that’s fun about the fall season.
20. lacing paper plate mummy craft
Practice fine motor skills while making a not-so-spooky mummy paper plate craft. Follow the instructions from Our Kid Things to learn how to punch holes around the rim of the plate. Then, use white yarn to go back and forth in a zig-zag pattern to create the mummy’s wrapping.
21. Paper Plate Pumpkin Craft
This smiling jack-o-lantern craft from Mombrite is a terrific way to kick off a pumpkin theme this October. It’s super quick and easy, especially if you start with an orange plate. Plus, curling paper around a pencil is an interesting technique for the kids to learn.
22. Paper Plate Ghost
What’s spooky season without a few ghosts floating around? These twirly paper plate ghosts from Easy Peasy and Fun are a great way to decorate your house or classroom for Halloween. Hang them from the ceiling near a window or on the porch, and they’ll twirl away in the breeze.
23. Paper Plate Scarecrow
This paper plate scarecrow from Messy Little Monster reminds us of the pumpkin patch we visit every fall! It’s a wonderful tradition, and this easy craft is the perfect way to wind down after going through the corn maze.
24. Paper Plate Turkey
Celebrate Thanksgiving with a paper plate turkey decorated with colorful feathers. Once the plate is painted and dried, this fun turkey craft from The Best Ideas for Kids comes together in just minutes.
Christmas Paper Plate Crafts
When the holiday season is in full swing, crafting is one of the best ways to build anticipation for Christmas. You’ll find fun and festive characters and holiday decorations below!
25. Christmas Countdown Calendars
Need a fun way to countdown the days until Christmas? The Christmas advent calendars are sure to do the trick. Grab my free templates and make Rudolph and Frosty with these fun paper plate crafts for kids.
26. Paper Plate Christmas Tree
You can’t get much simpler (or more festive) than this easy paper plate Christmas tree from The Simple Parent. Paint one plate green and one brown, and you can cut them into several “trees” at once. Decorate with colorful pom poms, and they’re ready for your preschoolers to take home for the holidays.
27. Paper Plate Reindeer
Rudolph saves the day again when you need a quick and easy craft to entertain the kids at home or in the classroom. With a brown paper plate base and a fluffy red pom-pom for a nose, all that’s left for this paper plate reindeer from Easy Peasy and Fun are the antlers, eyes, and a confident smile.
28. Paper Plate Baubles
Decorate your windows with a few colorful paper plate baubles like these from Arty Crafty Kids. They’re nice and big, so they’re perfect for a window display, but you could use dessert plates to make some smaller ones if you want to put them on the tree.
These ornaments are a terrific way to use pieces of scrap paper you’ve been saving or to let the kids practice their scissor skills by cutting felt or tissue paper.
29. Paper Plate Snowman Craft
This paper plate snowman from Simple Everyday Mom is perfect for any time during the winter. Print the handy template to trace the pieces on colored cardstock, and let the kids practice working with scissors and hole punches to get all the pieces together. Since there’s no painting involved, this snowman craft comes together quickly and easily.
30. Paper Plate Elf
Any kid who’s obsessed with the Elf on the Shelf will love having their very own paper plate elf to play with. Follow the tutorial from Surviving a Teacher’s Salary to make this cute little character. You could also have your elf make it as a surprise for the kids to wake up to one morning!
31. Paper Plate Santa
Finally, you can’t have Christmas without the jolly man in red, and this paper plate Santa from Arty Crafty Kids couldn’t be cuter. Provide paint in a variety of skin tones (and red, of course) to let the kids paint Santa’s face and hat. Then trim it all out with soft, fluffy cotton. For more holly jolly fun, check out our Santa name craft.
We hope you enjoyed this list of paper plate crafts. Pin it for later whenever you need something frugal and fun to do with the kids.