Paper Plate Crafts

Even top notch crafting duos like Mateo and I have our off weeks. And this week was exactly that. We’ve nixed the paci for naps and nighttime and the result has been an overtired, nap refusing, cranky, and completely unfocused pair. Sure, we painted. Hell, we even gave getting  crafting supplies stuck up our nostril a solid go. We broke out the goods but ended up with nary a final product to show for it. ‘Tis life, folks. ‘Tis life. As far as I can tell, most of parenthood involves rolling with it (and not dissolving into complete panic as you try to subdue your two year old enough to retrieve a cotton ball piece from his nose).

Since we made nothing particularly exciting this week, I’m offering a few throwbacks from the archives of my camera roll. Paper plate crafts are my favorite. They’re simple, adorable and paper plates are super cheap. This post will showcase our paper plate cars and two animal faces. Get excited and be sure to check out our paper plate cupcake post for another fun idea!

Paper Plate Cars 


Out of all our paper plate crafts, this was the biggest hit. I think this was also one of Mateo’s first introductions to glue so the novelty had not worn off. The creation was fairly straightforward and easy to execute. The multiple mediums involved gave Mateo plenty to focus on and let us spread the craft out over a couple hours (to allow for the paint to dry). The end result was so impressive to Mateo that he spent two days “driving” his paper cars around the house with a self satisfied look on his face. This craft gets an enthusiastic Beep Beep from us!


  1. One paper plate (to cut in half)
  2. Construction paper in black and tan
  3. Paint (colors of your choice)
  4. Glue
  5. Scissors


  1. To Prep: Cut a paper plate in half.
  2. To Prep: Cut four circles and two semi circles out of black construction paper.
  3. To Prep: Cut four rectangles out of tan construction paper.
  4. Let your child paint both of the paper plate halves a different color. Once painted, let dry.
  5. Once dry, have your little one glue two circles to each of the cars for wheels. I asked Mateo where the wheels went and he glued them in the appropriate places. He’s big on cars. He’s known where a wheel goes for a while.
  6. Have your little one glue one of the semi circles to the front of each car.
  7. Have your little one glue two rectangles to each car as windows.
  8. Enjoy!

Paper Plate Lion Mask


This was A HUGE HIT! Mateo loved checking himself out in the mirror once his mask was complete and spent a solid 20 minutes standing in front of the mirror and Roaring like a lion and laughing. As far as crafts go, this was not our most complex but it sure as hell was one of the biggest hits with my kid.


  1. 2 Paper plates. A note: you only need one plate. I, however, attempted to save a couple bucks by buying the cheapest paper plates I saw and the result left us with really thin plates that often did not stand up to the weight of a paper plate craft. My solution? Glue two plates together before beginning the craft.
  2. Construction paper in brown, yellow and orange.
  3. Glue and scissors


  1. To Prep: Cut out the middle of the paper plate.
  2. To Prep: Cut out large brown semi circles (or ovals) to operate as the ears. Cut smaller versions of the same shape in orange to work as the inner ear.
  3. To Prep: Cut between 10 and 12 strips of paper – alternating orange and yellow.
  4. Have your child glue the ears first to get the idea of what they’re creating. I glued these directly to the paper plate but they can also be glued to the back of the plate so they stick up when you hold the mask up.
  5. Next have your child glue alternating strips of yellow and orange around the perimeter of the plate starting at about the halfway point of the face. I explained that we were giving the lion fur and Mateo loved it.
  6. Lastly, show your child how to hold the plate up and let him check himself out in the mirror. Watch the falsification take hold.

Paper Plate Lamb Face  


Originally designed to look similar to the Lion mask (with a removed middle portion), this turned into a simple face as soon as I realized that the cotton balls added too much weight for my plates to not fold over once the middle was removed. The end result was equally adorable and got the Mateo look of approval. Mateo loves animals. All animals in all forms. Therefore, any animal related craft is bound to please the little guy and this was no exception. It’s currently hanging on the door to his room and he balked when I tried to remove it. Clearly, the kid is fond of his lamb.


  1. Paper plate
  2. Construction paper in white, pink and black
  3. Googly eyes (large)
  4. Marker (pink)
  5. Glue
  6. Scissors
  7. Cotton balls


  1. To Prep: Cut semi circle (or oval) shaped ears from white construction paper. Cut out smaller versions of this shape to operate as the inner ear. Cut a small triangle out for the nose.
  2. Set out a bowl of cotton balls and set aside two large Googly eyes. (Personally, I hide these until we are ready. Otherwise the eyes become too distracting for him and the temptation to play with them and glue them everywhere becomes too hard to resist and we run into some issues).
  3. Have your child glue the white ears to the back of the plate. Once glued in place, add the pink inner ears.
  4. Use the glue to outline the outer edge of the plate. For cotton ball crafts, I generally used to give Mateo a small dish of glue to dip the cotton balls into before placing them. Since then, I’ve started letting him squeeze the glue on himself. This change was partially a result of him developing more strength and fine motor skills and partially the result of a sudden inability not to run his fingers through the dish of glue — which derails the entire thing for a period of time.
  5. Hand your little one a cotton ball and ask him to help give the lamb some fur. Show him how to cover the outer edge of the plate with cotton balls and let him dip and place until the outer edge is covered.
  6. Once complete, let them glue on the eyes and the triangle for the nose and then draw in the mouth with a marker.
  7. Enjoy!


Paper plate crafts are versatile (almost anything can be created with a plate), easy to create and display, and super cute. Mateo and I love them. Generally speaking, they lend themselves to animal creations — which suits Mateo perfectly — but my research has shown that almost anything can work with a paper plate as a base. You’re sure to see more than couple more paper plate crafts on this blog. Try these and comment with any other ideas you have. I would love to see what your little ones are making from plates!

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