While I love paper plates for their easy clean-up when having family over or a big paint tray for mixing colors there are so many different ways to use paper plates on your craft table. Even if you just let your kiddos color on a paper plate and do nothing else it is still more fun and interesting than your average piece of paper. Not to fear though! Below I have 5 super easy projects for you and your kiddos to get crafty with.
1.Suncatcher– This is probably the activity that we do the most with paper plates. It is easily adaptable to seasons and different themes and you can mostly use what you have on hand. You’ll want paper plates, scissors, items to decorate, contact paper, tissue paper and a hot glue gun.
To start, cut out the center of the paper plate, leaving the outer edge in tact. Let your kids decorate the outer ring with what materials you have on hand. This could be as simple as crayons and markers or more elaborate with feathers, paint and googly eyes.
Once you’ve made the outer ring beautiful decorate the contact paper. Cut the contact paper to cover the center hole with a bit of over hand to attach to the plate. and cover the contact paper with pieces of tissue paper. Place hot glue around the hole and then attach the contact paper.
2.Threading– We first started out treading with beads and pipe cleaners. The pipe cleaners were stiff enough that it’s easier to manipulate for little hands. The next step up for us, was threading through paper plates.
I had cut out the center part of a plate shaped like a heart, then used a hole punch to punch holes around the heart and let London thread yarn through the holes to make another pretty mobile creation. You could do all different shapes and design. We’ve also much ‘spider webs’ this way as well. It’s simple, easy and there is loads of room for inspiration and creativity here.
3. Wreath– This is another super versatile project. You could end up making a different wreath every month with a different theme.
Start by cutting out the center of your paper plate. Decorate the outer ring. Now that we are through Valentines day I’m looking for a spring time theme and wanted to do a rainbow. We reused some of the left over tissue paper and stuck it to the outer edge of the ring and added cotton balls for clouds.
Another idea could be to use construction paper and cut out hearts, shamrocks, autumn leaves, snowflakes, etc and use those shapes to glue around the paper plate ring.
Use a hole punch at the top of your master piece, thread some string and hang it on the door. It’d be super cute to hang different wreath each month on your child’s bedroom door. Even seasonal would be a fun way to celebrate the changes going on around us.
4. Dream Catcher- So this project is a combination of threading and wreath making. You will start as you have with the first three projects. Cut out the inside of your paper plate. Let you little color the outside ring. Once it’s decorated, use a single hole punch to punch 11 holes around the ring (as equal as you can get them… I ended up with 12 a few times!).
Next, let your kids thread the holes. There is a specific pattern for a traditional dream catcher, but it’s more the experience than the finished product. Let your child enjoy doing the threading. If your child is a bit older you can number the holes and they can find the pattern as they thread. Could be a fun activity to work on ordinal numbers (first, second third, etc.)
If you want to get real fancy you can punch three extra holes at the ‘bottom’ of your ring and use yarn and beads to hang down from your dream catcher.
I know that there is a ton of symbolism behind dream catchers and I am trying to find a good children’s book that can tie into this project. So far I haven’t found anything at our local library, but I’m going to keep looking.
5. Mask- This one. So. Cute! I made a tiger and London created a butterfly. The whole time we were creating I was thinking about how much fun we could have and all the different tie-ins to themes and play in the future! Here’s what we did…
Cut your paper plate in half and cut out two holes for the eyes. I put the half paper plate up to London’s eyes and marked the general area with a crayon to the eye holes were in a good place. Then I used a single hole punch and punched holes on the curved edge across from the eye holes. Next it was time to decorate.
I used plain Jane pastel crayons. London used watercolor paint, glow-in-the-dark glue, and buttons – FANCY! Once everything was complete and London’s paint had dried I cut two pieces of yarn to tie through the small holes on the side of the mask.
We’ve had so much fun revisiting some of our favorite paper plate crafts and trying out some new ones! I hope you’ve enjoyed this as well and are feeling a bit inspired. Most of the items we used to create these crafts you probably already have in your home. Grab some, plates, a pair of scissors and go create something beautiful with your kids!