Paper Plate Animal Crafts

Paper plate animals make the perfect kids craft idea. Most are very easy and inexpensive and kids can pick their favorite animal. You can make masks, wall hangings, animal mobiles and standing animal crafts.

The great thing about making animals from a simple paper plate is you can make anything – from aardvarks to zebras and everything in between. Here are just a couple ideas for your animal crafts your kids can make.

3-D Paper Plate Elephant

Using sturdy paper plates, you can give your animal a fun 3-D look. The supplies and instructions below are for making an elephant.


8 Sturdy Dinner Size Plates 2 Flexible Dinner Sized Plates 4 Toilet Paper Cardboard Rolls Black and White Construction Paper Paint Black Marker Pipe Cleaner Scissors Glue


  1. Paint the sturdy plates the color of your choice for the elephant’s body. Let these dry completely.
  2. Glue 2 plates together at the rim (front to front) to form one section of the body. Repeat this with the other plates until you have 4 body sections.
  3. Glue each of these sections together, back to back, to form the elephant’s body.
  4. Using white paper cut out two large circles for the eyes. Cut out two smaller circles with the black paper for the pupils. Glue these to the front plate. Cut out some small strips with the black paper for eye lashes and glue these above the eyes.
  5. With the flexible paper plates, paint these the same color as the body and let dry. Cut a large arc on one side of the plates to create the ears. Glue these to the side of the front plate (in between the first and second section of the body).
  6. Use one of the cut out arcs for the elephant’s trunk. Glue this under the eyes. Cut out a mouth using black paper and glue under the nose. You can give your elephant a fun look by cutting out a cute bow tie (for a boy elephant) or hair ribbons (for a girl elephant) and glue these one.
  7. Next, paint or cover your cardboard rolls with paper to match the color scheme of you elephant. Glue these on at the bottom of the elephant’s body in the front and back, placing them in between two of the sections. With the black marker, give his feet some toe nails.
  8. Lastly, take the pipe cleaner and shape into a tail. Poke a small hole in the last plate (in the back) and stick the pipe cleaner in the slot. You may need a little bit of glue to help hold this in place.

This cute paper plate animal will stand on its own and will look great on any table. You can even make more zoo animals and dedicate a whole table for creating your zoo.

Paper Plate Rocking Horse

Every one of all ages love rocking horses. These were classic toys for many of us. So get some of this nostalgia back by making this cute animal craft.


Two Flexible Dinner Sized Paper Plates Brown, Black and Tan Paint 2 Wiggle Eyes Yarn Scissors Glue Ruler


  1. Paint the bottom of the paper plate with brown, black and tan spots. Leave some of the white show as well to create white spots for this horse. Let the plate dry.
  2. Turn the plate over to the unpainted side and mark the center of the plate. Using the ruler, measure 1 1/2″ to 2″ from the center on either side. Draw 2 straight lines (one on each side of the middle). Fold the plate along these lines to create the “rocker”.
  3. Take the second paper plate and paint it for the horses head. We used the tan color but you can use any of the colors to match the body.
  4. Once this plate is dry, cut out a horses head and neck from the center of the plate. Make the neck about 1 ½ to 2″ wide.
  5. Glue on wiggle eyes or use paper to create the eyes. Using a marker, draw in the details of the horses face (i.e. nose, mouth, ears).
  6. Cut a 1 ½ to 2″ wide slit in the rocking paper plate (horse’s body). Make this slit the same size as the neck. Slip the neck into this slit and fold over to hold in place. You may need to add a bit of glue to help hold it in place.
  7. Lastly, using the yarn, cut several strips and glue on the back end of the horse for the tail. Repeat this with smaller strips and glue to the horses head to create the mane.

If your paper plate horse is too heavy on one end of the other, causing it not to rock properly, just tape a paper clip on the inside to the side that is too light. This will help balance out the rocker.

The ideas are endless when it comes to fun and easy paper plate animal crafts. So get out the paper plates, craft supplies and your imagination and have fun.