How to Make Animals Out of Paper Plates

    by Ann Hudson

    About the Author

    Ann Hudson is a freelance writer who began her writing career working for a small community newspaper. While there, her work as a feature writer and a weekly columnist were honored. Hudson holds a bachelor's degree in journalism. She has been writing for more than 30 years.


    It's easy to make animal faces out of paper plates. The shape and durability of paper plates make them adaptable to a wide variety of zoological creations. Making an elephant, lion and just about any other animal out of paper plates is fun for children. It's just a matter of cutting the plates into the appropriate shapes.

    Things You'll Need

    • Construction paper
    • Markers
    • Glue stick
    • Hot glue gun
    • Craft eyes

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    Making an Elephant

    Trace the paper plate on a piece of blue or gray construction paper. Cut out the shape and attach the paper to the top of the plate with a glue stick.

    Glue craft eyes in the appropriate place. Cut a triangle out of pink construction paper for the mouth. Cut two oblong shapes out of white paper for the tusks. Glue the parts to the paper.

    Make the ears. Cut two paper plates into 2/3 circles. Cover the partial circles with blue or gray construction paper. Cut the center ear from pink construction paper and glue it on the outer ear.

    Make the trunk. Cut the edge of a new paper plate about half-way around for the trunk. Color the trunk with blue or gray marker. Glue an oval of pink construction paper to the end of trunk.

    Finish the elephant. Attach the ears and trunk to the head with a hot glue gun.

    Making a Lion

    Make the lion's mane. Trace a circle of orange construction paper using a paper plate as a pattern. Cut 2-inch slits all the way around the circle. Glue the paper to the bottom of a paper plate with glue stick.

    Glue a smaller circle of yellow construction paper to the center of the orange circle for a face.

    Attach craft eyes with glue stick. Cut a small triangle out of black construction paper and glue it upside down in the middle of the face. Draw a mouth and small whisker dots with a black marker.

    • You can create just about any animal using these techniques. Encourage children to study the face of the animal and identify shapes.
    • Steps that require the use of a hot glue gun should be handled by adults.