Paper plate koalas

Lotta paper plate koalas

Inspired by all the native mothers and babies  I have seen around my house this Spring, I made this koala craft for Australia Day.  This cute koala and her joey are made from paper plates. It’s a fun little craft that you can use for Australia Day decorations too. Why not replace your Christmas wreath with these guys?  Here’s how to make them…

Things you need

Two or three large paper plates, one small paper plate, grey, pink, black and white paint, paint tray, paint brush, craft glue, four googly eyes (two small, two larger), scissors, masking tape, printout of template (Lotta paper plate koala temp).

How to make them

  1.  Print out the template which shows you how to cut your paper plates. Tape them onto the plates and cut out all the pieces. You can cut out the ears, noses and arms from the leftovers of the koala body plates. You will also need a whole small paper plate for the mother koala’s head.
  2. Paint all the pieces and plates and allow them to dry.
  3. Assemble your koalas with craft glue.
  4. Decorate them as desired.  I added some gum leafs and added a pattern to one of the koalas to differentiate them. You could add indigenous dot patterns, sponged textures or a Happy Australia Day banner.

Now you have the paper plates out, what else could you make?  You could whip up a Bleeding Crepe Paper Unicorn or a No Drama Llama puppet.

Looking for more Australia Day crafts?  We also have a Jumping Kangaroo and some beautiful Australian Paper Flowers.

Lotta magazine | Magazine for kids

Bleeding crepe paper unicorn

I know that unicorns are supposed to be white, but I thought a little process art would make this paper plate unicorn more fun and magical.  You may have heard of bleeding crepe paper art  — that’s what I’ve used to create some beautiful patterns on this project. This craft is very easy but turns out so good you might need to find a place for him on the wall.

THINGS YOU NEED

Paper plate, brightly coloured crepe paper, spray bottle with water, paper towel, scissors, glue, tape, glittery gold cardboard, thin gold cord, iridescent foil backdrop or shredded paper (from Kmart Australia), Lotta’s template

You don’t need the special bleeding crepe paper for this project.  I just used to cheapest dollar store variety, in nice bright colours, and it worked brilliantly.  There isn’t enough ink to leach out of pastel colours so don’t bother with those.

HOW TO MAKE

1.  Put some paper towel down on the table and place a paper plate, white side up, on top.

2.  Cut small pieces of crepe paper and place them all over the paper plate. Spray the crepe paper with water until it’s quite damp, but not soggy.  The crepe paper may move when you spray it. If you need to move it or press it down flat against the plate, use another piece of paper towel or wear gloves. If you touch it, you will dye your hands too.

3.  Remove the crepe paper to reveal the printed paper plate underneath.  You can create different effects by adding more or less crepe paper and the time they are in contact (i.e. removing when damp or waiting until it dries). Experiment a little until you get the perfect unicorn texture or make a whole blessing (that’s the collective noun) of paper plate unicorns.

Bleeding crepe paper on plate

4.  Print out our template and use it to cut the paper plate into a unicorn shape. From the unused half of the plate cut some more details like ears, nose and even eyelashes. (See the photo below).  Roughly cut out the eye and glue it onto a scrap of paper plate. Once dry, carefully cut it out.

5.   Cut a horn from some glittery gold cardboard. I wrapped some thin gold cord around to add some detail. Just glue one end on the back, wrap the cord around the notches then secure the other end on the back. (See the photo below.)

6.  I had an Iridescent Foil Backdrop from Kmart leftover from a party. It made a magnificent unicorn main. I held some together with masking tape and trimmed it off above the tape. You can repeat the process to create a thicker mane.

Of course, you can use some shredded paper or coloured wool to create a mane.

7.  Put everything together, using glue and/or tape, and you have a magnificent unicorn.

Looking for more art and craft projects for kids, check out my magazine.

Lotta magazine | Magazine for kids

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