Easter Bilby

In Australia, we are encouraged to celebrate bilbies not bunnies for Easter.  So I’ve made an Easter Bilby craft this year instead of an Easter Bunny.

What’s it all about?  A Bilby is an Australian native animal that is sadly one of our most threatened species. The Save The Bilby Fund uses Easter to raise awareness and funds for bilby conservation.  As they are threatened by the introduced species, Rabbits, Aussies are encouraged to celebrate the Easter Bilby instead of the Easter Bunny.

So that’s why I made this guy from a paper plate and some cardboard.  If you’d like to make one, download the pattern here: LOTTA easter bilby pattern

THINGS YOU NEED

Paper plates, thin cardboard, black, white and pink paint, paint brush, paint tray, scissors, masking tape, glue, googly eye, coloured paper, circle punch (optional)

HOW TO MAKE

  1. Paint the paper plate and a sheet of cardboard grey.  I added a little texture to mine to make him appear furry not flat.
  2. Paint a small piece of cardboard pink for the ears, nose and cheeks.
  3. Print out the template. Tape the pieces on top of the plate/cardboard and use the template to cut out all the pieces.
  4. To turn the basic bilby into an Easter Bilby, add some strips of coloured paper inspired by the patterns on Easter eggs. If you have a circle punch it’s an easy way to make patterns. Glue them onto your bilby pieces with a glue stick.
  5. Assemble all the pieces and glue them into position and hello Easter Bilby!

Lotta easter fun kids crafts

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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Paper plate reindeer

Hello cutie! I call him ‘Dolla’ because I made him with things I bought from the dollar store.  I think he would look great hanging on the kids bedroom door to give it a little Christmas cheer.

THINGS YOU NEED

Small and large paper plate, brown paint, paint brush and tray, paper cup, scissors, glue, tape, wide christmas ribbon, pompom, glittered cardboard, googly eyes, pink craft foam or cardboard, green cardboard, bag of red buttons.

You don’t need a template, but I made one for myself and you can download it here. 

HOW TO MAKE

  1.  Paint one large and one small paper plate brown (you only need to paint the back of the plates).
  2. Cut a curve, about 1/3 up the large plate. This becomes your reindeers body. The leftover piece of paper plate is used to make the ears.
  3. Attach the head to the body with some tape on the back and a dot of glue between the layers.
  4. Cut some antlers from the glittered cardboard.
  5. Cut the bottom off a paper cup for the nose.
  6. Glue or tape everything in position.
  7. Wrap the ribbon around your reindeer’s neck as a scarf and glue the ends to the plate to hold them down.

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