Animal crafts are some of my favorite projects to make. This paper plate elephant craft is extra special because his ears wiggle when you pull the string. It just takes a little bit of “engineering” to make it work. Be sure to check out the video at the end of this article to see how we make the mechanism work. If you are crafting with little ones and want to keep it simpler, don’t add the yarn. Instead, just attach the elephant’s ears with the brads.
Save this Animal Craft for later. Pin it to your favorite Pinterest board…
SUPPLIES FROM THE BAG
- 2 Paper plates (9-inch coated)
- Medium pompom
- Gray (or light blue) paint
- Gray (or light blue) construction paper
- Single hole punch
- 2 Metal brads
- Glue stick
- 2 Large googly eyes (25mm self-adhesive)
- White yarn
- Elephant craft template
Doing more with less is a philosophy that we truly believe in around here. You might have noticed that the crafts you see here have a similar feel. That’s because we only use one bag of craft supplies to make everything on this site (and in our shop too!). Our bag has 27 basic items in it, all inexpensive and versatile. You probably have half of them (at least) in your house right now). Find out more about our system for making crafting with your kids easier HERE.
Amp up the fun by adding a fun story to your creative time. Check out these kids books about elephants for some inspiration.
Paper Plate Elephant Craft Instructions
Step 1: Paint Your Paper Plate Craft
- Lay out some newspaper on your work surface to control the mess.
- Pinch a pompom with your clothespin to form a “paint brush”.
- Place the 2 paper plates on the newspaper, bottom up.
- Squeeze out some gray paint and paint the bottom of your plates. (This may take a couple of coats.)
- Give the paint some time to dry while you move on to the next step.
If you really don’t want to mess with paint, just use markers or crayons to color the bottoms of your plates instead.
Step 2: Use the Elephant Craft Template
- Print the elephant craft template
- Now that the paint is dry, cut one of the gray painted paper plates in half.
- Use the templates for the ears to cut each one out of half of the plate.
- Then use the template of the trunk to cut it out of the gray construction paper. Fold over the top of the trunk to form a tab for attaching it to the elephant.
Step 3: Punch the Holes for Your Elephant Head Craft
- The template shows where to place holes in each of the elephant’s ears, one on the end of the tab and another just in from the tab.
- The punch holes in the other plate where the elephant ears will be attached.
Step 4: Attach the Trunk, etc.
- Use the glue stick to attach the trunk to the center of your elephant’s face.
- Then put the googly eyes in place.
- Use your black marker to give your animal a smile and some eyebrows.
Step 5: Finish Off Your Easy Elephant Craft
- Use the metal brads to attach each of the ears. When you spread the back of the brads apart, do not squeeze too tight. You want the ears to wiggle back and forth easily.
- Cut a length of yarn to go from one ear to the other.
- Lace one end through one the holes in an ear tab and tie it off in a knot.
- Tie the other end to the hole in the tab of the other ear. When the yarn is tight across, the ears should be resting at the side of the elephant’s head.
- Last, cut a length of string about 18″ long and tie one end to the center of the other string.
Now that you know how to make an elephant craft, you can pull the string to make his ears wiggle. And it’s time to give your elephant some personality. Use the things in your craft bag to add more details. Add a bow tie or rosy cheeks or a little tuft hair…whatever you like. And if you want to make your elephant extra special, don’t stick to gray. Use your imagination and make this craft your own.