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Paper plate lion

This is a fun paper plate craft for all ages, but particularly great for young children working on scissor skills

So today’s craft is a paper plate lion.

This lion craft came about, not because we went to the zoo or watched a documentary about lions (or anything sensible like that), but because we were dancing about the living room to the sounds of ‘Circle of Life’ from the Lion King (what a song).

After much dancing about and singing, we turned our attention to crafts and here we are.

This kids’ lion craft is made out of a paper plate and one piece of cardstock – it’s really very simple.

And so without further ado, crank up the Lion King soundtrack and grab a paper plate. Here’s how to make it.

How to make a paper plate lion, step by step

Step 1

The first step is to paint your paper plate.

We used acrylic paints as they cover the plate really well and you only really need one coat.

Begin with an orange base coat.

paper plate painted orange

Step 2

Once the orange paint has dried, pick some other paints to add some more colour and interest to the lion’s mane.

We went for brown, yellow and a bit of shimmery gold paint too.

yellow, brow and gold paint blobs on a paper plate.

Add stripes to the plate, starting in the middle of the plate and brushing outwards.

Once you’re finished adding stripes, your plate may look something like this:

orange paper plate with brown yellow and gold stripes added.

Step 3

Next, it’s time to grab the scissors. Younger children may require a bit of help here.

To create the lion’s mane, make smallish cuts around the edge of the plate, towards the middle of the plate. The cuts we made in the plate were between 1 and 2 inches long.

paper plate with cuts around the edge.

Once you’ve made cuts all the way around the plate, pull some of the small sections forward and push some back (to make mane look less flat and a bit more 3D).

Step 4

On yellow card or paper, draw the lion’s face and two roundish ears. Cut these out.

lion face and two ears on yellow card

The lion’s face can be as simple, detailed, realistic or cartoony as you want.

For example, for younger children it can simply be two round eyes, a nose and mouth on a circle of card.

simple lion face and two ears on yellow paper

Step 5

Next, glue the lion’s face and two ears onto the paper plate mane.

Step 6

To finish off, we snipped some of the corners off the cut sections to make the lion’s mane a little less round.

edge of paper plate lion's mane with edges snipped.

And with that, your lion is finished.

If you liked this lion craft, why not pin it? Thanks for your help!

Paper plate lion craft for kids

Love paper plate crafts?

For more paper plate crafts, check out our curled-up cat, our paper plate moose or our paper plate coconut tree.

Looking for more crafts for honing those scissor skills? What about our paper bee craft?

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