Paper Plate Lion Craft for Kids

This paper plate lion craft for kids is just too adorable. With a fiery mane of simple construction paper, several paper plates to form the body and head and your own special touches, your lion will be king of the jungle.

So get out some yellow or brown paint, a few sturdy paper plates, contruction paper and other simple craft supplies and let’s get “roaring” on this fun animal paper plate craft.


  • 8 Sturdy Small Paper Plates
  • 4 Toilet Paper Cardboard Tubes
  • Yellow, Orange, Tan and black Construction Paper
  • Yellow and/or Brown Paint
  • Black Marker
  • Glue
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Wiggle Eyes

How to Make a Paper Plate Lion Kids Craft

Step 1: Paint the bottoms of the paper plates with the color of your choice. We mixed brown and yellow to give this cute little lion a yellowish brown color. Let the plates competely dry. Then paint just the rim on the inside (or top of the paper plates) and let this dry.

Step 2: Glue two plates together rim to rim making sure the painted side (bottom) is facing out. Repeat this for the remaining pairs of plates. Let the glue dry completely.

Step 3: Once the glue is dry, glue all the pairs of plates together (back to back). Glue one pair of plates slightly higher (this will be the head).

Tip: We created our lion to sit so we staggered the plates as we glued them making each set slightly lower than the other set. See picture to the left with a side view of this paper plate lion craft.

Step 4: While the glue is drying on your paper plates, cut several strips of colored construction paper to form the lion’s mane. Cut these strips anywhere from 1″ wide to 2″ wide and from 3″ long to 4″ long. The wider and longer the paper the less “rolls” you will create. Create several “rolls” with the colored construction paper and tape these in place. Set aside for now.

Step 5: Cover 4 toilet paper rolls with tan construction paper (or a color to match your lion). Place these cardboard rolls in between the plates to form the legs.

Tip: Double stick tape works best for covering cardboard rolls. Just place the tape on your paper and then “roll” the tube along the paper giving enough pressure for it to stick. Then just tape the paper in place where the two ends meet and cut off any excess.

Step 6: Place these cardboard rolls in between the plates to form the legs. Double check the height by setting your lion down and making sure he will stand once the legs are in place.

Tip: If you do a sitting lion, place the back legs out so that the long edge is resting on the ground. Otherwise, place them so that one end of the roll is resting on the ground (like the front legs). You will probably have to squeeze the opening of the tube in order to slide these in between the plates. Once you have the right spot, glue them in place and let the glue dry.

Step 7: Cut out two lion ears with black construction paper or felt. Cut out a black nose as well. Glue on wiggle eyes and the nose. Using a black marker, make a mouth for your lion. Glue the ears in place on the back of the paper plate lion’s head.

Step 8: Now take the construction paper rolls you set aside earlier and tape these all around the lion’s face to create the mane. You can use glue or tape. If you use glue, press and hold for awhile. If you use tape, press really hard to make sure it makes contact with the plate and holds in place.

You can display this lion on a coffee table, on a dresser or your favorite spot in the house or classroom. You can even make more paper plate animals and create your own little zoo with your kids craft ideas.