Paper Plate Spacecraft

One of the best parts of my Fun Family Crafts job is getting to see so many cool kids' crafts. Almost every day a submission comes in that makes me want to stop working and immediately zip into the craft room to create. I can't always do that, of course. It's often days, weeks or months before I actually make the project that inspired me. And in that amount of time, the project morphs from the original inspiration into something quite different.

I saw this super cute paper plate project awhile ago and wanted to make my own version. But instead of looking out the porthole and seeing a whimsical alien, I wanted to create a more realistic scene. Here's what I came up with: 

As you can see, it is entirely different from the inspiration piece! I only used a single paper plate and didn't use aluminum foil at all. I'm really happy with how it turned out.

Paper Plate Spacecraft


  • paper plate
  • chipboard
  • gesso
  • paint
  • silver Sharpie
  • foam brush
  • stencil brush 
  • hole punch 
  • cardstock
  • foam adhesive dots

Cut a circle of chipboard the size you want Earth to be. Put a coat of gesso on both the chipboard circle and the paper plate. When that is dry, but a coat of black paint on the inside portion of the paper plate. Use the stencil brush (or an old toothbrush) to splatter bits of yellow paint onto the black. Set it aside to dry.

Time to paint Earth. I used four colors: dark blue, tan, green and white, in that order. Start by painting dark blue on the entire circle. Add areas of tan and green to suggest the shapes of the continents. No need to perfectly replicate their shapes, though I did consult some NASA images before painting. Use a stiff, dry brush to add white haphazardly over the other colors. When that is dry, use foam adhesive dots to attach it to the paper plate.

Paint the edge of the paper plate silver, being careful to create a crisp line between the silver and the black.

While the paint is drying, punch holes from cardstock. Color them with the silver Sharpie. Glue these to the silver portion of the paper plate to create the rivets on the porthole. 

I think it would be a lot of fun to create an entire paper plate solar system, as seen from a spaceship! I'm adding that idea to my mental list of approximately 2 million projects that I hope to eventually do...


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