'Hand-Painted' Paper Plate Rainbow

Usually, the term 'hand-painted' means that a person did the painting vs. a machine. For this project, 'hand-painted' is more literal. 


Hand-Painted Paper Plate Rainbow


  • paper plate
  • scissors
  • craft paint (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple)
  • cotton balls
  • glue


Cut the paper plate to make an arc.

Squeeze bands of paint onto your fingers. The band of red should stretch from the tip of your pointer finger to the tip of your pinkie. Follow that with orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. The purple should be where your fingers meet your palm.

A helpful hint: if you are doing this project alone, open all the paint bottles BEFORE squirting the red paint onto your fingers. It is a bit challenging to open paint bottles when one of your hand is covered in paint. As you can see, some orange glurped out on my wrist while I was trying to open the bottle.

Put your hand down in the middle of the arc. Keeping your fingers lined up with the edge of the arc, smear one direction, lift and return to center, then smear the other direction. 

It's so pretty! And really satisfying. 

Wash your hands (or do another rainbow project while your hand is still painted) and then cut two cloud shapes from the rest of the paper plate. Fluff up some cotton balls and glue them to the clouds, then glue the clouds to the rainbow. 

 All done! Hang your rainbow with fishing line, tape it to the wall, or display it in a window. 

 This project is great for crafters of all ages, from toddler to adult.


  1. HOW FUN!!!!!!!!! I love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. How fun! I would be wearing gloves though... ;)

    1. Ooh, that would be fun to try. I'd love to own rainbow gloves. :)


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