Paper Plate Poinsettia art project for students in the art room with free template downloadable guide

Paper Plate Poinsettia: Holiday Craft for Kids




With Poinsettias undeniably in flavor for the holidays, this easy holiday craft for kids can vary in paint colors to compliment any season. I’ll admit that creating these pink beauties filled my creativity bucket for the day. So grab some paint, a few paper plates from your pantry and crank up the holiday tunes. I guarantee, you’ll enjoy this as much as your kids!

This project is perfect for those days during the holiday season when you need a fun activity for your festival of lights unit or holiday unit.

Watch the step-by-step tutorial video below:

Download the December Freebie packet below for easy step-by-step instruction on this project:

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Picture Book Recommendation

The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie DePaola

This book is set in a small village in Mexico and is a retelling of a traditional folk tale. It does have strong religious content so it may not be appropriate for your class. Each teacher can determine whether it is suitable for his or her classroom.

how to make a paper plate poinsettia


– 10″, 9″ & 6″ plate (exact size is not as important as 3 different sizes)

– Red, white, green and yellow liquid tempera paint

– Gold metallic paint (optional)

– Small kitchen sponges (cut a regular sponge into smaller rectangles

– Red, white and green oil pastels

– Paint brushes

– Yellow tissues paper

– Scissors

– Pencil

– Small plastic cup or lid

– White school glue

Don’t be alarmed by the extensive supply list. Most everything can be found in your art pantry. I find tempera paints are best but if you have craft acrylic paints (the kind you find in craft stores) then you are great. Curious what the difference is between tempera paint and acrylic paint? Here’s a video showing what I discovered: Acrylic vs Tempera Paint.


poinsettia cutting the flower

Each student receives 3 paper plates. I use the most inexpensive brand that has not printing on it. It doesn’t matter the size of the plants, but it does help to have 3 different sizes: small, medium and large.

Place a small condiment cup or circle template in the middle of the LARGEST PLATE. Draw a circle.

Starting at the outside edge of the plate, cut a leaf shape towards the center circle. Do not cut through the circle.

For younger kids, it may be helpful to draw a flower pattern. Older kids will be fine eye-balling a leaf shape.

The leaf shapes do not have to be perfect and in fact, are more appealing if they are irregular.

Repeat steps for all 3 plates. The largest plate will be the outer green leaves. The medium plate is for the large petals and the small plate is for the smaller petals.


poinsettia painting the flower

Use the sponges and paint to sponge paint the green onto the large plate, and a combination of red and white paint on the two other plates.

The gold metallic paint can be mixed in to create a glimmer effect.

When dry (about 1 hour) use the oil pastels to draw veins and stems.

Use small tissue paper wadded into small balls to act as seeds. Or use glitter foam sheets.

Glue the three layers together.

As the glue dries, the paper leaves will curl.


The secret to this project is not any special technique but rather the result of buying the most inexpensive paper plates. The paper plates curl when the paint dries adding a lovely quality to the plate. Cool, right?

Click the yellow box below to DOWNLOAD the free PDF on Paper Plate Poinsettia. Add your name and email and we’ll send it straight to you!

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Give this lesson a try, I’d love to see what you’d do!

Paper Plate Poinsettia: easy Holiday Craft for Kids

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  • Maria

    I love this craft since I have this book and have used it to teach with my Spanish classes during the Christmas holiday! Great art activity to go along with it!!

  • Carla Lee

    Thank you! 🙂

  • Wendy

    These are so pretty! I can’t wait to do these with my girls as part of our homeschool art. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Laura Lea

    Thank you for your generosity! IT is very appreciated as some years I do not find out students can not do an art project until I have already purchased materials for the whole class. At this time of year I sometimes try to do only snowmen, but I need to do things differently to avoid being a rut too. This lesson with the literature connection is perfect for my students and we have the book in the school library if it’s not in my own collection already! I have done the book with older students but I can do the project easily with the range of younger kids I have now. I can’t wait to show it to my colleague at work. Also wouldn’t this make an amazing wreath for the house? I’m very excited. I hope to have my granddaughters a few days before Christmas and maybe we will make one for them to take home or to family members. I can already see my table full of flowers ready for assembling into wreaths. THank you again! Merry Christmas!

  • Cathy Galuska-Seidel

    I usually do poinsettias for Christmas. I will definitely do this one because it is much simpler than the one I do, and I’m short on time! I will use popcorn seeds for the yellow centers, then we will sprinkle a little gold glitter over the seeds.

    • patty.palmer@deepspacesparkle.com

      Oh my goodness…POPCORN kernals! Brilliant! Enjoy this lesson!

  • Cindy

    Patty, Thank you for offering this as a free download for us. As a general ed teacher, I especially like the artist statement worksheet at the end of the lesson because it ties in writing to art. Happy holidays to you and your family!

  • Vicky Lipsey

    Love this craft

  • Ivelisse

    Thanks for the opportunity. It’s the first time watching your blog and I find it very helpful.

  • Dave Maddocks

    Very nice and well thought out

  • Ginny Del Carmen Romero Araujo

    Great lessons plans. Thanksto share.

  • Rosemary Chambers

    this was helpfull

  • Rosemary Chambers

    thank you

  • Libby Johnson

    This looks like a great way to decorate our school for the Holiday!

  • Julianna

    Having trouble finding 3 different size uncoated paper plates. Where did you find yours? I have 6 inch and 9 inch. Can’t seem to find a 10 inch anywhere.

    • Patty

      You can find them at grocery stores, big box stores, kitchen supply stores, etc. Don’t worry too much about measurements, just a couple of different sizes is all you need.

  • Julie Perdisatt

    These are the most beautiful Poinsettia projects I have seen. Thank you for this fabulous and truly art worthy project. I can’t wait to try it next week with The Legend of the Poinsettia.

    • Patty

      So glad you are going to do the lesson with your students!

  • Sandy

    These are wonderful art lessons. Excellent details.i Look forward to the Thursday Video. Super. Thanks

  • Alberta Potters

    I have tried to download the paper plate poinsettia pattern twice. Each time I am told an email was sent. I have never recieved an email.

    • Patty

      Hi Alberta! We can only email our PDF’s to email adresses that allow our emails to go through. Check your junk mail and also make sure that Deep Space Sparkel is on your safe sender list. Sometimes, your inbox can be full.
      So a lot of it is out of our hands. But it works in 99% of teh cases.
      I would ask that you email support@deepspacesparkle.com and then can check your email address to ensure email are getting to you.

      Thank you for visiting our site!

  • Betty Rivera

    Love the technique!! Beautiful!!

  • mpinto.edwards

    happy plant

  • Suzy

    FYI: It’s real name is CUETLAXÓCHITL! It’s Nahuatl, for flower that withers! Also, known as Flor de Nochebuena, Spanish for Christmas Eve flower!

  • Jerri Bedwell

    So much good History

    • Jerri Bedwell

      My link failed… https://hiplatina.com/la-cuetlaxochitl-mexico-poinsettia/

      • Bethany

        Hi Jerri! Everything is working on our end. If you click the download button and add your email we will send the lesson directly to your inbox. We have found that our website doesn’t work as well with the Firefox browser so if that is your browser please try Chrome or Safari. Be sure to check your Spam or Junk folders to make sure it didn’t end up there. Enjoy.

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