5 Paper Plate Christmas Characters: Santa, Rudolph, Snowman

The joyous holiday season is fast approaching, and it’s time to add a festive touch to your home with delightful paper plate Christmas characters! Get ready to embark on a creative journey as you bring to life the beloved figures of Santa Claus, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and the jolly Snowman. These charming and easy-to-make crafts will surely fill your home with the spirit of Christmas and bring smiles to everyone’s faces.

First up is the iconic Santa Claus. With his rosy cheeks, fluffy white beard, and iconic red suit, Santa is the epitome of holiday cheer. Using a simple paper plate as your base, you can transform it into the jolly old man himself. Add construction paper for his hat and coat, cotton balls for his beard, and googly eyes to bring Santa to life. Don’t forget his signature black boots and a bag full of presents! Whether you hang him on your wall or place him on the mantelpiece, this paper plate Santa will remind everyone of the magic of Christmas.

Next, let’s dive into the story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. This beloved character has captured the hearts of millions with his shiny red nose and kind-hearted nature. To create a paper plate Rudolph, you’ll need brown paint or construction paper for his fur, a red pom-pom for his nose, and googly eyes. Don’t forget to add pipe cleaners as antlers! Display this adorable Rudolph on your door or window, and let his cheerful presence guide you through the holiday season.

Paper Plate Christmas Characters

Lastly, we have the lovable Snowman, a timeless symbol of winter and holiday festivities. Transforming a paper plate into a snowman is a delightful activity for both children and adults. Paint the plate white, use construction paper or markers to create a top hat, and add buttons and a carrot-shaped nose. Finish off with a warm scarf and twig arms to complete the look. Place your paper plate snowman on a tabletop or hang it on the wall for a whimsical touch that captures the magic of a winter wonderland.

Paper Plate Christmas Characters

Let’s talk about the age groups suitable for this craft. Typically, paper plate crafts like these are done using craft paint for coloring. However, in this version, we will use crayons instead, which is a great alternative for younger kids and creates less mess. While paint can be fun, it requires drying time and can get messy. So, if you prefer a simpler and less messy option, crayons are the way to go. But feel free to use paint if you prefer!

Paper Plate Christmas Characters

Creating paper plate Christmas characters is a fun and engaging craft activity for the holiday season. Here are the steps to make your own festive characters using paper plates:

Choose your character

Decide which Christmas character you want to create—Santa Claus, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, or a Snowman.

Decorate the paper plate

Use crayons or craft paint to color the paper plate according to your chosen character. Add details such as Santa’s red suit, Rudolph’s brown fur, or the Snowman’s white body.

Add character features

Cut out the necessary shapes from construction paper or scrapbook paper. For Santa, create a hat, coat, boots, and a bag of presents. For Rudolph, make antlers, a red nose, and googly eyes. For the Snowman, cut out a top hat, buttons, carrot-shaped nose, and scarf. Glue these features onto the appropriate places on the paper plate.

Optional additions and personalization

If desired, you can add pipe cleaners or traced handprints as antlers for Rudolph. For extra sparkle, glue pom-poms on the antlers. You can also attach a jingle bell or a plastic milk jug lid with “Rudolph” written on it to the collar. Get creative and personalize your characters with additional embellishments.

For these paper plate crafts you will need:

Paper Plate Christmas Characters

For these paper plate crafts, you will need the following materials:

Paper plates

These will serve as the base for creating your Christmas characters.

Crayons or craft paint

Use these to add color and decorate the paper plates. Crayons are a less messy option, especially for younger kids.

Construction paper or scrapbook paper

These will be used to create various elements of the characters, such as hats, coats, antlers, noses, and scarves. Construction paper is a versatile and affordable option.


You’ll need scissors to cut out the shapes and details from the construction paper or scrapbook paper.


Use glue to attach the different elements to the paper plates.

Googly eyes

These will bring the characters to life. You can find them at craft stores or online.

Cotton balls or pom-poms

These can be used for Santa’s beard or to add texture to other parts of the characters.

Pipe cleaners or traced handprints (optional)

Pipe cleaners can be used as antlers for Rudolph, or you can trace your child’s hands on brown construction paper to create handprint antlers.


Paper Plate Christmas Characters

To create the antlers, you will need three brown pipe cleaners for each antler. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Prepare the pipe cleaners

Take one pipe cleaner and bend it in half to form a V-shape. This will be the main structure of the antler.

Create the smaller pipe cleaners

Take two pipe cleaners and cut them in half. Then, bend each half in half again to create smaller pipe cleaner pieces.

Attach the smaller pipe cleaners

Take one small pipe cleaner and twist it around the main pipe cleaner on the left side of the V-shape. Repeat with another small pipe cleaner on the right side. You should have two smaller pipe cleaners on each side of the main pipe cleaner.

Repeat for the second antler and add pom-poms

Repeat the previous steps to create the second antler. Once both antlers are complete, add a touch of sparkle by gluing glittery pom-poms to the tips of the antlers.

Glue the antlers to the paper plate

Apply glue to the back of the antlers and carefully position them on the back of the paper plate, ensuring they are secure and balanced.


Paper Plate Christmas Characters

In five steps, here’s how you can create Santa Claus using a paper plate:

Cut and attach Santa’s hat

Using a pattern or template, carefully cut Santa’s hat shape from red paper. Position the hat at the top of the paper plate, which has a peach-colored center, and secure it with glue. Make sure it fits well and covers the top portion of the plate.

Add a fluffy white pom-pom

To give Santa’s hat a charming touch, glue a white pom-pom to the tip or end of the hat. This fluffy pom-pom resembles the classic fluffy ball found on Santa’s hat.

Attach a glittery red pom-pom

Create a focal point for Santa’s face by gluing a glittery red pom-pom to the center of the plate. This serves as Santa’s iconic rosy nose, adding a cheerful and festive element to the craft.

Draw Santa’s eyes and eyebrows

Using a black marker or pen, carefully draw Santa’s eyes and eyebrows just above the glittery red pom-pom. This step brings Santa’s face to life and gives him a friendly expression. Take your time to ensure the eyes and eyebrows are evenly and symmetrically drawn.

Add rosy cheeks and Santa’s beard

Using a pink crayon, color two small circles on the plate to represent Santa’s rosy cheeks. Then, use white craft glue to cover the outer areas of the plate with cotton balls. This creates the brim for Santa’s hat and gives him a fluffy white beard. Secure the cotton balls in place and let the glue dry completely.


Paper Plate Christmas Characters

To create a snowman using a paper plate, follow these five steps:

Cut and attach the hat

Using a pattern, cut the snowman’s hat from light blue paper. Glue it to the top of the plain paper plate, making sure it aligns with the edge.

Attach the nose

Cut the snowman’s carrot-shaped nose from orange paper. Glue it to the center of the paper plate, just below the hat.

Create rosy cheeks

Using a dark pink crayon, color a circle on each cheek of the snowman to create rosy cheeks. This adds a touch of warmth and charm to the character.

Draw the eyes, eyebrows, and smile

Using a black marker, draw the snowman’s eyes, eyebrows, and a smile on the paper plate. Get creative with the facial expressions to give your snowman its own unique personality.

Add finishing touches

Use white craft glue to attach cotton balls around the brim of the snowman’s hat, creating a fluffy texture. Glue a pom-pom to the end of the hat for an extra decorative touch.

Frequently Asked Question

What materials do I need to make paper plate Christmas characters?

To make these characters, you will need paper plates, crayons or craft paint, construction paper or scrapbook paper, scissors, glue, googly eyes, cotton balls or pom-poms, and optional items like pipe cleaners, jingle bells, or plastic milk jug lids.

Can I use crayons instead of paint for coloring the paper plates?

Absolutely! Crayons are a great alternative to paint, especially for younger kids. They are less messy and don’t require drying time.

What can I use for the antlers of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?

You can use pipe cleaners by bending and shaping them or trace your child’s hands onto brown construction paper and cut them out to create handprint antlers.

Can I use construction paper instead of scrapbook paper?

Yes, construction paper works perfectly fine for these crafts. It is affordable and readily available. Scrapbook paper is optional and can add a fun element if you have it on hand.

Are there any additional steps for older kids?

Yes, for older kids, you can include adding sparkly pom-poms to the antlers for extra decoration. However, skip this step for younger children with developing fine motor skills.

Do I need to use a jingle bell for the crafts?

No, the jingle bell is an optional accessory. If you don’t have one, you can get creative and use a plastic milk jug lid instead. Write “Rudolph” across the front with a marker and glue it to the collar.

Can I personalize the characters with my own ideas?

Absolutely! Crafting is all about creativity and personalization. Feel free to add your own touches, embellishments, or substitutions to make the characters unique and reflective of your style.


Creating paper plate Christmas characters such as Santa Claus, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and Snowman is a delightful and engaging craft activity that adds a festive touch to your holiday decorations. With simple materials like paper plates, crayons or craft paint, construction paper, glue, and various embellishments, you can bring these beloved characters to life.

Whether you choose to use crayons or craft paint, construction paper or scrapbook paper, or add optional elements like pipe cleaners or traced handprints, the process of crafting these characters allows for personalization and creativity. It’s a wonderful activity for children of different age groups, as you can adapt the complexity of the craft to suit their abilities.

Display your paper plate Christmas characters on walls, windows, or tabletops to infuse your home with the magic and joy of the holiday season. They can become charming focal points, spreading cheer to everyone who sees them.

About the author

Chrissy is a freelance writer, teacher, and designer who creates content on origami and paper crafts. She runs the site Origami Step and makes her own origami tutorials for readers. She has been writing about origami since 2008 and is the founder of website Origami Step, where she creates videos, resources, and printable origami paper.