Paper Plate Spiders

I’ve had a swarm of paper plate spiders take over my house the last couple days! Luckily they are the cute kind that I don’t mind having around!

These colorful spiders are so simple for kids to make and they make spooktacular Halloween decorations!

Five paper plates spiders in different colors clumped together on a pink background.

We used small, dessert sized paper plates for this Halloween craft. I found they were the perfect size when coupled with the pipe cleaner spider legs. I’m a big believer in using whatever you have on hand though, so any size you have will do.

Make sure to check out our paper plates category if you are looking for more fun ways to craft with paper plates at home or school.

[This paper plate craft was originally published on October 8, 2012. The photos and tutorial have been updated and a video tutorial has been added.]

A blue, purple, gray and black paper plates spider hanging from a string on a white shiplap background.

How to Make these Easy Paper Plate Spiders

Read our easy step-by-step instructions below for how to make your own paper plate spider craft. Make sure to watch our video tutorial inside this post before get started too.

Before you know it, you’ll have some spooky spiders to hang from the ceiling for Halloween decorations too!

Supplies needed for this paper plate Halloween craft:

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  • small paper plates (2 per spider)
  • acrylic paint (any color you choose)
  • googly eyes (we used varying sizes, 8 per spider)
  • chenille stems (4 per spider — we used some of the Kids Craft glitter brand from Wal-mart to make our spiders extra bright and sparkly)
  • paint brush
  • scissors
  • stapler
  • glue

Instructions for making your colorful spider craft

1. Paint the underside of two small paper plates with acrylic paint and set them aside to let them dry completely.

2. When the paint has finished drying, cut four chenille stems in half to make eight spider legs.

Related: Paper Plate Halloween Candy Holder

Four image collage showing two painted paper plates, four pipe cleaners cut in half for spider legs, and an adult stapling together plates and stapling pipe cleaner around the edge to make a paper plate spider.

3. Line up your two painted paper plates with the paint facing out on both sides and then place a staple at the top to connect them together.

4. Insert a spider leg in between the two plates about one-inch and then staple it down between the two plates. Do this with all eight legs, with four on each side of the paper plates. Then place additional staples around the paper plates to close them shut.

What if you can’t use a stapler in the classroom with children?

I have had a few people comment that they are not allowed to use staplers inside the classroom. An alternative would be to tape each pipe cleaner spider leg onto one of the unpainted sides of the paper plates. Then add a line of glue around the edge of the paper plate, on top of the taped down legs. Finally, place the second paper plate onto the glue with the painted side facing out.

One reason I used a stapler with my preschooler when making these is because the gripping and stapling is such a great fine motor activity. It is completely optional though.

Four image collage showing an adult making a bend in the spider pipe cleaner legs, gluing googly eyes on the spider and attaching a string to the top of the paper plate spider for hanging.

5. Create a bend in each of the chenille stems to make them look like spider legs.

6. Glue on eight wiggly eyes of different sizes on the top of your spider. You could also use self-adhesive googly eyes so you won’t have to wait for drying time.

Blue paper plate spider craft laying flat on a pink background.

As a side note, my kids are way smarter than me because I didn’t even know that most spiders have eight eyes. After they insisted on gluing on 8 eyes, I googled it and sure enough, they were right!

7. Use a hole punch to punch a hole in the top of the paper plate spider and tie a white string through it so you can hang it up as if it’s coming down it’s spider web.

Black paper plate spider laying flat on a pink background.

My son’s black spider is extra creepy. He told me it was a black widow. Yikes!

These look super fun hanging down at varying lengths along my living room curtains as Halloween decorations.

Vertical close up image of three paper plate spiders hanging from a white string on a shiplap background with the words "paper plate spiders" in the right center of the image.

Looking for children’s books about Spiders?

We love combining story time with craft time. Here are some recommendations for children’s books you can check out at your local library to go along with making your paper plate spiders:


Miss Spider’s Tea Party by David Kirk

Little Miss Spider by David Kirk

Spiders by Gail Gibbons

The Eensy Weensy Spider Freaks Out! by Troy Cummings

Square image of a purple and blue paper plate spider craft, one on top of the other, laying flat on a pink background.

More Fun and Easy Halloween Crafts for Kids

These cute Halloween Windsocks are another fun craft to hang up for Halloween. Use our template to make a witch, Jack-0-Lantern, bat, mummy or ghost.

This yarn wrapped mummy craft is a fun way for preschoolers to work on strengthening fine motor skills while crafting.

Here’s another clever way to turn a paper plate into a spider craft. This time the paper plate becomes the spider web and children have fun sliding their spider in and out watching it move around the web.

The three-dimensional effect of this paper bowl pumpkin craft makes it a lovely craft to display up on a classroom art wall for Halloween.

Check out our complete list of over 125 fun and easy fall crafts for kids!

Fall crafts for Kids -Fun and easy arts and crafts projects. Pumpkin crafts, fall art projects, Halloween crafts, fall leaf crafts for kids of all ages.

Close up image of the completed color mixing activity on a pink background with red, blue and yellow Testors paint bottles laying next to craft on a pink background with colored poms scattered around.

Color Mixing Activity for Kids

A girl standing sideways with the geometric painted canvas bag over her shoulder.

Geometric Canvas Bag Painting Craft -Fun Sleepover Craft for Kids