How to Make an Adorable Tie Dye Paper Plate Ornament Craft

5 Materials
1 Hour

Christmas is around the corner, and I am beginning to decorate my home. My holiday décor is always incomplete without a few unique DIYs, and today I am sharing a paper plate ornament craft, that I made with you.

For even more ideas, see Hometalk's ultimate guide to DIY Christmas decor here.

This post was transcribed by a member of the Hometalk editorial team from the original HometalkTV episode.

You can watch the video tutorial for more details.

How to make Christmas ornaments out of paper plates

For this project make sure the plate is paper and not polystyrene, this is very important.  

Rim of paper plate cut away with a small piece left at the top

1. Cut off the rim of the plate

My first step in making these DIY paper Christmas ornaments was to cut away the plate's rim, leaving a tiny piece at the top.

Christmas stencils

2. Choose a stencil

I cut a tree and a star from a cute Christmas stencil pack I had at home. Cut the stencils out as small as you can so that they are easy to maneuver.

Gel medium for creating a pattern on the paper plates

The pattern was created with a gel medium, which dries tacky. This is important as we will be adhering gold leaf to the plate. 

Applying gel medium over a Christmas stencil placed on the paper plate

After laying my stencil where I wanted it, I smeared the gel medium over it. You have to make sure the entire stencil has been covered with the gel medium. Once it was all covered, I peeled off the stencil and let it dry. 

How to make paper ornaments step by step

The little tab at the top was also painted with gel medium and allowed to dry.

Dried but tacky gel medium on paper plate

The gel medium will dry clear but still feel tacky. You will be able to see the texture in the light.

Applying a piece of gold leaf onto the paper plate

3. Apply gold leaf

Next, I applied some imitation gold leaf. The gold leaf comes in sheets that are separated by tissue paper. 

When applying the gold leaf, you want to pick up a sheet, keeping the tissue paper on the back, and just press it down onto the plate.

Paper plate Christmas ornaments

Because the gel medium is tacky, it is going to pick up this gold leaf.

Make sure you cover all the tacky spots with the sheet of gold leaf.

Tip: Keep any leftover gold leaf in a box to use in future projects.

Removing excess gold leaf with a lambs wool roller

Now I needed to remove any excess gold leaf. I like to do this with a lambs wool roller that is usually used for applying paint or stain. I find this really useful when I'm working with leaf because it’s very soft and gentle.

I rubbed it all over the sheet, allowing it to take away any excess pieces of the gold leaf leaving a smooth surface.

Paper plate with stenciled gold leaf Christmas tree

4. Add tie dye

The final part of the DIY Christmas ornaments is the most exciting. I bought a tie dye kit from the dollar store that comes with 12 different colors in little bottles. Each bottle contains some powdered pigment and you just fill the bottle up with water to make the dye. If you don't have one of these kits, you can use any kind of paint as long as it is water-soluble. 

Preparing a paper plate for dyeing by spraying it with water

Before applying the dye, I gave my plate a little spray with a water bottle to moisten the paper.  

Dotting water soluble dye onto the wet paper plate

Then, I used two different colors and dotted the dye onto the wet plate. I chose a purple and a deep pinky red.  

Adding extra dye to the paper plate and mixing the colors over the plate with a paintbrush

With the paint drops on the plate, I just used a small paintbrush to mix them up. The areas that have gold leaf will resist the dye or water-soluble paint, so you can just paint right over it.

I carried on until the entire plate was covered with beautiful purple and red dye. I wanted it to look like jewel tones and made sure to go right over the edges of the plate so that everything was covered.

Paper plate Christmas ornament

To hang the DIY paper ornament you need to punch a hole in the top tag and tie on some colorful string or ribbon.

More DIY Christmas Decor

For more ideas, check out this fun  how to make giant jingle bells project.

How to make Christmas ornaments out of paper plates

How to make paper ornaments step by step

These easy paper ornaments are great for hanging on doors or mirrors, or they can even be hung as an oversized Christmas tree decoration.

I hope you've enjoyed this fun craft idea on how to make Christmas ornaments out of paper plates. Simply follow the step-by-step instructions above to make your own DIY paper plate ornament and please share your creations in the comments.

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Julie McDowell - Design Artist
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