How to make a paper plate porthole picture

Try saying that after a couple of drinks: how to make a paper plate porthole picture, how to make a paper plate porthole picture. I’m exhausted just typing it, although that may have something to do with the fact that the Dimpled Assassin likes to start the day early, and when I say that, I mean a time with the number 5 in it. By the time we hit breakfast, I’m ready to go back to bed.

That’s probably why I like to get out with the Girls as much as possible: the fresh air will tire them so that at least bed will be a simple procedure. Added to which, with the days getting shorter, the weather getting colder and the Back to School vibe in the air, I know that soon enough the weather will get all wintery and dark and wet, and our activities will become a lot more home-centred.

A few weekends ago, we had a lot of fun on the beach. We do that most weekends, to be fair, but this particular week, Little Big Girl was intent on finding shells, and DA was happy to join in. We came home with buckets rammed to the brim with shells, sand, seaweed, bits of driftwood and general beach detritus. All good stuff. Once I’d had a sneaky sort through the more general of the detritus, and we’d cleaned the shells, we got busy.

Studying shells is such fun: you can categorise them, draw faces on them, make animals from them and, as we did, use them to print with.

printing with shellsfish-shaped shell print

And when you’ve finished, and your little sister is all tucked up for her nap, you can do ‘proper craft’. In this instance, ‘proper craft’ involved liberal amounts of gluing. You need a couple of paper plates, paint, marker pens, glue, and random beach bits (see above!)


1. First, cut the centre from one of the two plates- this will be your porthole. This can be set aside to use later.

first, cut the centre out of one of your plates

2. Paint your full plate in bluey-greeny sea colours, and the other plate (porthole) a contrasting colour. Once dry, I added rivets with a marker pen. Just draw small circles at intervals around your porthhole. Set aside.

painted paper plates

3. Smother your blue paper plate in the afore-mentioned liberal amounts of glue, then stick on your ‘beach bits’ to create your sea-world. I also cut a few fish from some orange foam I had lying around, but you could add anything- submarine, mermaid, Atlantis, that kind of thing. Leave to dry.

4. OPTIONAL: When you think it’s dry, try holding it upright: stick back on everything that falls off. Leave to dry again.

5. Now it’s definitely dry, stick the porthole edge over your picture, et voila. You have your very own sea-bed-view.

paper plate porthole sea picture

Oh, and that plate-centre I mentioned earlier? Dimples got to have her turn later that day:

small sea-scape


  1. Domestic Goddesque says

    Thanks Maya- anyone who calls me clever is always welcome to comment 😀
    Maggy- brilliant idea: love the way you take it and make it better!
    Mostly flummoxed- let me know how you get on!
    Cathy- thanks for the compliment- high praise from a craft-officionado 😀

  2. says

    Oooh a great way to use up all those sea side bits and pieces! It looks wonderful.. you could have several “portholes” in the bedroom and explore before going to bed! 😉

    Thanks for sharing on Kids Get Crafty! Always a pleasure to see you there..


  3. says

    That looks really effective. I have some shells (currently blowing round the garden in a hurricane) that we collected on holiday.

    Just need to raid the cupboard for paper plates and we’re all set. Thanks for the great inspiration x

  4. says

    That looks great, we’re lucky enough to live just a few minutes from the beach so we have a glass bowl of our favourite ones in the living to display them but I’m sure we could spare a few for this x

    • Domestic Goddesque says

      Thanks Cass- shell printing was a big hit here, so we’ll undoubttedly be doing it over the winter!

      Liz- glad i could help!

      Thanks Susie: I love how versatile paper plates can be!


Go on! You know you want to tell me what you think!