I woke up this morning to the sweetest sound any teacher can ever dream of: the sound of a phone ringing to tell me it was a SNOW DAY. I am not a big fan of the cold or snow, but I live for Snow Days! In honor of my wonderful day of much-needed snuggly rest and productivity, I am so excited to share my newest classroom project with you!
I love how beautiful these sparkling snowflakes look hanging from my classroom lights. It brings a touch of winter’s beauty indoors for my students and I to enjoy. And these lovely snowflakes only requires a few simple materials: paper plates, doilies, paint, and glitter! You will also need a little scotch tape, a stapler, marker, scissors, and hole punch to prepare and assemble the snowflakes.
Before I begin the tutorial, I offer a quick word of caution: Although this project is a simple project, it can be a big one to execute in the classroom. I always love the finished snowflakes, but detest the process of peeling wet glittery doilies off of paper plates. But, if you’re feeling brave and don’t mind a little LOT of blue paint and glitter in your fingernails, you will love this project as much as I do.
To begin the project, you will need 2 paper plates and 2 doilies for each student in the class. Each student makes two snowflakes, which are then stapled together to create a finished snowflake that has been decorated on both sides. Fold each doily into eighths and cut a simple snowflake design along the edges. Then open the doily and use 6-8 pieces of scotch tape to attach it to a paper plate. As you can see, my doily was slightly larger than the paper plate – I just wrapped a few of the edges around the plate and placed the tape on the back of the plate.
Paint and Glitter
Have each student cover two doily-decorated paper plates with tempera paint. You can use any shade of blue that you would like. (To add contrast and interest, my students each painted one dark blue snowflake, and one turquoise snowflake. Having two shades of blue hang from my classroom ceiling really gives it a special pop.)
Try to encourage students to paint quickly with a THIN layer of blue paint, but make sure they get paint into all of the little holes around the edge of the doily. The more paint your kiddos pile on, the more difficult it can be to remove the doily later.
Peel and Assemble
The rest of the work is a series of tasks that I do myself or enlist the help of a volunteer to complete. The most daunting part of the project is peeling the doily off of the paper plate. Before you begin, make peace with the fact that there will be a lot of blue paint and glitter all over your fingers and under your fingernails.
This task is easiest to accomplish when the doily is still damp. Find a convenient section along the edge of the doily and gently pull it from the paper plate. I often have students paint in the morning and peel the doilies sometime in the afternoon. By then, much of the paint is dry and this makes the doily more difficult to remove. I end up having to pry the dried doily off of the plate. If this happens to you, try sliding a letter opener along the edges of the doily and gently pull it across to lift the paper. It works wonders for me.
Whether you peel doilies that are wet or dry, it is not likely that you will remove every single bit of the doily paper. Don’t stress out about this detail. Just remove as much as you can and call it a day. The snowflakes look much more interesting with the variety of patterns that are created from doily fragments left behind.
Once the painted & peeled plates have dried fully, use a marker to record the student’s name on one of the plates he/she decorated.
Use a stapler to attach each student’s two decorated snowflakes together so the project has a pretty front AND back side.
Punch a hole in the top of the stapled plates, add some string or fishing line and the snowflakes will be ready to hang!
If your school permits you to hang decorations from the ceiling and you find yourself climbing all over your student desks and tables each time you change the decorations, you will definitely want to check out the video I created this past fall that shows one of my classroom decorating secrets.
Now that my beloved Snow Day is nearly at an end, I’m already staring at the weather forecast and hoping to a sign of another winter-related school cancellation this week.