Paper Plate Walrus : Arctic Circle Mini Series


The project should easily be accomplished by ages 4 and up with help from a parent or guardian.


30 min - 1 hour

It’s getting chilly out there! Stay warm inside with ARTmobile@home and learn about the creatures that thrive within the arctic. This week we will be creating our very own paper plate walruses!


Kids will learn about walruses and how they survive arctic temperatures while creating a fun hands-on art project!

"Walrus Haulout" by Jay Ruzesky

Walruses are large, fin-footed animals weighing anywhere from 400 to 1800kg (around 800 to 4000 lbs!). This weight has an important use as a lot of the walrus’s body weight comes from its thick layer of blubber. This blubber offers both protection from other animals and warmth from their naturally freezing environment. Walrus babies, also called calves, can be born weighing more than 100 pounds, quickly growing and gaining up to two pounds a day after their birth.

Despite their size, they generally eat smaller creatures for their food source such as clams, sea cucumbers, and crustaceans. Occasionally, they will eat octopus.

Surrounded by a mat of stiff bristles, the walrus's most remarkable feature is their long tusks used for keeping breathing holes open in the ice, for fighting, and for helping them haul themselves out of the water onto an ice floe. These tusks are quite large, sometimes growing to be around 3 feet long!

Learn more about walruses from the National Geographic Kids website.

Art Materials Needed
Art Materials Needed
  • Paper plate 
  • Black and brown paint
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Cotton ball
  • Black marker
  • Orange construction paper
  • White paper
  • Buttons
  • Paint Brush
Project Instructions

  1. Start by applying brown paint to your paper plate. Once the surface is entirely covered, set it aside to dry.
  2. Next, take a cotton ball and paint all of it black, except for the place where your fingers are holding it.
  3. On a piece of orange construction paper, draw the number eight to create a snout.
  4. Cut out your number and be sure not to make the center too thin.
  5. After the paper has been cut, glue it to the center of the painted plate.
  6. Next, grab a half-sheet of white paper and fold it in half hamburger style.
  7. To create a tusk, cut a triangle shape out the half-sheet and cut along the fold to make two tusks.
  8. Next, glue the snout onto the center of the paper plate.
  9. Add glue to the tusks and lift the edge of the snout to secure your tusks.
  10. Glue the black cotton ball to the center of the snout.
  11. To complete the snout, add a few dots and a vertical line underneath the black cotton ball with a black marker.
  12. Finally, glue down buttons for the eyes and then you are done!
Arctic Circle Series
Arctic Circle Series
ARTmobile is traveling to the Arctic Circle and learning about some of the animals that call it home.

Check out our previous ARTmobile project about the Arctic Fox below.

Explore the Arctic