Paper plates are a staple at our summertime gatherings, parties, and cookouts. I try to use our regular dinner plates as much as possible, because I don’t like using disposables if I can help it. But we only have so many dinner plates, so paper plates are a must-have if we’re having a lot of people over. But after a few weekends of parties and barbecues, I usually look into my cupboard and find myself with a preponderance of paper plates. (Forgive me, I just couldn’t resist the opportunity for alliteration!)
So what’s a girl to do with a giant stack of paper plates? Find some interesting ways to use them, of course! I scoured the ‘net for practical, creative, or just plain fun ways to put those paper plates to good use. So if you find yourself with your own fledging collection of paper plates sometime this summer, you’ll know just what to do with them. :-)
10 Ways To Use Paper Plates
1. Dust Pan
Cut a paper plate in half and use it as a makeshift dustpan. (You can even use the other half of the plate as a “broom” if you’re really in a bind!)
2. Packing Helper
Paper plates can be a big help when you’re moving! Layer paper plates between each of your dinner plates, bowls, pans, and other dishes to cushion them in their boxes. The paper plates will also help prevent them from getting scratched up.
3. Splatter Guard
Use a paper plate to prevent splattering the next time you use your hand mixer. Just punch a couple of holes near the center of your plate, feed the beaters through, and attach them to your mixer. This easy modification keeps wet ingredients from jumping out of the bowl and making a big mess.
4. Paint Placemat
Next time you’re tackling a painting project, keep a couple of paper plates around. I like to put my paint cans on paper plates as added insurance against dripping. You can also use a paper plate as a place to set down your paint brush when you’re not using it.
5. Splatter Guard, Part 2
In addition to your hand mixer, you can also use paper plates as a splatter guard in your microwave. I like to keep a small stack of those thin paper plates near my microwave. I just grab one and place it over the top of the dish, so the paper plate absorbs any food splatters. Much easier than scrubbing out the microwave!
6. Gift Basket
My friend Autumn (author of It’s Always Autumn) did a guest post here on my blog a few years ago, and it was an instant hit. The idea she shared was so smart and simple that it’s been a consistently popular post ever since! Follow the link below for photos and instructions on how she turned a simple paper plate into a cute, gift-able cookie basket!
from Our Whimsical Days
Use a few paper plates to make a couple of ping pong paddles! They’re nice and light, perfect for little hands. (They are also much less likely to break something if accidentally thrown, unlike real ping pong paddles!)
8. Ring Toss
from A Little Learning for Two
Here’s a project that’s doubly enjoyable. It’s a fun craft you can do with the kids, and it’s a game, too! Cut a few paper plates into rings, and use them for a fun game of ring toss. Since the plates are light, it’s almost like frisbee mixed with regular ring toss – give it a try!
9. Desk Caddy
from Molly Moo Crafts
How cute is this paper plate desk caddy? It looks easy enough to make, and is sure to add personality to any area of your house!
10. Watermelon Purse
from Love the Day
Show off your summer-y side by crafting yourself a fun and fabulous watermelon purse. ;-) (If you’re apprehensive about a purse made from paper plates, I’m sure the little girls in your life would happily take it off your hands for you!)