Craft a Paper Carousel

carousel 2347

This project is inspired by the beautiful historic carousel that sits majestically in the northeast corner of San Diego’s Balboa Park. Whether you’re planning a whimsical birthday party, celebrating National Carousel Day (July) or just looking for a fun art project for the afternoon, family and friends will love making their own colorful creation. Print our hand-drawn illustrations of actual animals from the San Diego carousel below.

Supplies

One sheet of white cardstock

One sturdy paper plate AND paper bowl

Tempera or craft paint

Paintbrush

One paper towel tube

Ribbon or washi tape

One plastic beverage cap or plastic egg

4 striped or colorful paper straws

8 pompoms or beads

Craft glue

Scissors

Directions

  1. Print carousel animals on cardstock from the pdf below. Color and cut out each one. Visit www.friendsofbalboapark.org/balboa-park-carousel to view the colors of the Balboa Park carousel animals or create your own color scheme.

  2. Paint both sides of the paper bowl in a color that coordinates with your ribbon, straws or washi tape.

  3. Paint the bottom of the paper plate. Trim the excess rim. This will be the base of the carousel.

  4. Paint the paper tube and allow to dry. 

  5. Glue ribbon or washi tape in a spiral around the tube. Trim the tube to about 7 inches.

  6. Glue the bottom of the tube to the center of the upside-down plate, standing straight up. 

  7. Glue the upside-down bowl (centered) to the top of the tube.

  8. Measure the distance between the top of the plate and the bottom rim of the inverted bowl and cut the straws to that length. Glue each straw evenly distanced on the plate (at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock), and glue the tops to the bottom of the bowl.

  9. Attach a carousel animal to each straw.

  10. Glue a pompom or bead over the top of each straw on the inverted bowl. Glue another one between each item for embellishment (see photo for reference).

  11. Glue the bottle cap or half of a plastic egg to the top center of the carousel as the finial.

___________

Emily Dolton is a local artist and mom of two boys. 

Print our hand-drawn illustrations of actual animals from Balboa Park’s carousel here. Color as you wish.

carousel 2347

___________

Tissue Box Lanterns

Tissue Box Lanterns

How can you turn a sneezy, sniffly nose into something fun? Save that empty tissue box and craft a cute and creepy Halloween lantern! The easy technique of papier-mâché and a little imagination ar . . .

Read more

Art with Alyssa: Mini Halloween Piñatas

Art with Alyssa: Mini Halloween Piñatas

As an art teacher, I love connecting arts & crafts to literature and recycling. This Halloween craft is a great way to repurpose cardboard toilet paper tubes. If you want to link your mini piña . . .

Read more

Halloween Bingo Scavenger Hunt

Halloween Bingo Scavenger Hunt

It’s not bingo, and it’s not a traditional scavenger hunt, it’s a Halloween bingo scavenger hunt! Get the kids together for a Halloween party and walk (or drive) the neighborhood, looking at H . . .

Read more

DIY Halloween Treats

DIY Halloween Treats

These not-so-spooky treats are sure to delight your child’s friends, neighbors and classmates. Click the links below to download FREE printable bag toppers for Spooky S'mores, Jack-o-Lantern Teeth a . . .

Read more

Halloween Door Decorations for Families

Halloween Door Decorations for Families

Whether decorating at home or school, our Halloween doors are to “DIY” for! Not very crafty? Try the “mummy and me” door for beginners. More experienced crafters can try our “fear the waking . . .

Read more

Art with Alyssa: Halloween Tabletop Cornhole

Art with Alyssa: Halloween Tabletop Cornhole

This DIY Halloween craft offers lots of room for creativity, such as creating beanbags and cornhole boards inspired by your favorite characters. As an art teacher, I love connecting arts & craft . . .

Read more

13 Halloween Party Games for Kids

13 Halloween Party Games for Kids

Host the best kid’s Halloween party with these lucky (or unlucky) 13 games.Planning a Halloween party for the kids? Here are fun party games that thrill trick-or-treaters of all ages. Need an extr . . .

Read more

Beastly Bags for Halloween

Beastly Bags for Halloween

Use paper bags and craft scraps to scare up some spooky decorations this Halloween! Supplies: Brown or colored paper bagScraps of paper, yarn, fabric, craft foam or feltAssorted buttons, bottle c . . .

Read more

Greedy Ghosts Game

Greedy Ghosts Game

What to do with all that leftover Halloween candy? Toss it into the open mouths of these three greedy ghosts, and it becomes a fun game for one or a whole party! Supplies: Cardboard box (at least 1 . . .

Read more

Creepy Cones

Creepy Cones

Kids can express their creativity making this fun, easy Halloween decoration. A search of the cupboards or a trip to the dollar store will supply everything needed to create these creepy cones for H . . .

Read more

Make and Send a Hug to Loved Ones

Make and Send a Hug to Loved Ones

Don’t you miss hugging people? Here’s a clever DIY hug craft that lets loved ones know they are missed! Whether it’s Mother's Day, Father’s Day, Teacher Appreciation, a birthday or some othe . . .

Read more

Art with Alyssa: Dia de los Muertos Nichos

Art with Alyssa: Dia de los Muertos Nichos

Celebrate Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) by creating a personal nicho. A nicho is a small shadow box filled with items that are special to the person who creates it (small photos of . . .

Read more

Dia de los Muertos Sugar Skull Mask

Dia de los Muertos Sugar Skull Mask

Make a mask for The Day of the Dead or Halloween that looks good enough to eat! Supplies: 8 1/2” x 11” sheet of white card stock Glitter glue pens Pencil Black permanent marker Scissors . . .

Read more

Art with Alyssa: Skull Craft for Dia de los Muertos

Art with Alyssa: Skull Craft for Dia de los Muertos

Create a beautiful calavera (skull, in English) to celebrate Mexico’s Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Traditionally, skulls are created out of sugar or clay, elaborately decorated and place . . .

Read more

Día de los Muertos Door Decoration for Families

Día de los Muertos Door Decoration for Families

Whether decorating at home or for your child’s classroom, our Día de los Muertos door decoration is sure to make your guests (or students) feel welcome. Click here for instructions on how . . .

Read more

Art with Alyssa: Alebrijes, Mexican Folk Art Sculptures

Art with Alyssa: Alebrijes, Mexican Folk Art Sculptures

Alebrijes, familiar to those who have seen the movie “Coco,” are brightly colored Mexican folk art sculptures—mythical creatures with body parts from varying animals. Although not related to D . . .

Read more

DIY Pool Noodle Light Saber

DIY Pool Noodle Light Saber

May the 4th be with you! Whether you’re celebrating Star Wars Day on May 4 or hosting a Star Wars-themed birthday party, these easy DIY light sabers are a hit with kids! Note: These “light saber . . .

Read more

Make a Ghostbusters Ghost Trap

Make a Ghostbusters Ghost Trap

With next year’s premiere of “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” (March 2021) why not have a little Ghostbusters fun making ghost traps? This recyclable project requires toilet paper tubes and shipping . . .

Read more

San Diego Family Magazine Logo

Be Family Informed – Sign up for our Newsletters below!