Crafting A Turkey

With Thanksgiving just ten days away, I thought I would share some turkey crafts with you. It is a good activity to share with your child or grandchild. Remember, to allow for their own creativity in the project. Model, but let it be their work. Do give assistance if necessary. Talk about Thanksgiving during the activity and display their creations on the table or sideboard on Thanksgiving.

Clay Turkey:

Materials: brown, red, orange modeling clay, toothpick, 2 small wiggle eyes, feathers in fall colors


Roll brown clay into one large ball and one small ball. Cut or break toothpick in half, poke half of the toothpick into the large ball (body) wherever you want the head to be. Place the head onto the exposed toothpick.

Roll a small piece of orange clay into a beak. Break or cut the remaining half toothpick in half again and push into the front of the face where you want the beak to be. Press the beak onto the toothpick.

Roll a small piece of red clay in your fingers to form the gobbler. Press the gobbler over the top of the beak and down one side.

Roll out six small pieces of orange clay. Press three next to each other on the bottom of the turkey toward one side, and the other three on the other side.

Trim the long shaft from the feathers then poke the feathers into the back of the turkey.

Paper Bag Turkey:

Materials: brown paper lunch bag, crayons (brown, red, orange, green, yellow), rubber band, newspaper, white or tan plastic spoon, scraps of felt (orange, brown, green and red), 2 medium wiggle eyes, white craft glue, scissors


Lay paper bag flat on the work surface. Use crayons to add stripes of colors to the opening of the bag, about 5-6” long. Open the bag and add stripes to the sides as well.

Cut the strips with scissors and color the other side of the strips.

Fill the bag halfway with crumpled newspaper.

Gather the bag together with your hands, just behind the strips, and secure with a rubber band.

Pinch the bag, just under the rubber band, to bend the strips upward so that when the bag lies on its side, the strips will be pointing upward. Use your hands to manipulate the strips to point up; these are your turkey’s feathers.

Cut the following from felt: (orange triangle for the beak) (red heart for the gobbler) (2 brown triangles for the feet) (green bow tie)

Glue the gobbler, beak and eyes onto the plastic spoon face.

Make a small hole at the end of the bag where the neck and head should be and push the handle of the plastic spoon into the hole and add some glue to the opening .

Cut toes from the flat end of the two brown triangles and dot some glue on the triangle points. Place bag body on top of the feet so glue will catch. Let dry.

Glue the bow tie where the spoon meets the bag.

Cup Turkey:

Materials: paper or foam cup (8.5 oz), acrylic paint in fall colors (brown, tan, orange, red, green, yellow, etc.), Large pom-pom for head (brown, yellow, red, orange, etc.), 2 small wiggle eyes (or paint eyes on), construction paper (orange, white, red, yellow), white craft glue, scissors


Place cup upside down on work surface and paint brown.

To make the feathers, paint the white construction paper with several fall colors, crisscrossing the colors as you go. Let dry. Cut feathers out in one large piece (shaped similar to a hand). Cut the tips of each feather into a point. Apply glue to the bottom portion of the feathers and press onto the bottom of the cup. Hold in place for a minute or so to let the glue grab.

Cut red heart from paper, orange triangle and 2 yellow triangles for the feet.

Glue the yellow triangles, point down, onto the bottom of the cup. The upper points of the triangle will be hanging over the edge.

Glue the pom-pom to the top of the paper cup. Glue the wiggle eyes, beak (orange Triangle) and gobbler ( upside down heart) to the pom-pom head.

Source: Linda G. Swann, M.S. Early Childhood / SPED