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Thanksgiving Turkey Table Craft

By Lindsey Boardman

This little craft is a quick one to set up and will keep the kids busy at the Thanksgiving dinner table, as well as looking cute and providing a keepsake of your children’s artwork and thankful messages.

I’ve shown two methods for making the turkey body, because some people will like the idea of having sweetly scented pumpkin spice play dough at the table for the small children to play with, but I’m sure there will be others that have table cloths and carpets that they don’t want to run the risk of messing up with play dough, especially if you are visiting at a relative’s house for Thanksgiving, so the stuffed paper bag and cardboard body offers a decent alternative.


To make the play dough body, just cook up a lovely smelling batch of pumpkin spice play dough. We like this recipe here, but used brown food coloring for the turkey’s body in this case. The volume in the dough recipe given is enough to make two turkey bodies the size shown.

Thanksgiving Turkey Craft

To make the paper bag version of the body, you will need a brown paper lunch bag, a piece of corrugated cardboard scavenged from a box somewhere, some junk mail to stuff the body with, plus something to weight the body down a bit (I used a couple of small rocks from the back yard) and tape or glue to hold it all together.

Thanksgiving turkey craft supplies

First open up your lunch bag and stuff a few crumpled pieces of the junk mail into it along with whatever you are using to weight it down. Then scrunch over the open part of the bag and tape or glue it shut. Next, cut a circle out of the cardboard and cut off part of the circle so that it sits flat at the back of the turkey’s body, then glue it in place.

How to make Thanksgiving turkey craft (step one)

If you have a paper plate then you can add some nice details to your turkey body by cutting out wing shapes and a section to cover the corrugated cardboard. These were painted brown and had feather details drawn on with permanent marker.

cutting paper plates for Thanksgiving turkey craft

Thanksgiving turkey made from paper

Next you’ll need to print out the Turkey’s head and tail feathers.

Here’s the PDF printable you’ll need for the Turkey printout.

The seven feathers on the template are enough to make one full turkey tail. Just cut them out and tape a cocktail stick or toothpick  to the back of each one.

Thanksgiving turkey craft printables

This craft is a very easy one to pack up as a little holiday gift, or to take along to relative’s houses if you are in charge of children’s entertainment for the holidays.

Put the feathers in a cup or jar on the table along with pens and crayons and they are now ready for your little guests to decorate by coloring in or writing their messages of thankfulness.

Colored tails for Thanksgiving turkey craft

Have your turkey body at the center of the table on a plate for everyone to stick their finished feathers into. If you are using the play dough body then also tape a cocktail stick to the turkey’s head, so that it’ll stick in the dough. If you are using the paper bag version then tape or glue it onto the front of the bag.

Thanksgiving turkey craft displayed on plate

The decorated feathers will be able to be pushed into the play dough or the corrugated interior part of the cardboard tail to be displayed and will come out again easily at the end of dinner if you want to put them away as a keepsake from your Holiday feast.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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About the Author

Lindsey Boardman

Lindsey Boardman loves to share the messy art and crafting fun projects she concocts with the help of her two young daughters, her “filth wizards.” She documents this fun on her persona...

Lindsey Boardman loves to share the messy art and crafting fun projects she concocts with the help of her two young daughters, her “filth wizards.” She documents this fun on her personal blog Filth Wizardry.

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