How to Make an Easy Origami Turkey

The perfect Thanksgiving Day Craft Project

An origami turkey is the perfect Thanksgiving Day craft project. This model is suitable for beginning paper folders and a great way to introduce all of your relatives to the art of paper folding. Set out supplies for making origami turkeys and have each guest make a turkey when they first arrive.

  • 01 of 08

    Origami Turkey Instructions!

    Origami Turkey
    © Dana Hinders

     You will need a single sheet of brown or tan square paper to make your turkey. You can use origami paper that is colored on one side and white on the other or cut a sheet of construction paper to the desired size. If you're making the project with a young child, keep in mind that larger squares tend to be easier for children to fold. Paper cut to an 8-inch square would be easiest for little paper folders to work with.

  • 02 of 08

    1. Make a Kite Base

    Origami Turkey
    © Dana Hinders

    Start with the colored side of your paper face down. Fold in half along one diagonal to create a large paper triangle. Unfold. Fold the two opposite corners in to meet the middle crease. In origami, this form is known as a kite base. The kite base is a common form used to make many different types of origami projects. 

  • 03 of 08

    2. Tuck the Top Flap In

    Origami Turkey
    © Dana Hinders

    Fold the top white part of the paper down and tuck it inside the kite base. When you're finished with this part of the project, your paper should look like the photo to the left.

  • 04 of 08

    3. Make Squash Folds

    Origami Turkey
    © Dana Hinders

    Fold the left and right corners of the paper to the back of the triangle. Unfold. Use these creases to make two squash folds. A squash fold is made by gently opening the pocket of the paper and pressing it flat along the precrease area. See the About Origami Types of Origami Folds article for details.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    4. Fold the Corners Up

    Origami Turkey
    © Dana Hinders

    Fold the edges up as indicated in the photo to the left, then fold the corners halfway down. These folds will eventually form your origami turkey's legs.

  • 06 of 08

    5. Rotate

    Origami Turkey
    © Dana Hinders

    Fold your paper in half and rotate it 90 degrees so the turkey's legs are at the bottom.

  • 07 of 08

    Complete Your Origami Turkey

    Origami Turkey
    © Dana Hinders

    Make outside reverse folds to create the neck and tail of the turkey. Make a third outside reverse fold on the neck to create the turkey's head. If you don't understand how to make an outside reverse fold, there is an excellent description of this process on the Origami Instructions website.

    Fold the tip of the beak back to complete your origami turkey.

    If desired, you can decorate the turkey using markers or colored pencils. Self adhesive wiggle eyes also make good embellishments for this...MORE project.

    Many people like to use this design as a place card for their Thanksgiving table by writing a guest's name on the turkey's tail. You could make a special Thanksgiving Day decoration by having all of your guests fold turkeys with the blessing they are most thankful for written on the side.

  • 08 of 08

    An Origami Turkey Variation

    Origami Turkey
    © Dana Hinders

    Another way to make an origami turkey by folding the instructions in the About Origami How to Make an Origami Swan tutorial. Cut a small slit in the back of swan and insert a second accordion folded square of origami paper. Fan out the folds to create a tail for your turkey.