Paper Plate Thanksgiving Turkey Craft

  • 01 of 11

    Gobble Gobble!

    paper plate turkey craft
    Rita Shehan

    Thanksgiving is the holiday where we give thanks for all the blessings in our lives. It is a time for families to gather together to enjoy a traditional celebration which features a roasted turkey as the main course.Many people assumethat the first Thanksgiving had turkey as the main part of the feast, but historians state that the pilgrims probably ate venison at that meal.

    The turkey is native to America, and Ben Franklin wanted it to be the national bird instead of the bald eagle. As you can...MORE guess, Ben did not win this argument! The turkey, however, is a symbol of the Thanksgiving holiday, and you can teach your kids the historical significance of the day when working on the paper plate Thanksgiving turkey project.

     Supplies Needed:

    • 2 nine inch paper plates
    • 2 six inch paper plates
    • Brown acrylic craft paint
    • Foam paint brush
    • Hot glue gun
    • Tacky glue
    • (* Optional) Electronic die cut machine
    • One sheet white cardstock
    • One sheet black cardstock
    • One sheet yellow cardstock
    • Two sheets orange cardstock
    • One sheet red cardstock
    • Turkey digital die cut files (Download Here)
    • Paper hole punch
    • Clear plastic string such as fishing filament or thread to hang  the paper plate turkey
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  • 02 of 11

    Paint the Paper Plates

    four painted paper plates
    Rita Shehan
    • Use the foam brush to paint the backs of both the large and small paper plates with two coats of brown acrylic paint.
    • Let the paper plates dry thoroughly before proceeding with the next step.
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  • 03 of 11

    Add Glue to the Plates

    glued paper plates
    Rita Shehan
    • Apply a line of hot glue around the inside edge of one of the larger paper plates.
    • Line up the other large paper plate and press it face down to the edge of the other glued large paper plate.
    • Press the edges together firmly with your fingers to ensure adhesion of the plates with one another.
    • Repeat the above steps with the smaller paper plates.
    • Always pay attention to safety. Make sure to be careful and not  burn your fingers with the hot glue!
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  • 04 of 11

    Glue the Plates Together

    stacked paper plates
    Rita Shehan
    • Glue the smaller paper plates onto the larger paper plates with hot glue as in the photo above.
    • Allow the hot glue to dry before handling the glued paper plates.
    • The smaller paper plates will represent the head of the turkey and the larger glued paper plates will form the body of the paper turkey decoration.
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  • 05 of 11

    Cut Out Circles for the Eyes

    paper plate turkey parts
    Rita Shehan
    • Cut two circles for the eyes from a sheet of white cardstock using either the electronic die cutter or scissors.
    • Die cut files (ai, eps,  dxf, svg and pdf) that can be used with most machines are provided in the free download. Although an electronic die cutter is nice to have, this project can be made using the pdf templates and scissors.
    • If you are cutting by hand, print the circles onto the cardstock using the provided pdf file in the download and then cut with scissors.
    • Glue the white eye...MORE circles onto the face of the turkey with tacky glue using the above photo as a placement guide.
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  • 06 of 11

    Add the Eyes

    paper plate turkey
    Rita Shehan
    • Cut two black circles for the eyes using either the electronic die cutter or scissors.
    • If you are cutting by hand, print the circles onto the cardstock using the provided pdf file in the download and then cut with scissors.
    • Glue the black eye pupil circles onto the face of the turkey with tacky glue using the above photo as a placement guide.
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  • 07 of 11

    Add the Wattle

    paper plate turkey wattle
    Rita Shehan
    • Cut a red turkey wattle from a sheet of red cardstock using either the electronic die cutter or scissors.
    • If you are cutting by hand, print the wattle onto the cardstock using the provided pdf file in the download and then cut with scissors.
    • Glue the red wattle onto the face of the turkey with tacky glue using the above photo as a placement guide.
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  • 08 of 11

    Add the Beak

    paper turkey parts
    Rita Shehan
    • Cut an orange beak using either the electronic die cutter or scissors.
    • If you are cutting by hand, print the beak onto the cardstock using the provided pdf file in the download and then cut with scissors.
    • Glue the orange beak onto the face of the turkey over the red cardstock wattle with tacky glue using the above photo as a placement guide.
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  • 09 of 11

    Add the Legs

    paper plate turkey
    Rita Shehan
    • Cut 2 turkey legs from orange cardstock using either the electronic die cutter or scissors.
    • If you are cutting by hand, print the turkey legs onto the cardstock using the provided pdf file in the download and then cut with scissors.
    • Glue the turkey legs onto the back of the turkey with hot glue using the above photo as a placement guide.
    • Bend the feet of the turkey forward.
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  • 10 of 11

    Add the feathers

    paper plate turkey
    Rita Shehan
    • Cut two red, two purple, two yellow and one green turkey feather using either the electronic die cutter or scissors.
    • These specific die cut files(ai, eps,  dxf, SVG, and pdf)  can be used with most machines are provided in the free download.
    • If you are cutting by hand, print the turkey feathers onto the cardstock using the provided pdf file in the download and then cut with scissors.
    • Glue the feathers onto the back of the body of the turkey with hot glue using the above photo as a placement guide.
    Continue to 11 of 11 below.
  • 11 of 11

    The Finished Product

    hanging paper plate turkey
    Rita Shehan
    • Punch a hole with the hole puncher on the top of the paper plate turkey head.
    • Run some string through the hole and then hang the paper plate turkey from the ceiling or a branch or wherever you want it be!
    • Your paper turkey are now ready to be enjoyed! Elementary aged school children will especially enjoy this Thanksgiving holiday paper craft! Nifty!