Decorate the Thanksgiving table or mantle with cute turkeys made from water bottles and simple household items. Fun Thanksgiving craft for kids!
Package of coffee filters
Plastic water bottle (12-16 oz., full)
Masking tape/paper tape
Red and yellow liquid food coloring
Scraps of black and colored felt
Double-sided tape or low-temp hot glue
3 glass bowls or disposable plastic containers
Metal or plastic spoon
1. First, make sure to completely cover the work area with thick newspaper or plastic to avoid stains from the food coloring.
2. Next, add about a half a cup of water to each of the three bowls.
3. Squirt some red food coloring into one bowl, yellow into another and both into the third to make orange and stir each with a spoon.
4. Separate about half a package of coffee filters into several small stacks. Use scissors to trim the edges of some of the stacks to make slightly smaller circles.
5. One at a time, fold each stack in half and dip the tips into one of the liquid colors.
6. Refold and then dip the new tips into the same or different colors to create monochromatic or multi-colored edges on each of the stacks of filters.
7. Set the wet stacks of dyed filters on newspaper in a warm place to dry.
8. Then, use short torn strips of masking tape to completely cover the water bottle. (Leave the water bottle full for the weight.)
9. Use scissors to create features and a little pilgrim hat from felt, then use double-sided tape or hot glue (an adult’s job) to adhere them to the bottle.
10. Make sure all of the dyed coffee filters are completely dry
before stacking them in a nice arrangement to create a big turkey tail. Place the smaller circles at the front and back of the stack.
11. Fold the bottom edge under an inch or two, so the thick stack of filters is flat along the bottom.
12. Then, patiently tape or glue every coffee filter together at the bottom and up the center so they stick together when the stack is held upright.
13. Next, use lots of tape or glue to attach the big tail to the back of the turkey body/bottle.
14. Gently fan apart the filters a little to make the tail fuller, applying more glue or tape when needed- then the big turkey is ready to use as a cute Thanksgiving centerpiece!
If desired, use smaller water bottles or old spice jars to make matching little turkey place markers for each seat at the table.
More tips and ideas:
• Try using patterned Washi tapes instead of masking tape.
• Cover the bottle with glitter, twine or small, torn pieces of old books pages for a different look.
• Instead of felt use paper or craft foam to make the hat and face.
• If food coloring isn’t handy, thin down craft paint with water.
• Add felt feet and wings to the turkey.
• Use googly eyes or candy eyes instead of felt ones.
• Cut paper feathers to stick into the tail and dinner guests can write what they are thankful for on them.
• Add names on small strips or flags of paper to the smaller turkeys to turn them into place cards.
Pamela Maxwell is an artist, author and mother of two growing boys. Her craft and scrapbooking projects have appeared in numerous books and magazines. Photos by Pamela Maxwell.
Published: October 2014