Craft #3: Handprint Turkey Ideas

R’s first handprint turkey

Most people have traced their child’s hand when sitting in a waiting room, trying to keep him quiet in a church service, or when the coloring is just getting boring.  Most of these people have also probably turned this hand print into a turkey during November.  Since this is such a common idea, instead of just giving you the craft, I have compiled some ideas on using the hand print turkey!  I would love to see YOUR  turkeys!!!

All of the following projects will start with the basic rule of tracing around a hand to make a turkey.  If your child is old enough, tell him to spread his fingers out and hold his thumb near his hand up to the middle knuckle and then point it out to the side.  Cut out the traced hand.  If your child is small, it is a good idea to trace once and use that as your template for any future projects!  Most of these projects I am recommending using red yarn for the waddle.  Feet can be drawn on or you can use yellow, brown, or orange pipe cleaners.



CRAFT: Turkey with Feathers



  • Cardstock or fun foam–brown & orange
  • pencil
  • markers
  • hole punch
  • googly eyes
  • tissue paper in 3 or 4 colors
  • red yarn
  • scotch tape


  1. Using the pencil, trace your child’s hand on the cardstock.  Cut out the hand. 
  2. Punch 2-3 holes in each finger–1 about in the middle and 1 just above the knuckle.  If you plan to hang your project, punch an additional hole in the middle finger near the end.
  3. Tear the tissue paper into 2″ squares.  This is a fun project for little hands–my 2-year-old tore WAY more than the 8 pieces we needed!  We have torn tissue for many projects to come!  **NOTE: This is a great way to recycle torn or wrinkled tissue paper not suitable for gift bags that usually gets tossed.**
  4. Grab the center of the tissue square.  With the other hand, grab the loose ends and twist the tissue paper to look like a flower.
  5. Push the twisted end into one of the holes, leaving the flowery end sticking out on the front of the turkey.  Fold down the piece in the back and if needed, secure with a small piece of tape or glue.  Continue until all of the holes (except the hanger hole if you punched one) are full.  Mix the colors however you like.  Fluff the flowered part of the tissue to fill in the turkey.
  6. Stick on one or two googly eyes (my son requires that both eyes be on the same side so that the turkey can see everything, not just half of everything–his logic makes sense to me!).  Glue on the beak.  Draw on any other features you think your turkey needs. (In our house, everything has to have ears right now.)
  7. Cut a piece of red yarn about 1/4″ long and tape to the underside of the thumb for his waddle.  Make sure to tape it to the backside of the project so your tape doesn’t show.
  8. Cut a piece of yarn about 4″ long and loop it through the hole at the top of the middle finger.  Knot the end for the hanging loop.  **NOTE:  If you are using cardstock instead of foam, you may want to reinforce the hanger hole with clear packing tape.**

CRAFT: Family of Turkeys Centerpiece—Dress up your holiday table with a family of gobblers.  Dress up these turkeys to look like each member of your family.  For added design, scatter pine needles under their feet and put a few small gourds or pumpkins & some tiny pinecones with it.



  • fun foam hand print turkey for each member of the family
  • googly eyes (preferably in each family member’s color)
  • orange cardstock for beak
  • thick cardboard (such as a diaper box)
  • yarn, fabric scraps, felt, pipe cleaners, etc.
  • markers
  • glue


  1. Add the googly eyes. Glue on the beak.
  2. Cut two rectangles from the diaper box about 2″ x 1/2″.  Cut notches in the center of the long side of each cardboard piece that goes almost all the way through.  Slide the two pieces together at the notches to make a cross.  This makes a stand for your turkey.   Glue or tape the turkey to one of the cardboard pieces around the notch.  (I will try to post pictures or a video of this soon)
  3. Dress up the turkey to look like your family members!  You can use black pipe cleaners to make eye glasses, yarn for hair, add clothing or hats from fabric or felt scraps. 
  4. Embellish further with recyclables around the house.  A bottle cap can be a hat (you would probably have to use hot glue or something stronger to support most additions).  The cut end of a toilet paper tube, twisted pipe cleaner, yarn, or an old ring can be a necklace.  Do you have a bookworm in the family (like we do)? Cut a few rectangles of paper and fold them over and place the turkey’s book in front of him.  To make it more realistic, write words or draw scribbles on the pages.  Do you have little princesses?  Glitter, glitter, glitter!  You  could also cut out a tiara from paper and glue it on (don’t forget more glitter!).  Barbie shoes can also be placed near the turkey of the shoe fanatic in your house!
  5. Put the turkeys on their stands and put them in the middle of the table.  Using different colored foam (something to match each personality or favorite color) will add flair as well.  It will definitely be a conversation starter!!

CRAFT: Place cards and/or Family Favors



  • foam or cardstock turkeys in a small size–Cut the feet out, as well.
  • googly eyes
  • red yarn
  • glue
  • orange cardstock
  • permanent marker
  • magnetic strip or magnet dots


  1. Add the googly eyes and red yarn to make the turkey’s face. Cut a beak from the cardstock.
  2. Write each person’s name in te center of the turkey.  Underneath write, “Thanksgiving 2011.”
  3. Add a magnet dot to the back.
  4. Take a picture of each guest.  You can either send the turkey magnet home with each person and mail them the picture to put on it OR take the picture, glue the picture over where the name was (leaving the Thanksgiving 2011 showing) and then mail them.
  5. VARIATION: Use a picture of the person (facebook is a great place to find pictures of your friends and family) in place of their name. 

*****I hope to add photos to this project.  I am still having problems with the camera and taking pictures of such small things is difficult!  If you make any of these projects, please send the pictures and I’ll post them in the blog! Thanks!!******


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