Archive for the ‘50 Crafts in 50 Days’ Category

Craft #6: Pocket Place Mats

Pottery Barn Kids inspired this project as well.  This VERY cute place mat (which was apparently popular since it is sold out on their website!), is selling for $28 on an Ebay Buy It Now auction.  It is a quilted turkey with a pocket on each side for napkin & silverware. 

Pottery Barn Kids Place Mat

Though I loved this, storing several quilted place mats that are only good for one month out of the year is not something that interested me (even if I could fork over $100 for a set of 4)!  So I started thinking about ot

her ways to make this fun little pocket place mat that would be more consumable.

When I started to create, I realized I was out of construction paper.  Instead, I used newspaper.  Not only did this make a good re-use of the newspaper, but it also gave it a nice texture, weight, and a unique look.

CRAFT NAME: Pocket Place Mat



  • newspaper
  • brown paper bag (grocery size, not lunch size)
  • paint in multiple colors
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Red & gold glitter puff paint


  1. Pull out 3 or 4 long sheets of newspaper.  Glue each sheet on top of the next one.  I choose a solid page ad for the top of my place mat that was mostly one color.
  2. Cut in two pieces (ours ended up being 10 1/2″ by 12″).Place mats
  3. On a brown paper bag, draw a turkey body & 4 feathers.  If you draw on the side of the bag with printing on it, your mess-ups won’t be visible when you flip it over!  I started with the circle and then added the feathers.  Our turkey’s body is about 6″ across and the feathers are about 4″ long and about 2-3″ wide at the widest point.


    You can see where I marked on the bag where the edge of the placemat would be so I could make sure my feathers would stick off the end. (Don't mind the paint on the bag--we used this to put the paint cans on when we painted our son's room!)

  4. Cut it all out as one piece.
  5. Place it on the place mat so the feathers are sticking off the edge (unless you don’t want them to) and the body is close enough to the edge that your turkey’s beak will need to be off the edge. DO NOT GLUE IT YET!  Mark with a pencil where you like it so you can put it back there when you get ready to glue it.  I placed the edge of the turkey about 1 1/2″ from the side and about an inch from the bottom.  Painting the turkey feathers
  6. Paint the feathers different colors.  I decided to make the pocket feather a little different, so I added dots to that one.  Allow to dry.  Flip it over and paint the top part of the back of the feathers (if your feathers are going to show over the top).
  7. Cut a triangle from the paper bag (to be the beak).  Make sure that you make the back longer than it should be because you need room to glue it onto the place mat.  Paint it beak colored on the front and the back.  When it dries, use a black marker or dark pencil to draw a line across the middle for the opening part of the beak.

    You may have to adjust the sizing on this to make it work for your turkey--and most people could draw one a LOT better than this!!

  8. Glue the turkey to the place mat.  I turned the turkey over and marked the pocket feather with a pencil mark.  Apply the glue all around the outline of the turkey except the pocket feather!  On the pocket feather, draw a glue line about 4 1/2″ or 5″ down (near the turkey’s body).  When you put your silverware in it, you don’t want it to fall all the way into the body of the turkey.  make sure the feathers on either side of the pocket are glued all the way around to make sure you only have a single feather pocket.
  9. Using a brown paint (we added a little bit of glitter paint to ours to make our turkey shiny), add the turkey’s head.  I used a 1″ foam brush and started right at the edge and made a circle by twisting the brush around.  Then, I added a “stem” for the neck.  Paint further down than you think you need to because you are going to cover that with the turkey.  You could use this template.
  10. When it dries, give him an eye & a waddle with the red glitter puff paint and add his feet with the gold puff paint.
  11. Glue the beak onto the backside of the place mat at the edge so it shows sticking off in front of the bird.
  12. When it dries completely, you can tuck your silverware and napkin into the pocket.



Craft #5: Pumpkin Turkey

Today’s craft is a great project for little hands!  My son loves to hold “baby” pumpkins.  We usually end up purchasing 8-10 of these during the season because he picks one up every time we go to the store. 

CRAFT NAME: Turkey Pumpkin



  • little pumpkins (no more than 3″ high)
  • 6 popsicle sticks
  • markers or paint
  • sharp knife


  1. Color or paint 5 popsicle sticks in different colors.
  2. Break or cut the final popsicle stick in half.  Paint or color brown and draw a turkey face on it.
  3. Using the sharp knife, cut 5 slits in the pumpkin behind the stem.  To make sure you are even, start with the slit in the middle and then do 2 on each side.
  4. Push the 5 multi-colored sticks into the slits.  This is the turkey’s tail.
  5. In front of the stem, cut another slit in the center of the pumpkin.  Insert the 1/2 stick with the turkey face into this spot.
  • Make 3 or 4 of these cuties for a table centerpiece. 
  • They also look great holding a name card.  They can be placed outside if you use paint (not washable). 
  • This can also be done with a full-size pumpkin and boards.  Shop for pints of  paint seconds or mis-mixes at the paint counter in your local Home Depot or Wal-Mart store.

Because you cut the pumpkin, this project will NOT last from year to year–it will start to rot in several days.  Please send your pictures of this project and I will be happy to post them (with credit, of course!).  What variations can you think of to change or improve this project?





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!!******

Craft #2: The Thankful Tree, Part 2

Yesterday, we went over how to make a towering tree to grace the back of your front door or a wall in your home.  The point of the Thankful Tree is to post things that we are thankful for to remind us to BE thankful during this celebrated season.  Today, we are going to add the leaves and any other decorations.  Since this part of the project is much more personalized than the actual tree, there are going to be more items on the materials list than you actually need–and, there may be things that you find work for you that are not on the list.  This is the time to let your creativity truly shine!  I would LOVE to see pictures of your Thankful Tree!!

Adding “THANKS” to your tree

The Thankful Tree

The Final Product


  • scissors
  • markers
  • colored construction paper
  • magazines
  • family photos
  • tape
  • real leaves
  • leaf template

Instructions: (the numbers only signify a new idea–not a step by step process)

  1. Cut leaf shapes out of colored construction paper.  Using markers, draw veins on the leaves if desired.  Write statements or words of thanks.  These can be things you are thankful for (ie- Mom, Dad, Johnny, Jenny) or statements (ie-I am thankful for changing seasons.).
    Thankful Statements
  2. Using the same idea from #1, cut leaf shapes out of magazines.  When looking for pages to cut, don’t look at the picture as a whole, look for small sections in the right color.  A person’s clothing, a background, even a mix of objects in the correct color may look fine when cutting a 2-4″ leaf from the picture.  See the example.

    The boys searching magazines for the perfect picture!

    The magazine picture before cutting.The leaves we cut out.The leaves after we added our family names (including pets) & the leaf veins.

    Our family section of the tree.

  3. Use family photos whole or cut into leaf shapes.  You can add the names of the relatives if you’d like.  You could put Nanna in the owl hole or Aunt Sue in a bird’s nest.  If you have a pet snake (something I definitely would NOT be thankful for…), you could cut his picture out and add him coming out of an apple.
  4. Add embellishments.  Blank leaves, animals (made from construction paper, child’s drawings, magazine pictures, real pictures, or fun foam creations) add character & fun to your tree.  We added an acorn that we found in a magazine picture.  This is a great seek game for young children.
  5. For a Month of Thankfulness, cut lots of blank leaves and give each family member a day of the week (or everyone can do one daily) to fill one out with something for which they are thankful.  By Thanksgiving, you could have a VERY full tree!
The Thankful Tree

The Thankful Tree

Craft #2: The Thankful Tree, Part 1

This is a great project for families with school aged children.  With the “gimme’s” of the Holiday season (just turn on the television or head to the mall),  it is great to take a month to be thankful!!  This towering tree on the wall or the back of the door will be a great reminder every time your family leaves home.

PROJECT TITLE: The Thankful Tree



  • two or three brown paper grocery bags or brown butcher paper (you could also use LOTS of brown construction paper, but I don’t recommend that!)
  • scissors
  • markers
  • tape or sticky tack
  • Various fall colors of construction paper (yellow, brown, red, orange)


  1. Cut your paper bags so that they are open flat.

    R with the supplies

  2. Measure (eyeball) how much length your tree needs to cover the back of your door or the area of the wall you specified.  Cut your bag (or the brown paper) to that length minus about 2 feet for branches.  Tape bags together if necessary.  You should now have a long strip.
  3. Cut up both sides near the edge to give your tree the bark look.  Angle it out at the bottom for roots and out at the top for the branch beginnings.  You can also cut the beginnings of any branches you will have in the middle.
  4. Before we put it up, my son gave the tree character.  We added a large knot hole for an owl to live.  He also added lines to the tree (I didn’t specify, so he made the lines go horizontal instead of vertical). 
  5. Attach the tree to the door or wall with tape or sticky tack.
  6. Using the leftover bag, cut branches.  (My son picked out this coloring picture found on Google Images as a guide.)  We have 4 branches at the top, two skinny ones and two fatter ones in the middle.  My son also cut two branches we stuck out from the sides of the tree.  He used the Fiskar’s Scalloped Edge scissors to cut these.
  7. Attach your branches using tape or sticky tack.

This is about where my son got too tired to continue.  This is definitely a 2-part project.  Come back tomorrow for pictures & the rest of the instructions for the THANKFUL TREE!!

*Please forgive the photos!  I dropped the camera so it is hit & miss with the photo quality!  I am hoping for a new one for Christmas!!

Craft #1: Thanksgivng Napkin Rings

Craft Name: Thanksgiving Napkin Rings

Difficulty Level: Easy

Materials Needed:

  • toilet paper or paper towel tubes
  • craft paint (optional)
  • foam paint brush
  • colored card stock
  • several small leaves (no larger than 2″ length dry, but not cracking)
  • Black or Brown magic marker
  • glue (hot glue preferably)
  • Mod Podge or see explanation below to make your own


  1. Cut each tube into 1.5″ sections.
  2. You can either leave them brown or paint the outside of each tube piece.  Different colors make a very festive table.  If you choose to paint them, let them dry completely.
  3. Trace each leaf on colored card stock.  You can either use the same leaf over and over or different leaves.  You may also choose to trace them in one color or variations.  You may also trace the stem or not–adding the stem adds character to each leaf, but if you plan to use them year after year, these tiny stems are the first thing to bend or tear!
  4. Using the magic marker, trace around the outside edge of each leaf.  Then, add the leaf veins. ***For a personalized table, write names on the leaves and use at each place setting as a name card (these can also be used yearly).  Or, write things to be thankful for on each leaf such as, “family,” “friends,” etc.  For a fun party game, see below.
  5. Hot glue one or two leaves to each tube section.
  6. Once glue is completely dry, paint over each leaf with Mod Podge to add stability and shine.  Let dry completely for several hours.
  7. Roll napkin and slide into tube section.


Mod Podge:

Mod Podge is a sealer within a glue used in decoupaging projects.  It comes in various strengths and finishes.  When applied in even coats, it will dry with a nice, gloss or matte finish (depending on which bottle you get).  I have only used the glossy finish.  More information, project ideas, and a chart about the different finishes offered can be found on the Plaid Mod Podge website

To make your own glossy finish Mod Podge, mix 3 parts white school glue with 1 part water.  Paint on with a foam brush in even coats.  Allow to dry completely before applying subsequent coats.




Napkin Ring Party Game:

Look up 2 bible verses about thankfulness that are about the same length.  Divide the leaf colors into teams.  One team can be all the yellow and red leaves and the other can be orange and brown.  Write one word on each leaf.  Teams must figure out their verse and stand with their leaves together to make up their bible verse.  You may help them out by giving them the reference & a bible to look it up. 

Variations on this game can be done by having teams put the words of thankfulness in alphabetical order or use a common poem or nursery rhyme.