November 16, 2011

Easy Thanksgiving Crafts for Kids

Making crafts is a fun way to celebrate Thanksgiving. You may not be too keen on the idea if you think crafts involve a lot of complication and mess, but there are easy Thanksgiving crafts you can do with your kids. You can even use some of them as table centerpieces.

Here are some ideas.

1. A New Take on the Hand-Print Turkey

Remember tracing your hand and coloring in the palm and fingers to make a turkey? Here’s another idea that takes the principle of the hand-print turkey into new territory.


* Air-dry, paintable clay of any color (white, beige, brown or neutral earth clay is best)
* Acrylic craft paints
* Decorative options: small googly eyes, craft feathers, beads, etc.
* White craft glue or hot glue gun


Take a piece of clay about the size of an orange. Work it until it is soft. Place the clay on a hard, wax paper-covered surface. Using your fingertips or a rolling pin, flatten the clay into a circle, oblong, or random shape.

Have the child press his or her hand into the clay to make a clear but not terribly deep hand print. Allow clay to dry.

Once dry, use paint and the accessories to decorate the turkey – glue on googly eyes, feathers, beads, and so forth. You could put a border of beads or feathers around the edge or on the turkey itself.

2. Tabletop Teepee

This will look good on the table or anywhere you want to display it.


* Construction paper (tan, light brown, grey, or white)
* 3-5 twigs, about 12 inches in length
* Markers, paints, stickers of Native American symbols or designs, and/or crayons
* Natural twine
* Hot glue


Gather the twigs into a bunch and tie them at the top with the twine. Arrange the twigs into a triangular shape. Use the hot glue gun to secure the twigs at the tied area once you’ve reached the desired shape.

Decorate the construction paper on one side using the paints, stickers, etc.

Wrap the construction paper around the twigs, decorated side out. Secure with hot glue.

3. Paper Mache Napkin Rings

This is a fun way to personalize everyone’s place at the table!


* Warm water
* White flour
* Newspaper
* Scissors
* Cardboard tubes (such as paper towel tubes or toilet paper tubes)
* Acrylic craft paint
* Decoupage medium or white glue thinned with water (equal amounts water and glue)


Measure the water and flour in a ratio of 2 to 1; 1 cup water for every half a cup of flour, for example. Put the desired amount of warm water in a bowl, then gradually whisk in the flour until no lumps remain. Add more water or flour as needed to get a thick, glue-like consistency.

Cut or tear newspaper into half-inch-wide strips.

Cut the cardboard tubes into the number and size of napkin rings you want.

Dip strips of newspaper into the flour mixture, making sure to coat the whole strip. Lightly run your fingers down the strip of newspaper to remove any excess. Cover each cardboard ring with the soaked strips, smoothing as you go.

Once dry, the napkin rings can be painted as desired. You could also use Thanksgiving stickers. Once the paint has dried, coat the entire ring with a layer of decoupage medium for a clear, protective coating.

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Alexis Rodrigo