Monday, November 2, 2009

Paper Bag Turkey

This darling paper bag tom turkey makes a great centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table. The best part is it can be put together with the simplest supplies.

What you'll need:

  • Brown paper lunch bag
  • Acrylic paint or crayons: brown, red, orange, green, yellow
  • Rubber band
  • Newspaper
  • Plastic spoon
  • Scraps of felt: orange, brown, green and maroon (or red)
  • 2 medium wiggle eyes
  • White craft glue
  • Scissors

How to make it:

  1. Lay paper bag flat on the work surface.
  2. Use crayons or paint (crayons are less messy and will be much easier for younger children) to add stripes of colors to the opening of the bag, about 5-6” long (see image).
  3. Open the bag and be sure to add stripes to the sides as well.
  4. Cut the strips with scissors (see image).
  5. Paint or color the other side of the strips. This is a little messier, so be sure kid are wearing smocks and your work surface is protected. When painting the other side of a strip, the paper may curl up on you. Just hold it flat for a few seconds and this will correct it (see image). Allow the strips to dry completely.
  6. Fill the bag halfway with crumpled newspaper.
  7. Gather the bag together with your hands, just under the strips, and secure with a rubber band (see image).
  8. Pinch the bag, just under the rubber band, to bend the strips upward so that when the bag lies on its side, the strips will be pointing upward. Use your hands to manipulate the strips to point up; these are your turkey’s feathers (see image).
  9. Cut the following from felt: Triangle – beak - orange; Heart – gobbler – maroon/red; 2 triangles – feet - brown; Bowtie – green
  10. Paint the plastic spoon with tan or brown paint and let dry (see image).
  11. Glue the gobbler, beak and eyes onto the spoon face.
  12. Place the bag on the work surface on its side with the feathers pointing up. Make a small hole at the end of the bag where the neck and head should be.
  13. Push the handle of the plastic spoon into the hole and add some glue to the opening (see image).
  14. Cut toes from the flat end of the two brown triangles and dot some glue on the triangle points. Place bag body on top of the feet so glue will catch. Let dry (see image).
  15. Glue the bowtie where the spoon meets the bag.


  1. For added fun, draw a sign on a piece of construction paper that says “Happy Thanksgiving” and glue to the front (chest) of the bag.
  2. If you would like to keep the mess minimal, use markers or crayons instead of paint.
  3. Save scraps of felt from other projects to use with projects such as this.

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