Thanksgiving crafts are the perfect reason to take some time off from kitchen duty and let your crafty side roam free. They're a great way to customize your house for this holiday; your guests will surely notice the time and effort you put in! If you have children, this can be a fun way for you to bond. Read on to find some ideas for crafts you can make this Thanksgiving!
- There are lots of crafts themed around pilgrims for you to do!
- Many of these crafts are kid-friendly, or designed specifically for them!
- In case you don't have kids or just want to do your own craft, we've got some ideas for you!
Thanksgiving Crafts For Kids
Thanksgiving is often a holiday spent slaving over a hot stove. The results of all this culinary frenzy are the center of the season, but why should food monopolize your time and stress you out? Take a breather, gather the kids, and have a bit of fun. Thanksgiving and harvest are rich with all sorts of crafting opportunities. With that said, let's go to the big list of Thanksgiving crafts for kids!
1. Hand Print Turkey: A Classic
No child's memory book is complete without at least one handprint turkey. The classic and most easily made handprint turkey is a simple outline of your child's hand. Decorate the thumb with a beak and eyes to make the face. Then, let your child decorate the rest of the body. The other fingers serve as the tail feathers. To take it up a notch or two glue actual feathers to the tail, or dress the turkey with clothing to give it a personality. Have your child create a barnyard scene and perhaps write a story or poem to go along with their creation.
2. Pilgrim Boy Hats
Make a cylinder from black construction paper to form the body of the hat. Don't forget to add a buckle. Cut a buckle out of gold or silver paper then glue it to the hat near the bottom. To make a buckle with fashion appeal add glitter or cut out a buckle then wrap it with tinfoil. To make the brim cut out a large circle, with a smaller circle on the inside to make a hole in the center. The center hole should be at least a half inch smaller than the hole in the bottom of the hat. To attach the brim, cut the half inch overlap into tabs. Fold the tabs back to create an opening the same size as the hole in the upper portion of the hat. Glue each tab inside the hat and allow it to dry. To help the hat stay in place, add yarn that can be tied under the chin.
To make it into a piggy bank or candy corn holder, attach the brim to the upper portion of the hat without cutting a hole in the bottom. Use a thick line of plain glue or hot glue to attach the pieces of the hat together, then allow them to dry. For a candy holder, leave the top open. For a bank, close the top by cutting a circle that is a half inch larger than the opening in the top, cutting then gluing the tabs inside the top of the hat. Don't forget to cut a slot for coins to pass through.
3. Pilgrim Girl Bonnets
Supplies you will need are for this are: a large piece of white paper, hole punch, yarn and scissors.
Place the paper lengthwise on the work surface and make the brim of the bonnet by folding back a one inch strip along the long side. In the back cut two slits about 3-4 inches long, toward the front of the hat. Shape the bonnet to your kid's head by placing it on top of their head and bending the bonnet around their head. To have it hold its shape overlap the paper where the slits were cut and glue in place. If a long tail of paper is formed as the bonnet curves, simply fold it under and glue it in place. Use the hole punch on the bottom corners in front and use yarn to create ties.
4. Popcorn Ears
Corn and popcorn were both introduced to the Pilgrims by Native Americans. According to historical accounts, both corn and popcorn were served during the feasts of thanks the pilgrims had so long ago.
This history is great fun not only to eat, but to craft! Start by either having the children draw a stalk of corn, or give them a template. Use green construction paper to create the stalk and husk of the ear of corn. Leave the husk open so that the cob inside is showing. Now you can either use corn kernels or popped corn to create the ripe corn cob.
Another delicious variation starts with a Styrofoam base in the shape of an ear of corn. Attach the corn kernels or popped corn to the Styrofoam pattern with hot glue or pins. If you are using popcorn and want to add an extra challenge try stringing the fluffy white popcorn onto some thread with a needle. Then take the string and wind it around the Styrofoam. Once the base is dressed out with kernels wrap it with scraps of green material to represent the husks. Make a bunch of them and hang them on the wall, or use in your Thanksgiving centerpiece.
Anyone for dress up? Paper bags are a great base for costumes. Gather together paper grocery bags, crayons, glue, and brown construction paper. Cut the paper bag open. If there is print on the bag you can turn it inside out. For a better fit you may want to alter the opening at the neck by making it larger. To make the sleeves cut openings in the sides of the bag.
Now that the cutting work is done, here comes the fun: decoration! Let your kids decorate the front, sides and back any way they wish. All you need to do is get out the supplies then sit back and watch. Kids are so creative, so there will be some fabulous creations that emerge. To add more fun, supply the kids with glitter. If you are going for authenticity show them the basic zigzag, spiral or stick figure patterns often seen in Native American art. You can also add fringe by cutting the bag, or strips of construction paper and then gluing them to the bag.
6. Horn of Plenty
To create your very own horn of plenty start with an oversize piece of construction paper, then carefully cut slits length wise. Be sure to leave an inch wide border around the outside edge uncut. Next prepare inch wide strips of construction paper that are the same length as the shorter side of the large construction paper you have just cut. Use the strips of paper to create a woven pattern by weaving the horn of plenty. Glue the ends of each strip securely in place when you are done weaving.
The cone shape is created by rolling the woven construction paper starting with the long side of the paper, then gluing it in place. You can now add all your favorite fruits and vegetables, real or construction paper- it makes no difference. Change it up a bit by going on a nature walk and letting your child select his or her favorite colored leaves to display inside your cornucopia.
7. Paper Dolls with Pilgrim Clothes
Paper dolls are perfect Thanksgiving crafts. Let this Thanksgiving be marked by a new doll created by your child. This easy project begins with a basic body pattern of a boy and a girl. Let your child draw the face, hair and any other decorations they may like on the pattern. Cut out the pattern. The doll alone is not enough. Next comes the attire. You can use patterns, or use the doll as your reference and let the child function as designer and creator. To make these dolls applicable to the season include basic pilgrim garb in the wardrobe.
The variety and creative potential is limited only by your child's imagination. A double bonus is that once the fun of creation is done, the fun of play has just begun. It is best to use heavy paper or laminate the colored doll and clothing. If your child intends to play with his or her creation these preparations will dramatically increase the longevity of your child's creation.
8. Placemats for Thanksgiving Dinner
Let your child help with the dinner table décor by creating custom homemade place mats for each place at the table. Have your children draw a picture of each person attending dinner. Perhaps a picture of what they are thankful for this year.
If drawing or painting is not something that sounds fun, you can weave placemats. Start with any color of construction paper you like, and then cut slits in the paper leaving a one inch border all the way around intact. Next weave the construction paper with narrow strips of construction paper, securing the end of each strip in place with glue once the weaving is done. Decorate with construction paper cut into leaves, acorns, corn, pilgrim hats, buckles or turkeys- anything goes.
You can also have the place mats double as place markers by having the names of your guests written on each mat.
9. Festive Bookmarks
Use craft sticks as the base for the bookmarks. Cut felt into Thanksgiving-themed images. Different colors of felt easily help create three-dimensional characters. Glue the finished objects onto the craft sticks. You can also add the name of each artist to the craft stick. The bookmarks are a great way to encourage youngsters to read. The bookmarks might also serve as gifts and name cards on the holiday dinner table.
10. Ice Cream Cone Teepees
Share the story of the original feast while making these Thanksgiving crafts. To make the teepees gather:
• Sugar ice cream cones
• Chocolate chips
• Pretzel sticks
• Miniature colored leaf-shaped candies
Use parchment paper on a cookie sheet for the work surface. Melt the chocolate chips. Break the tips from the bottom of the cones. The opening should be just wide enough to fit a few pretzel sticks inside. Dip the wide end of the cones into the chocolate. Sprinkle the colored leaves onto the melted chocolate. Grab the center of the cones and dip the opened tips into the chocolate. Break the pretzels into three different lengths. Dip the pretzels into the chocolate and insert them into the tops of the teepees. Sprinkle more leaves on the top. Put the cookie sheet into the freezer for up to 15 minutes in order to harden the chocolate.
11. Leafy Feathered Turkey
Take a walk in the yard or the local park to gather different colorful fall leaves. These will serve as the turkey's feathers. Use a piece of construction paper as the base. Arrange the leaves in a semicircle on the paper. Create the turkey's body on another piece of paper. Make a simple peanut shape for the body. Also draw oval eyes, beaks, and feet. Let the youngsters color the bird parts. Cut them out and position them on top of your leaf feathers.
12. Napkin Rings
Cut paper towel or toilet paper rolls in two-inch lengths. Wrap the rings with colored yarn. Decorate the rings to resemble turkeys, pilgrims, pumpkins, Native Americans, or turkeys and corn cobs. Use colored construction paper or felt to create the desired images.
13. Pilgrim Treat Boxes
Cut a five-inch circle from a piece of cardboard. Cover one side with black construction paper. Make a cylinder from another piece of black construction paper approximately three inches in length. But, cut 1/2-inch slits around one end. Fold the slits inward and glue them to the cardboard circle. Make a hat band from a contrasting color. Make a buckle and cover it with tin foil. Slide the band through the buckle and fasten it to the hat. Once the glue is dried, fill the top of the hat with candy corn and candy pumpkins. Make a few hats to decorate the dinner table. Or, use them to serve snacks before the main meal.
14. Pine Cone Turkeys
Create the head, neck, beak, and eyes from colored construction paper. Glue the front piece to the wide end of the pine cone. Make a fan of feathers from construction or tissue paper. Use real feathers if desired. Glue the tail feathers to the other end of the pine cone to create a fan-like shape. Or, cut out children's handprints using colored paper. Use these to create a fan of tail feathers. Legs and feet might be fashioned from pipe cleaners and attached to the underside of the pine cone to give the impression that the turkey is sitting.
15. Thankful Leaf Garland
Thanksgiving crafts for kids might include this project, as children love playing with clay. The assortment of items needed include:
• Green, yellow, orange, red and brown polyform clay
• Rolling pins or unopened cans
• Butcher paper or comparable protective work surface
• Leaf-shaped cookie cutters
• Black markers
• Sturdy string or ribbon
• Parchment paper
• Cookie sheet
Make skinny snakes using each color of the clay. Combine two to four colored snakes by twisting them together. Vary the colors for each snake combination. Fold the snakes in half. Squish the snakes into a ball. Roll them out until approximately 1/8 of an inch thick. Cut leaves out using the cookie cutters. Or, use plastic knives to carve out the desired leaf shapes. Poke a hole into the top of each leaf. Line the cookie sheet with parchment paper. Put the leaves on the sheet and bake at 275 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 20 minutes. Once cooled, paint each leaf with a thankful thought. String the leaves and hang where desired.
16. Thankful Tree
Create a tree trunk and branches from brown construction paper. Or, create the outline and allow children to color the tree. Cut out different colored leaves from construction paper. Encourage children to write one thing for which they are thankful on each leaf. Decorate the edges of the leaves with glitter if desired. Attach the leaves to the tree branches.
17. Thanksgiving Luminaries
These Thanksgiving art crafts can be used year after year to decorate your home. To make the luminaries, you need:
• Half-pint mason jars or similar sized glasses
• Colorful fall leaves or fabric facsimiles
• White tissue paper
• Colored tissue paper
• Wiggly eyes
• Foam brushes
• Hodgepodge or clear-drying craft glue
Cut the white tissue paper into strips approximately one or 1.5 inches in width. Hold the jar by the top and brush the sides and bottom with the glue. Apply the strips going from one side around the bottom to the top of the other side. Keep attaching the strips while slightly overlapping until no visible glass remains. Invert the jars to dry. Once dry, make an assortment of Thanksgiving-themed decorations. For turkeys, glue a colored leaf onto the jar. Top the leaf with a small circle for the body and a smaller circle for the head. Add the eyes, a beak, and the wattle. Brush glue over the turkey to seal. Allow the jars to dry.
Other options include making corn cobs, or pilgrim bonnets and hats. If choosing to use fabric leaves, have everyone write something they are thankful for onto each leaf. Glue the leaves to the jars.
18. Thanksgiving Puppets
Thanksgiving craft ideas are sure to be a hit with little ones. Use lunch-sized paper sacks. Decorate the sacks with construction paper, feathers, googly eyes and other craft items to create pilgrim, Native American, or turkey puppets. Younger children may need help in cutting out the desired shapes. Otherwise, simply supply older kids with craft items and let their imagination flow.
19. Turkey Cupcakes
The treats are an ideal way to spend time with the little ones while creating a fun dessert. The ingredients needed include:
• 1 box of spice cake mix
• 1 can of ginger ale
• Complimentary frosting
• Nutter butter cookies
• Candy corn
• Candy eyes
• Red licorice
• Festive cupcake papers
Start by combining the cake mix and the ginger ale. No other ingredients are needed. Bake the cupcakes as directed on the box. Allow the cupcakes to cool and frost them as desired. Attach a couple of eyes toward the top of each cookie using a bit of frosting. Cut the yellow portion from the candy corn into a “v” shape and use it for the beak. Cut the licorice to form the wattle. Attach the beaks and wattles using frosting. Stick a cookie into the front of each cupcake. Just before serving, invert six candy corns and insert them around the opposite side of the cupcake.
20. Turkey Leg Treats
The turkey legs make an ideal treat for young and old. Make the legs using:
• 8 cups of crispy cereal
• 6 large pretzel rods broken in half
• White chocolate bark or chips
• 1 bag of miniature marshmallows-set 24 aside
• ¼ cup of butter or margarine
Melt the white chocolate. Dip one end of a pretzel into the bark. Attach two of the mini marshmallows onto the end. Repeat the process with the remaining pretzels. Set them on parchment or waxed paper to harden. When dry, dip the pretzels into the chocolate again covering up to ¾ of each stick. Allow them to harden. Melt the butter or margarine and the remaining marshmallows. Add the crispy cereal. Once the cereal mixture cools enough to handle, shape the cereal around the opposite end of the pretzel in the shape of a turkey leg.
Thanksgiving Crafts for You
If you don't have children yet or you just want to do some crafts on your own, we've got you! Here are a few ideas that you can make for this Thanksgiving.
1. Thanksgiving Painting
If you've got the talent to paint something nice, then why not use it? A Thanksgiving-themed painting is a great way to express your creativity while adding something aesthetic to your home. You can use whatever you want to do this painting. Consider painting on a piece of wood to make it extra festive!
As for what you can paint, there's many options. Some classic options include a turkey, pilgrims, a cornucopia, or an assortment of Thanksgiving food. You could also go for more of a general fall theme if you want to keep this painting up for longer. Autumn leaves, apples, and pumpkins all fit a fall theme.
2. Decorate a Pumpkin
A lot of people think that decorating pumpkins is only for Halloween. They'd be wrong! You can decorate a pumpkin for Thanksgiving, to add some spice to your porch or front yard this holiday.
Rather than carving the pumpkin as you would for Halloween, paint on it instead! There's lots of designs you can go with, from simple to complex. Maybe you just want to paint a fun face on it, or you want to go further and paint a whole turkey. If painting isn't your thing, you can put a little costume on the pumpkin! Dress it up like a turkey or a pilgrim. Your guests will surely find it cute.
3. Design a Tablecloth
Buy a plain tablecloth at the store. The color is up to you, but aim for a color that will work well with your Thanksgiving theme. From here, decorate it however you want to make it truly Thanksgiving themed!
You can glue leaves on it, draw on it with felt pens, or cut Thanksgiving-themed shapes into it! There's a lot of room on a tablecloth for you to decorate, so let your imagination run wild. This is surely a unique decoration that your guests will take note of. Just be ready for it to get a little messy when dinner is served!
4. Make a Thanksgiving Wreath
Lots of people hang wreathes for Christmas, but you can do it for Thanksgiving too! There's a lot of different ways that you can approach this. Make a wreath that's fully themed around this holiday, or go for something more generically fall.
You can use leaves – fake or real – for this craft, or make it unique by using handkerchiefs of different colors! Whatever you decide to use, take your time to make it look truly wonderful! From here, you can hang it in a place of honor on your front door or over your mantle.
For more craft ideas, see this collection.
There is so much to be grateful for; may this be the year that cute Thanksgiving crafts, time spent with the ones you love the most, and stress free family fun are high on your list and fresh in your memories.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©iStock.com/AartiKalyani.