26 November 2013

Thanksgiving Craft: Toilet Paper Roll Turkeys

This Thursday is Thanksgiving in America. Here in England it is just another normal work week. There are no queues of  shoppers waiting to collect their turkeys, and shelves are not stocked with Libby's pumpkin pie filling.

I have fond memories of my mother waking at the crack of dawn to get the turkey in the oven for its slow roast. I love a good stuffing, cranberry dressing, corn casserole and mashed potatoes.  And you can be assured each year there is a reserved space in the corner of my belly for the heavenly pies. mmmm!

As it is just the three of us (and our dog, Carib, who would love a turkey leg) we will forgo preparing a traditional feast at the cottage. But as I cannot entirely pass on the holiday's culinary delights, pumpkin and butternut squash soup will be served--- and perhaps a pecan pie, too.

Though I am okay with not having a big feast, I am bummed Ouisie and I will not be watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade and The National Dog Show in our pajamas. Wanting to share my love of  turkey day with Ouisie, I decided we would celebrate with the help of paint, toilet paper rolls, feathers and glue.

Our Thanksgiving craft day happened to coincide with Chef plucking and cleaning Frederick, the roadkill pheasant. Yes, there is a story behind the bird to be told, perhaps, in a future post.

Pheasants, like turkeys, have stunning feathers. It seemed only appropriate then to have Frederick Pheasant be a part of our Tom Turkeys.

And so, his freshly plucked feathers were glued to our toilet roll turkeys. Admittedly, they do make our cardboard birds appear more authentic.

My toddler really enjoyed making her turkey. As the birds are assembled in several steps, with feathers best applied using a hot glue gun, this craft requires full adult supervision. While I glued feathers onto the birds, Ouisie enjoyed cutting construction paper. It is fair to say, some steps are for older children only.

Turkey Toilet Paper Roll Craft is best suited for children 3+ years.

(paper free) toilet paper rolls
brown water based paint
paint brush
google eyes
craft glue
hot glue and glue gun
orange construction paper
blue construction paper
feathers (your choice: real or fake)
  1. Trim toilet roll to desired height. We made a family of turkeys-- so Ouisie's turkey is only about 3" tall.
  2. Paint toilet rolls with brown paint and leave to dry.
  3. Cut small squares from orange construction paper and fold in half diagonally to make triangle for beak.
  4. Design your own bird's feet with blue construction paper. Three toes, four toes. Round toes, pointed toes. Long feet, short feet. Be creative!
  5. Use craft glue to apply google eyes and beak. Leave to dry.
  6. Apply feet with craft glue (or hot glue) and leave to dry.
  7. Apply feathers to back of turkey ensuring they stand up high enough to be seen from the front. Leave to dry. 
  1. Ensure everything is dry before going to the next step to prevent any mess ups. 
  2. Hot glue is recommended over craft glue for applying feathers and feet. 
  3. If you do not have craft feathers on hand, create from construction paper by cutting out heart shapes in a variety of colours. Fan hearts along back of turkey and glue in place. 
  4. The craft project can extend over a few days or over one cold winter's day at home. 
 Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!

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