Make a Paper Plate Turkey Photo Frame

What You Need:

  • Small paper plate
  • Large paper plate
  • Brown paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Construction paper or craft foam in 3 fall colors e.g., red, orange, yellow
  • Safety scissors
  • Pen or pencil
  • Pair of googly eyes
  • Stapler
  • X-acto knife
  • Self-healing cutting mat
  • Ruler
  • Photo of your child or the whole family
  • Hole punch
  • Ribbon or yarn
  • Rectangular scarf or scrap of fabric in an autumn color (optional)

What You Do:

  1. Adults, start by preparing the paper plate frame. Take the large paper plate and draw a square or rectangle in the center. In this example, a 4 ¼” x 2 ¼” rectangle was made. Cut the shape out using an X-acto knife with a self-healing cutting mat beneath it to protect your working surface.
  2. Next, ask your child to paint the small and large paper plates with brown paint. Set them aside to dry, about an hour.
  3. While the plates dry, help your youngster trace their hands onto the various colors of construction paper – be sure their hands are dry and free of paint. Make a pair of left and right hand prints in each of the 3 colors.
  4. Help your child carefully cut out each of the handprints.
  5. Once the plates are dry, ask your child to glue the googly eyes onto the small plate.
  6. Then show them how to draw a beak and snood* on the orange and red construction paper or craft foam, respectively.
  7. Ask your child to cut those out and glue them onto the small plate.
  8. Help your child crop the photo so that it fits inside the rim of the unpainted side of the plate. Glue it face down onto that side of the plate.
  9. Glue the handprint cutouts onto the unpainted side of the plate. Be sure to fan them out so that they resemble feathers.
  10. Use a couple of staples to secure the small plate to the large plate.
  11. Tie ribbon or a rectangular scarf (scraps of fabric will work, too) around the area where the plates overlap. This will hide the staples and add a fancy detail that will really tie the whole look of the turkey together. Let it drape loosely over the turkey’s shoulders.
  12. Punch two holes at the top of the small plate and thread a ribbon through it so that your child can hang their colorful creation up for everyone to enjoy all throughout the fall season.

*A snood is the fleshy growth that hangs over the turkey's beak. It turns bright red when the turkey is upset or during courtship.

Fun Facts About Turkeys:

  • Benjamin Franklin thought turkeys were so American that he wanted them to be the national bird rather than the bald eagle.
  • Only male turkeys make a “gobble” sound. They are called gobblers or toms. Once grown, toms have larger and longer legs than females and grow a beard of long, black feathers in the middle of their chest.
  • Female turkeys, or hens, make a clucking noise.
  • Turkey eggs hatch in 28 days and baby turkeys are called poults.
  • A large group of turkeys is called a rafter.

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