Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Paper Bag Turkey Project

My turkey has Logan's hand prints for wings.
I adapted this idea by using lunch size paper bags instead of grocery bags. In my opinion, this is better anyway, because the bags don't have writing on them and their smaller size means that you finish the project more quickly (which is a plus when you are doing crafts with young children)! Also, I think using lunch bags would lend itself more easily to group projects since you can simply buy a package of them instead of scrounging up grocery bags. I have also made a few other changes to the original project that allow for some fun variations in how you decorate your paper bag turkey.

Materials Needed:
Turkey by Mia, age 3 1/2 (includes Logan's foot prints for wings)
  • brown lunch bag
  • scissors
  • glue
  • crayons or markers in fall colors
  • orange or yellow construction paper
  • red construction paper 
  • yarn, twist tie, or rubber band
  • googly eyes 
  • newspaper
Optional Materials:
  • pencil (for tracing hands or feet)
  • orange or yellow pipe cleaner 
  • paint in fall colors
  • paint brush
  • newspaper (to cover work surface when painting)
  1. Starting at the top of a brown lunch bag, use crayons (or markers) in fall colors to fill in the top half of the bag. (I folded the bag in half to give us a visual of where to stop coloring.) Mia colored hers randomly, and I colored mine in vertical stripes about 1/2 to 1 inch in diameter.
  2. Fill the bag half full with crumpled newspaper.
  3. Twist the bag closed and secure with a length of yarn, a rubber band, or a twist tie. (The original directions said to use yarn. I found this to be the trickiest to work with, but it be a logical choice if you are doing this project with a group. Rubber bands and brown twist ties from bread bags worked nicely for this.)
  4. Using scissors, cut strips from the top of the bag down to the yarn/rubber band/twist tie to form tail feathers. I followed the lines separating my different colored stripes. Mia just started cutting.
  5. Glue on two googly eyes.
  6. Cut a triangle from orange or yellow construction paper and glue down to make the beak.
  7. Cut a kidney bean shape from red construction paper for the wattle. Glue down near the beak.
Optional Ideas:

Mia's painted turkey has pipe cleaner feet.

Paper Bag Turkey by Mia
  • Create wings for the turkey by tracing a child's feet onto brown construction paper, cut out foot prints, and glue onto paper bag. I did this with Logan's foot prints.
  • Another option for making wings is to trace a child's hands onto colored paper, cut out hand prints, and glue onto the bag. I used Logan's hand prints on brown paper and two more hand prints on orange paper. After cutting out the hand prints, I layered the orange on top of the brown and trimmed off the excess. Then I glued the orange pieces to the brown and glued the wings to the paper bag. (You could also glue the orange on top of the brown before trimming.)
  • To make feet for the turkey, cut two squares out of yellow or orange construction paper. Then trim the paper so that it resembles a crown with three points. Glue to the bottom of the bag.
  • Another option for making feet is to cut an orange or yellow pipe cleaner in half. Bend each half so that it has three toes and then glue to the bottom of the brown bag.
  • If you don't have googly eyes, you can draw on eyes or make them from construction paper.
  • The directions for the original project said to paint the tail feathers after cutting them. I found that this was too difficult for Mia, but it may be something that a school-age child can do. (It might also be easier if working with a grocery bag instead of a lunch bag, but I didn't try this.) I also tried having her paint the bag before cutting, but again this didn't work out too well. She didn't really know where to apply the paint and we had to wait for it to dry. (My opinion is that using crayons is best. It's less messy and you don't have to wait for paint to dry.)
  • Another option for tail is to color or paint a paper plate and glue to the bag of a paper bag. To do this, I think you would need to fill the whole bag with crumpled newspaper and close it at the top. Or you could possibly separate the bag into two sections, one for the head and one for the body, and secure it both in the middle and at the top.
  • Today (11/17/10) I saw a picture of a paper bag turkey in our local newspaper. It had a plastic spoon decorated as the head, with the handle of the spoon stuck into the front of the paper bag.

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