Don't eat this
stuffed turkey!

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Stuffed paper turkey
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Fall and Thanksgiving Crafts

Stuffed Paper Turkeys

What you will make:

In this project, you will make a three-dimensional turkey that stands on its own feet. It is made of paper and stuffed with facial tissue. The printable patterns come in two sizes, and in black-and-white or color. The turkeys make nice Thanksgiving decorations, and several smaller turkeys can be made into a mobile.

Related crafts: There are many more turkey crafts in the Fall and Thanksgiving Crafts craft series. You can make small turkeys, fancy turkeys, turkey pop-up cards, and even a turkey game!

Here's what you need:
  • White computer paper
  • Facial tissues
  • Scissors
  • White glue (Elmer's, PVA) and a glue stick
  • Chopsticks
  • Optional: Crayons, markers, craft knife and cutting mat or thick cardboard, transparent tape, paperclip

This project is rated EASY to do.

How to Make 3D Stuffed Paper Turkeys

Step 1: Choose a Pattern and Print It

Choose the size of turkey you want to make. Download and print the patterns on white paper. The larger turkey has separate patterns for the body and the tail. Be sure to print both patterns. The smaller turkey has two color options—choose the one you like best, or make both! The tail back patterns for both sizes are optional, but this addition gives your turkey a more finished look from the back.

Turkey Body
Pattern for stuffed turkey body
Tail and Wings
Pattern for stuffed turkey tail and wings
Tail Back
Pattern for back of turkey tail
Smaller Turkey 1
Pattern for smaller stuffed turkey
Smaller Turkey 2
Pattern for smaller stuffed turkey
Smaller Tail Backs
Pattern for back of smaller turkey tails

Patterns are Adobe PDF files. The Adobe Reader is available for free.

All of Aunt Annie's project patterns are designed to be printed on standard letter-size paper (8.5"x11" or A4). When printing from Adobe Reader, you may need to select Auto-Rotate and Center or Choose paper source by PDF page size to ensure the best fit.

Step 2: Cut

Cut out each pattern piece on its black outline. For each turkey, you will have two bodies, two wings, one tail, and an optional tail back.

If you printed a black-and-white pattern, color the pattern pieces before cutting them. Wild turkeys have feathers in shades of brown, but for a bit of brightness, add orange, red, or yellow to the tail feathers.

Cut out pattern pieces
Step 3: Glue Body Glue turkey body

Put one turkey body piece with the colored side down. Apply a small bead of white (PVA) glue on the edge along the back, around the head and neck, and halfway to the feet. Take the other body piece, colored side up, and lay it on top of the first body piece. Press along the glue line to join. Let the glue set for five to 10 minutes before stuffing the turkey.

Tip: Do not get any glue on the middle of the pattern pieces. You need a pocket that can be stuffed later.

Step 4: Glue Wings
Glue wings on turkey

Fold back the tab on each wing. Apply glue to the tabs and attach one wing to each side of the body.

Step 5: Glue Tail

Cut the two slits in center of the tail. Tip: It is easier to cut the slits with a craft knife. Kids get help from an adult!

Fold back the tabs on the body, insert a tab in each slit, and fold over. Glue the tabs to the back of the tail.

If you printed the tail back, glue it over the back of the tail.

Glue tail on turkey
Step 6: Stuff Turkey

Wait for the glue to dry completely before stuffing the turkey. This is very important!

Stuff turkey

Use a chopstick to gently open the pocket inside the turkey. Push the chopstick up into the head.

You will need two or three facial tissues to stuff the large turkey, and one tissue to stuff the small turkey. Tear the facial tissue(s) in fourths. Use the chopstick to push about a fourth of a facial tissue into the turkey's head. Push the rest of the tissue pieces into the front and toward the top of the body. Stand the turkey on its feet.

Tip: If the seam around the head or body splits during stuffing, you may not have used enough glue or let the glue dry completely. Remove the stuffing and repeat the gluing step. You can also use tape to repair the split.

Tip: If you have trouble getting the turkey to stand, make sure that the bottoms of its feet are flat and even. You can also bend the feet outward. If the turkey falls back on its tail, add some weight to the front by pushing the tissues toward the front and bending the tail toward the front. You can also add more tissues, some tape, or even a paper clip to add more weight in the front.

That's it! Your turkey is done!
Stuffed paper turkeys

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Before you start:
  • Make a place to work.
  • Read all of the directions.
  • Gather everything you need to do the project.
  • Think about the project. Imagine how it will look and what you will do with it.

Are you ready?
Okay, get started!!!

ePaper Extra

Happy Thanksgiving ePapers

Tip: Add to your Thanksgiving decorating with items made using Thanksgiving ePapers. The Happy Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Turkeys and Turkey Fan Tails ePapers can be used to make Thanksgiving greeting cards and name cards or napkin rings for the dinner table. Check out the Thanksgiving & Fall Crafts index for more ideas.

Items made with Thanksgiving ePapers

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Tip: Here's a simple and quick way to make napkin rings for Thanksgiving. For each napkin ring, cut a ¾" by 6" paper strip from any of the Thanksgiving ePapers, Thanksgiving Paper Ribbons ePaper, or Fall Leaves ePaper, and a 1¼" by 6" strip of coordinating solid color cardstock or paper. Glue the ePaper strip down the center of the solid color strip, then form into a ring. Glue the ends together where they overlap. Check out the Thanksgiving Napkin Rings craft for more ideas.

Fall Leaves ePaper

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Stuffed paper turkey in two sizes

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Tip: You can make two sizes of turkeys. The larger one is about 6½" tall and the smaller one is 5 " tall.

Smaller stuffed turkeys in two color schemes

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Tip: The smaller turkeys come in two color schemes. Pick the one you like best, or make both!

3D Circus seals

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Related craft: You might also enjoy making a 3D Paper Circus Seal.

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