Skip to content
Home » Painted Paper Plate Turkey Craft

Painted Paper Plate Turkey Craft

Paper Plate Turkey Craft for Thanksgiving

This Paper Plate Turkey craft is easy for toddlers and preschoolers to make. They’ll explore colour mixing, painting, cutting and gluing while creating an adorable turkey to display for Thanksgiving.

See all of our Thanksgiving crafts and activities here.

Paper Plate Turkey Craft for Thanksgiving

The hooligans and I are on a roll with our A-Z Paper Plate Crafts series! We’re on a roll with our Turkey crafts too! Recently, we made this fun and easy paper plate turkey craft which which falls neatly into both categories.

A paper plate turkey is perfect for a preschool Thanksgiving craft and a good one for a letter T unit too.

Related: Older kids will enjoy our Paper Plate Gratitude Turkey Craft.

The inspiration for today’s turkey craft actually came from the paper plate flowers we made a few years ago. We’re using the same process for making the feathers of our turkey as we did for the petals of that flower.


  • paper plate
  •  brown paint (body)
  • various colours of paint (tail feathers)
  • googly eyes (buttons would also work)
  • yellow paper or craft foam (beak)
  • red tissue paper (beak and wattle)
  • paint brushes
  • scissors

Making your Turkey

Have your child start by painting the paper plate.  Paint the middle of the plate brown (for the turkey’s body).  The rim of the plate will be cut up into the turkey’s feathers, so you want it to be nice and bright and colourful.

I let my hooligan choose as many colours as she wanted for the tail feathers, and I poured a bit of each colour into a small paint pallet for her to work from.

preschooler painting a paper platepreschooler painting a paper plate

She had a super time dabbing and brushing all of the colours onto the plate.

I always put out enough paint brushes that the hooligans can have one for each colour of paint.  It eliminates the need for us to rinse our brushes before a colour change, and it keeps the project and the paint pallet from becoming all mixed up.

colourfully painted paper plate with brown centercolourfully painted paper plate with brown center

When your paper plate has been completely covered in paint, grab the scissors!

I helped my hooligan with the cutting part, as she’s still learning to use scissors.

preschooler holding scissorspreschooler holding scissors

Cut the colourful rim of the plate off,  so you now have two parts – the brown body and the colourful rim.

Now have your child chop the rim up into chunky pieces.  These pieces will serve as the feathers.

paper plate cut into pieces for body and feathers paper plate cut into pieces for body and feathers

Flip your plate over, and glue the feathers in layers around the edge of the brown body.

close up of paper plate turkeyclose up of paper plate turkey

Then your child can add the eyes and beak, and a couple of pieces of crumpled tissue paper for the comb and the wattle.

child gluing red tissue paper comb on turkeychild gluing red tissue paper comb on turkey

Isn’t he just beautiful?

finished paper plate turkeyfinished paper plate turkey

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

More Preschool Turkey Crafts:

Get the 3-5 Playful Preschool e-Book!

25+preschool activities by 25 bloggers, 10 printables, 50 links to activities not featured in the book all for $8.99!

Download your copy today:

3-5 Playful Preschool 3-book3-5 Playful Preschool 3-book

Follow the Hooligans on Facebook!

for FREE crafts,

activities & recipes!

Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.