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Thanksgiving DIY for Those Pressed for Time: Simple Turkey Placemats
When I was single and then newly married, I loved DIY projects. During the holidays, the decor and gifts would be things crafted by me, beautifully. Then Zinashi joined our family, and I got a little less crafty. One cross country move and a second baby later, and I have very little time for DIY, though Zinashi loves it and Elvie is beginning to get excited about it. I want to do little projects with my girls, so I’ve lowered my standards and upped the fun. While Elvie isn’t quite ready for cutting and gluing, she sits near me while I make the crafts that are hers, often adding her own special crumples to her project. My new projects aren’t as magazine-worthy as my old ones were, but they’re more full of memories and magic because the little hands that made them make my life more magical.
For Thanksgiving, we made hand turkey placemats for the second time. I love making these simple crafts that show how my children have grown from year to year. If your busy life leaves you little time for crafting, but you still want to make creative memories with your kids, this may be the perfect project for you, too. Using supplies you likely already have on hand or can grab from the store where you normally buy your diapers and wipes, you can make memories to keep in just moments.
Want to DIY, but don't have much time?
This is the craft for you! Make a hand turkey placemat with your little one each year, and you’ll have a durable and usable record of how they’ve grown.
Gather your materials. You may have many of these at home, but if you don’t have everything, all these supplies are easy to pick up in stores where you already shop. Choose a variety pack of construction paper that includes fall colors.
Trace your little one’s hand on a color that’s suitable for turkey feathers, then cut it out. Depending on how wiggly your little one is, you may need some extra hands to help with the tracing part.
Trace around the first hand cut-out on two additional colors of paper, then cut the tracings out. These three hands will be the turkey’s feathers.
Glue the three hands in a fan shape in the middle of a fresh sheet of construction paper. I like to use a different color each year; last year we used purple, so this year I chose yellow.
Cut shapes for the turkey’s body (a circle atop an egg shape is just right), feet, beak, and snood. Some construction paper packs don’t include brown, so I colored a white piece light brown.
Glue the body, beak, snood, and feet on top of the feathers, then draw on eyes. Add your child’s name, age, and the date.
Cut two pieces of clear adhesive paper to be slightly larger than the construction paper. Take the backing off one piece and lay it adhesive side up on your work surface, then lay your paper face down in the middle, pressing out toward the edges to remove air bubbles. Remove the backing from the second sheet of clear adhesive paper and lay it directly on top of the back of the placemat, pressing outward to remove air bubbles again.
Trim the edges of the adhesive paper so that they’re even, and make sure that everything is well sealed. Your placemat is done and ready for use throughout the Thanksgiving season. A quick wipedown with a damp cloth will clean it up nicely, and you can use it for years to come.