For the past ten years, I have had the pleasure of spending Thanksgiving Day crafting. I have a client who graciously invites me back year after year, even though their children have headed off to college and are starting lives of their own. Nothing brings a family together more than sitting around and making something...whether it’s a fun little centerpiece or artwork to grace the refrigerator. For me, nothing better defines "family time" than crafting.
With this in mind, I give you these very simple Thanksgiving crafts.
A HANDFUL OF THANKS
Sometimes it’s good to focus on the things we take for granted - friends, pets, family, a home, the ability to think and share ideas, reading, hugs...the list is endless and different for each person. This project gives you the opportunity to consider your gifts while crafting. You can make your turkey as elaborate or simple as you like, depending on what supplies you have on hand.
Basic Supplies: paper and crayons, markers or colored pencils
1. Lay your hand down on a piece of paper, fingers spread. Trace your hand with a pencil or pen. Remove your hand and connect the lines from either side of your palm to make the body of your turkey. For a more elaborate turkey copy your hand onto construction paper, cut out, and glue to a second piece of paper.
2. Turn the thumb into the turkey’s head, and the fingers into tail feathers. On each feather write something for which you are thankful.
FAMILY & FRIENDS COLLAGE PLACEMAT
I have always loved making collages. We receive a lot of magazine subscriptions at our office which has rekindled my desire to collage. You can use computer printed family photos if you have them, or just create scenes, faces, and crazy contraptions out of the interesting shapes and colors. Try making a family or self portrait, but challenge yourself by not allowing any real body parts - use furniture, cars, etc. instead.
Supplies: paper, magazines, scissors, glue stick, tape, packing tape (optional), prints of photos (optional)
1. Decide what you want to make.
2. Flip through magazines, cutting out interesting shapes, textures and images.
3. Arrange the cut-outs on your paper. Glue or tape them down when you have the look you like.
4. Cover the entire sheet, front and back, with strips of clear packing tape, or clear contact paper. Trim the edges, leaving a ¼ inch border of sealed tape all around to protect the artwork.
5. If you do self portraits you can use them as place settings for each guest. For an extra challenge make the faces out of vegetables and fruits like Guiseppe Arcimboldo, or out of objects like bowling balls and colanders.
EASY, PEASY PILGRIM HATS
It’s amazing how quickly a lowly paper product can become cute headwear. Here we turn a black paper cup into a simple hat.
1. Cut a 2 x 2 inch square of white duct tape. Attach it to your cup at the lip to make the buckle.
2. Using your permanent marker, color in a small black rectangles to make the white tape look like a buckle.
3. Make two holes on opposite sides of the cup.
4. Thread a piece of elastic through one hole and tie it off. Slip the other end of the elastic through the other hole. Slip the elastic under your chin, pull through the hole to tighten and tie off the other side.
SUPER SIMPLE DOLL BONNET
Make a doll cap from a coffee filter. If you can find the oversized, commerical filters you can make yourself a matching one!
Supplies: a circular coffee filter, masking or scotch type tape, ribbon (optional)
1. Place the coffee filter on your dolls head.
2. Using tape, size the filter to your dolls head, making a frill.
3. Embellish with ribbon if you like.
There are so many ways to make your kernels - circle stickers, stamp pad fingerprints, tempera paint dots, made with an eraser, cotton swab, or cork, buttons, colored tissue paper, or for some added texture, try painting small bubble wrap with acrylic paints.
Supplies for corn base: white and green construction paper, glue stick.
for the kernels: circle stickers, stamp pad, tempera paints, shallow dishes for paint, pencils with new erasers, cotton swabs, corks, buttons, white glue, colored tissue paper, glue stick, bubble wrap, acrylic paints, paint brushes or sponges, permanent markers.
1. For each version - cut a long oval out of white paper to make the ear. Make 3 long green leaf shapes.
2. Glue the leaves together at the base to make a fanned out base.
make your corn using one of the methods below and glue on top of your leaves.
A. Sticker kernels - use circle stickers from an office supply store (great for little ones)
B. Finger print kernels - use a stamp pad to make finger print kernels - mix the different sized fingers for variety.
C. Tempera paint kernels - pour a small amount of paint into shallow bowls. Using a different pencil, cotton swab, or cork for each color, dip the tip into the paint and then “stamp” onto the paper.
D. Button kernels - glue a variety of buttons onto your paper.
E. Tissue paper kernels - using a glue stick, place squares of colored paper onto your corn form...layering the levels makes for very pretty and interesting shades.
F. Bubble wrap corn - cut your bubble wrap to the shape of the corn cob. use acrylic paints or permanent markers to color the bubbles. When dry, glue or tape to the corn base.
I hope these crafts get “gobbled” up by your family!