Thanksgiving crafts projects

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Some easy-to-make Thanksgiving craft projects can be fashioned with supplies already on hand in your kitchen or desk drawers.
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Some thanksgiving craft projects are nearly free to make

The ingredients needed to make a variety of thanksgiving craft projects are few and free: imagination, creativity and some spare time. Add some laughs. What do you have? You have some intriguing works of art that are quick and easy whether you're a child—or a child at heart.


Make some Thanksgiving memory books to recall past holidays


Most families took plenty of color photos before the phenomenal rise of digital photography. These precious snapshots from yesteryear still can be found in many households—tucked away in cardboard boxes in the basement or stuffed into unused desk drawers.


How cute were those kids, years ago? The little ones in those photos may be teens now or young parents with children of their own. Surprise them on Thanksgiving. Create from those forgotten treasures some wonderful then-and-now keepsakes—place cards, place mats, invitations to Thanksgiving dinner and the like.


Make copies of those precious old photos before you start cutting!  It would be so sad to destroy the one and only photo of some event or a favorite moment with a long-lost friend! Once you have your copies, put the originals into an acid-free photo album to be shared around the table. 

Then use the copies to go ahead and cut out the images of the people in the picture. Cut circles and stars around the faces of kids and pets.Use photo pens to add color to black and white images, or copy faded color pictures in black and white. 


Add some pizzazz with stickers of turkeys, pumpkins or corn cobs. Include funny captions available from scrapbooking sources. Use colored felt-tip pens or Crayons to add extra details. Sandwich the photos and decorations between two sheets of clear plastic. Cut into smaller squares, rectangles or turkey shapes for place cards. Secure plastic and photos with dabs of glue or double-sided tape.   


Make some colorful hand-print turkeys with an added twist


Most of us have seen the cute little handprint turkeys made by children at holiday time. Making them is a simple operation. The children—or adult fun-lovers—place one of their hands with fingers widespread on a piece of colored construction paper. Then, they trace with the other hand the outline. Cut out the shape. The thumb is the turkey's neck; the widespread fingers are the fanned-out tail.


Now, it's time to update that method for added zing and color appeal. Use multiple layers of brightly colored paper. The handprint silhouette is made the same way. But here's the extra step that makes a special effect: after the shape is cut out, the layers are separated slightly and fanned out while holding the thumb section in place. The result is a multi-colored, multi-layered, beautifully fanned tail.


Staple the neck to keep the layers in place and add a gummed star or ribbon to hide the staple. These turkeys can be marked with guests' names and used as place markers if made to stand up by adding a support—a narrow piece of stiff paper glued to the reverse. A cut-out photo of the guest's face also could be glued above the neck of the turkey to become the head of the turkey.


Make some play clay and have fun with Thanksgiving figures


Thanksgiving is a holiday that hosts a number of universally recognized images marking its cherished traditions—sharing food and sharing friendship. Most icons—pilgrims, turkeys, pumpkins and such—lend themselves to replication from materials that for the most part can be found in any pantry. A batch of play clay takes little time to prepare and easily can be adjusted to increase the amount required for projects of various sizes.


Play Clay


• 1 cup salt

• 1 cup hot water

• ½ cup cold water

• 1 cup cornstarch

• Makes about 3 cups


Instructions: In a small pan, mix together salt and water and bring to the boiling point. In a separate bowl mix the cornstarch and cold water. Pour the cornstarch mixture into the boiling salt water; stir until the mix resembles stiff dough. Remove from heat and turn out the mixture onto a plate to cool. Knead until pliable. Many images can be fashioned.

Turkeys with fanned-out plumage

• Pilgrims with buckles on their shoes

• Native Americans dressed in buckskin

• Cornucopias filled with fruits and vegetables


This play clay dries and hardens in less than two days. It is easy to shape and also can be flattened with a rolling pin and cut into shapes. The clay dries white and can be detailed with enamel paint—or sprayed gold or silver for added drama. If a group is involved in making the decorations, whip up several double-size recipes rather than one huge conglomeration. You'll be whipping up a big batch of fun to go with your thanksgiving craft projects.

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