Thanksgiving Craft for Kids: Turkey Handprint Photo Card

By Lauren Barth |

Today I’m going to share a cute craft for Thanksgiving – a Turkey Handprint Photo Card craft.


But, as the newest member of The Shopping Mama team, there are a few things you should know about me first.

  1. I LOVE supplies.  As a classroom teacher, I love school supplies.  As a mom and homemaker, I love craft supplies.
  2. I’m a big fan of the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle).

Sometimes those two loves contradict one another.  There is something almost intoxicating about getting new supplies and organizing them by size, color or use, but that begs the question, “What happens to the old supplies?”  I face this dilemma much more often with craft supplies than I ever did with school supplies.  I also get incredibly frustrated when I purchase supplies for a craft and, once that single craft is completed, I have lots of leftover materials to store.  So, I’ve challenged myself to get a year’s worth of crafts using the same basic supplies (with very minor additions and subtractions along the way).  I’d love for you to join me in the challenge.

Craft Challenge Supplies

The supplies I chose for the year’s challenge include a variety of papers, a self-healing cutting mat, craft knife, circle cutter(s), multicolor cards with envelopes, ruler, markers, “googly” eyes and puffy balls. I’ll use most of these supplies over and over, though some crafts may call for additional items and some may only use a few.

The big investments are the paper products and cutting utensils.  I feel confident choosing the circle cutters because of the popularity of circle patterns right now.  We are seeing them in fabrics, clothing, toys, cupcake toppers and much, much more.   Unlike regular craft punches, a circle cutter can cut circles of all sizes and will get a great deal of use in any craft room.  I have both a large and small circle cutter, but most can get by with just the Small Circle Cutter as it will cut up to 5.5″ circles (the Large Circle Cutter will cut up to 12″).  The cutters featured here are Martha Stewart Crafts brand and available at Michael’s stores nationwide and on Amazon.

The multi-color cards with matching envelopes are available in the stationary section of Target.  I love these because you can get primary, pastel and autumnal colors and you can use the cards with the envelopes or to serve a multitude of other colored card stock needs (like turkey beaks).

Thanksgiving Turkey Handprint Photo Card Craft

My challenge begins with Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving?  Most people don’t think of this as a holiday worth investing valuable craft time.  However, it is my husband’s favorite holiday.  He is currently serving a 365-day deployment in Iraq.  No further consideration; we are making something for Daddy’s favorite holiday.  But what?  After great thought, I chose to make a holiday card using the tried and true “painted hand turkey.” I love the idea of my preschool girl and toddler boy “reaching out” to Daddy across the miles on his favorite holiday.  However, I’ve always felt that the handprint only tells half the story by commemorating the look of the hand.  I also wanted to include a picture of them so that, years from now, when we look at these cards we’ll see their size AND what they looked like at the time.

thanksgiving card craft for kids

The first step for this craft is either quite easy or quite difficult, depending on your state of mind.  The craft starts with a handprint from your child featuring a brown palm and thumb and a variety of fall colors on each finger (representing various colored feathers on a turkey).  This is easy in that children are ALWAYS willing to paint anything on them (limbs, nails, clothes, hair), so they cooperate quite easily. It is hard in that you have to keep them still while up to five open containers of paint are at risk (I had a dog and two of my daughter’s friends to that mix, do I get bonus points?) AND get them to put their hands on the paper and no. where. else.

thanksgiving paint craft for kidskid handprint turkey craft

Using a ruler, measure the diameter of your child’s palm and plan to cut circles slightly smaller than that measurement. My daughter’s palm measured 2.25″, so I cut a decorative paper circle 2″ in diameter and her picture in a 1.75″ diameter circle.  I then glued them on the handprint.   To make multiple copies of your child’s picture the right size, take a digital photo and use your computer’s photo alteration software to change the size.  You can also choose to print the picture in color, B&W or sepia.  I chose sepia to match the browns in my decorative paper and paint.

thanksgiving kid photo craftthanksgiving turkey kid photo card

Next, draw the beak (a small triangle), legs (major free hand and creative license) and major caruncles (the red thing on the neck; drew a figure 8) and cut them out with a craft knife.  If you’re paying very close attention to the photos, you’ll notice that cards/handprints featured above differ from the ones below.  Yeah, I live in a house with two kids and a dog.  I had to do the handprint step twice.  Did I mention flexibility helps with these projects?

thanksgiving card craft for kids

Finally, I assembled enough turkeys to send my husband and many other relatives a card.  Final assembly included gluing on an eye, beak, legs and major caruncles. I also added a personal message to each one.

thanksgiving homemade cards for kids project

P.S.  There is a third thing to know about me:  3) I’m dangerous with a craft knife.  During this project, I suffered a crafting injury that required the attention of both Buzz Lightyear and Woody the Sheriff Band-Aids.   Please use care with your craft materials!

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  2. 2.

    TOO cool! I was just talking about this last night in a twitter party! lol

    I loved your pics!

  3. 3.

    Sorry you got cut!! too cute on the band-aids though lol

  4. 4.
    Shannon Kelly

    Thanks, Joey!

  5. 5.

    I loved the craft AND the WHOLE POST! Awesome job, enjoyable to read and I can’t wait for more!
    You made me smile =)

  6. 6.

    What a fun project, Shannon! I admit it’s a bit intimidating for non-crafty folks like me, but I think even I could manage this one.

    Look forward to seeing what else you do with your supplies.

  7. 7.
    Shannon Kelly

    Brittany, thank you!

    Kate, Of course you can! I’m sending mine off to Mike tomorrow. These kinds of things serve as decorations for their quarters/office.

  8. 8.

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